Gina Luckenkemper has been one of the rising stars of European sprinting ever since she burst onto the scene at the 2015 European Athletics U20 Championships and on Sunday (21) in Dortmund, the German soared to the top of the world list.
After running 7.16 in the heats at the International Meeting in Dortmund, Luckenkemper then produced one of the finest performances of her career to triumph in the final ahead of some strong domestic opposition.
She stopped the clock at 7.11 - a personal best by 0.03 - and the joint fastest time in the world this year. Luckenkemper now shares the world-lead with the Ivory Coast's Murielle Ahoure, twice a world silver medallist and a sub-seven second competitor over the distance at her very best.
Lisa Mayer ran Luckenkemper close in second in 7.17 with sprint hurdler Pamela Dutkiewicz in third in a lifetime best of 7.35.
Luckenkemper has progressed well since winning the 200m title in Eskilstuna, Sweden in a marginally wind-assisted 22.41. A year later, she took bronze as a teenager in the 200m at the European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam and was part of the German team which claimed bronze in the 4x100m relay.
Come the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships this summer, she will be a big contender again across all distances. Luckenkemper broke the 11-second barrier over 100m for the first time at the IAAF World Championships in London and has been a key part of the relay team which has excelled in recent seasons.
Ujah ties European-lead; Zahi clocks 7.15 in Nantes
There were a series of outstanding performances at the meeting with Peter Emelieze equalling Julian Reus at the top of the German lists with a 6.61 clocking (Reus also clocked 6.61 in Chemnitz on Saturday), the joint second fastest time by a European this year.
Peter Emelieze stürmt im 60-Meter-Finale beim Indoor Meeting in Dortmund zu PB und Hallen-WM-Norm: 6,61 sec pic.twitter.com/7zmurPaTzE
— leichtathletik.de (@dlv_online) January 21, 2018
Europe's fast men and women were out in force this weekend – all across the world. Brit John Otugade was already top of the European lists after his 6.60 at Lee Valley last week and he is now joined in that position by teammate CJ Ujah.
Ujah was second in Iowa City on Friday (19) night as American Brandon Carnes won in 6.59.
At the French Regional Championships in Lyon on Sunday (21), French sprint star Christophe Lemaitre opened his season with wins in the 60m in 6.62 and 200m in 21.00 on Saturday while teammate Carolle Zahi sped to a fast 7.15 at the Elite Indoor de Nantes.
In Salamanca on Saturday, Oscar Husillos broke the outright Spanish 300m record with 32.39 to move to second on the European all-time lists behind Czech Republic’s Pavel Maslak with 32.15. Not only did Husillos eclipse Bruno Hortelano’s indoor record of 33.46, Husillos was also faster than Antonio Sanchez’s outright mark of 32.56 set back in 1987.
Husillos and Maslak are due to clash over 400m in Madrid on 8 February.
— Yorch Team (@YorchTeam) January 20, 2018
Svoboda rolls back the years in Jablonec
Petr Svoboda celebrated his 33rd birthday during the off-season but the Czech sprint hurdler is still in excellent form despite his advancing years.
The former European indoor 60m hurdles champion stopped the clock at 7.55 in the heats in Jablonec before improving to 7.51 in the final - his fastest time in seven years. Svoboda also moves to second on the early season world lists behind Grant Holloway of the United States.
Petr Svoboda opened his season with some fast times on home soil in the 60m hurdles in Jablonec.
He opened with 7.55 before improving to 7.51, his fastest time since 2011! pic.twitter.com/pAi56yGr5F
— European Athletics (@EuroAthletics) January 21, 2018
Radek Juska went out to 7.98m in the long jump while European U18 pole vault champion Emmanouil Karalis from Greece, who is still only 18, went clear at 5.65m before attempting 5.78m.
However, European indoor champion Piotr Lisek did go clear at 5.78m in Potsdam on Saturday, winning by 10 centimetres from Sweden’s Melker Svard Jakobsson and France’s Axel Chapelle.
Herman and Nedasekau impress in Minsk
As Luckenkemper won the 200m at the European U20 Championships in 2015, Belarusian Elvira Herman won 100m hurdles gold and on Saturday in Minsk, she took another big step and fast stride in her progression.
In the heats of the 60m hurdles at the Minsk Winter meeting, Herman delivered a personal best of 8.06 and then won the final in 8.07, two superb runs in her countdown to the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham.
The high jump in Minsk brought together two of the leading Belarusian male athletes – European U23 champion Dzmitry Nabokau and European U20 champion Maksim Nedasekau.
Both won gold a week apart last summer and on Saturday, it was Nedasekau who took the honours with 2.26m ahead of Nabokau with 2.23m.