The World Athletics Indoor Tour commenced in Boston on Saturday (25) evening and there were three European victories across the programme at the Reggie Lewis Center.
In the mile, European indoor 3000m silver medallist Chris O’Hare from Great Britain held off a late charge from the fast finishing veteran Nick Willis - 27.56 to 27.41 on the last lap - to win in 3:59.62 by a winning margin of 0.27. “When I looked at the screen and saw it was Nick behind me I was like, I’ve been on the wrong end of this kick too many times so I had to dig deep for it,” O’Hare told Race Results Weekly after his victory.
With Sydney McLaughlin a late withdrawal due to hamstring tightness, Lisanne De Witte from the Netherlands took full advantage to win the 500m in 1:10.50 and Spain’s Pablo Torrijos produced a winning mark of 16.75m in the fifth round of the triple jump.
— World Athletics (@WorldAthletics) January 26, 2020
In the 1000m, European 1500m bronze medallist Jake Wightman just missed out on the victory which went to Bryce Hoppel in 2:17.41 but Wightman’s time of 2:17.51 improved the long-standing British record of 2:17.86 which had stood to Matt Yates since 1986.
The women’s 1500m was one of the most competitive races on the programme with Australia’s Jessica Hull taking the plaudits in an Oceanian record of 4:04.14. World 5000m bronze medallist Konstanze Klosterhalfen from Germany had to settle for second on her season’s opener in 4:04.38 while Ireland’s Ciara Mageean lowered the national indoor record to 4:06.42 in third.
Klosterhalfen is only planning on racing in the United States this winter while Mageean’s next race will be the AIT Grand Prix in Athlone on 12 February.
Full results here.
Montler begins season with a world leading 8.10m in Malmo
Sweden’s Thobias Montler made a promising season’s opener at the Pallass Games in Malmo on Sunday (26). Montler produced valid jumps in all six rounds of the long jump and he concluded his series with 8.00m in the fifth round and then a world leading mark of 8.10m in the sixth round.
There were also notable performances on Swedish soil at the Just Pole Vault meeting in Stockholm on Saturday (25). Angelica Bengtsson followed up her season’s opener of 4.67m from last weekend with a 4.62m clearance to beat Finland’s Wilma Murto with 4.47m and reigning European U18 and U20 pole vault champion Pal Haugen Lillefosse set a Norwegian indoor U20 record and outright lifetime best of 5.60m.
Lemaitre makes low key season’s opener in Aubiere
Christophe Lemaitre opened his indoor campaign his regional championships in Aubiere where he contested both the 60m and 200m across the weekend.
The four-time European champion and Olympic 200m bronze medallist clocked 6.71 in the 60m heats before winning the final in 6.76 on Saturday before winning the 200m the following day in 21.34.
One of the best French performances of the weekend came in Nantes as Augustin Bey surpassed the eight metre-line in the long jump for the first time in his career, winning the Meeting National Elite on Saturday with 8.02m.
Former European indoor long jump champion Izmir Smajlaj from Albania’s - his country’s only ever gold medallist at the European Indoor Championships - also showed good early season form in Bratislava on Sunday, reaching out to 7.90m in the long jump.
In Gent, another former European indoor champion Eline Berings from Belgium - who is planning to retire at the end of the season - won the 60m hurdles in 8.07 and Menno Vloon from the Netherlands cleared 5.70m in the pole vault.
In Istanbul, 17-year-old Umut Uysal set his third Turkish indoor U20 record of the season in the 60m, improving from 6.69 to 6.66 on Saturday.
There were also two notable performances in the high jump on British soil. European U23 silver medallist Tom Gale cleared 2.28m on his season's debut at the Welsh Indoor Championships in Cardiff and Nikki Manson cleared a Scottish indoor record of 1.92m at the Scottish Indoor Championships in Glasgow.