The opening day of the Glasgow 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships brings together the best pentathletes and France’s Solene Ndama has now set the standard for Glasgow next Friday.
Ndama, 20, is the European U20 100m hurdles champion but this morning she is the world leader in the pentathlon.
At the French Indoor Championships in Miramas on Sunday, Ndama won with a score of 4672 points to put herself into medal contention although she hasn't ruled out contesting both the 60m hurdles and pentathlon in Glasgow.
She started brilliantly in the 60m hurdles with 8.03 before clearing 1.72m in the high jump. Perhaps her best performance of the day came in the shot put as she added one metre to her PB with 14.47m before concluding with a long jump of 6.27m and a 800m of 2:13.71.
Great Britain’s Katarina Johnson-Thompson, the reigning world indoor champion, will be the one to beat in Glasgow - particularly with world and Olympic heptathlon champion Nafissatou Thiam from Belgium injured.
Johnson-Thompson broke the championship record when she won the European indoor title in Prague in 2015 with 5000 points and she took part in three of the five events in Miramas.
Now based in Montpelier where she trains alongside Kevin Mayer, Johnson-Thompson ran 8.39 in the 60m hurdles, cleared 1.84m in the high jump and recorded 12.50m in the shot put.
Spain’s Maria Vicente is only 17 years ago but on Saturday, the reigning world and European U18 heptathlon champion became a senior superstar when she broke the national pentathlon record in Antequera.
Scoring 4412, Vicente overtook the mark of 4381 held by Barbara Hernando for eight years. She broke the national U20 60m hurdles record with 8.35 and her long jump of 6.36m would have won the individual title.
Back in Miramas, Basile Rolnin broke the 6000-point barrier for the first time with 6025 points to win the heptathlon and put himself in contention for an invitation to compete at the European Indoor Championships.
Martinot-Lagarde improves to 7.52 in the 60m hurdles
When Pascal Martinot-Lagarde won 60m hurdles silver in Belgrade, he did so in a time of 7.52 – and that is what the clock showed at the French Indoor Championships on Saturday with the second fastest time in Europe this year, slotting in behind Spain’s Orlando Ortega with 7.49 on the rankings. Ortega also confirmed his top shape by winning his national title in Antequera in 7.58.
A perennial world and European indoor medallist in the 60m hurdles, Martinot-Lagarde is ready for more medal success in Glasgow after a race in which world indoor bronze medallist Aurel Manga was second in 7.57 and Wilhem Belocian third in 7.63.
While Martinot-Lagarde is a familiar face on the French team, there will be a new face on the team after 19-year-old Sacha Alessandrini improved her lifetime best from 8.17 to 8.09 in the heat and then again to 8.09 in the final to with the 60m hurdles title.
There were also fast times in the 400m. Fabrisio Saidy won the men’s title in 46.67 from Mame-Ibre Anne in 46.92 while Deborah Sananes led three athletes under the 53 second-barrier, winning in a lifetime best of 52.53.
The 3000m title went to Djilali Bedrani in 7:51.42 as he beat two-time SPAR European U23 cross country champion Jimmy Gressier in 7:52.08. Yoann Kowal, the 2014 European 3000m steeplechase champion, was in 7:52.46.
Tamberi clears European-leading 2.32m in Ancona
On the first day of the Italian Indoor Championships on Friday, Gianmarco Tamberi returned close to his best form in Ancona where he cleared a European-leading 2.32m before three attempts at 2.34m.
Simone Forte had the beating of veteran triple jumper Fabrizio Donato on the second day of the championships. Forte took the lead in the first round with 16.76m, withstanding Donato's fourth round effort of 16.72m. Tobia Bocchi was third with 16.71m.
Maslak warms up for fourth European indoor title at Czech Indoor Championships
Other big stories from a busy weekend of national championships across Europe were:
- Pavel Maslak warmed up for his bid for a fourth successive European indoor 400m title by finishing second in the 60m in Ostrava in 6.76 as Zdenek Stromsik won in 6.64. With Maslak absent, Jan Tesar won the 400m in 46.70 and 19-year-old Lada Vondrova won the women's 400m title in 52.67 ahead of Zuzana Hejnova in 53.03.
- Oscar Husillos produced the fastest time across Europe this weekend in the 400m with victory at the Spanish Indoor Championships in a season's best of 46.37 to move to sixth on the 2019 European list.
- There was some family story in Kuldiga at the Latvian Indoor Championships as Laura Griva’s 6.35m saw her win the long jump from her sister Mara with 6.26m. Talking of athletics families, a familiar name was first in the 400m at the Belgian Indoor Championships in Gent as Kevin Borlee won in 46.69 with Dylan third in 47.68.
- Competing as a guest, Belarus' Alina Talay returned from injury to win the 60m hurdles title in Gent in 7.96 ahead of Eline Berings in 8.06.
- After a fast 1500m in Athlone midweek, Ciara Mageean won the 3000m at the Irish Indoor Championships in in Dublin in 9:02.57. Mark English won a tactical 800m in 1:51.77 and Phil Healy won the 400m in 52.81.
- At the Slovakian Indoor Championships, European indoor silver medallist Jan Volko won in 6.62 in the 60m.