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2013 IAAF World Challenge review

Piotr Malachowski at the 2013 Fanny Blankers-Koen Games in Hengelo (Gladys Chai von der Laage)Piotr Malachowski at the 2013 Fanny Blankers-Koen Games in Hengelo (Gladys Chai von der Laage) © Copyright

Melbourne, 6 April

Two weeks after becoming the youngest ever winner of the senior men’s world cross-country title, 19-year-old Japhet Korir won the 5000m in the opening round of the IAAF World Challenge, clocking 13:31.94.

Britain’s Olympic champion Greg Rutherford prevailed with a best of 8.10m in a long jump competition which included Olympic silver medallist Mitchell Watt and 2010 world indoor champion Fabrice Lapierre, while Stuart Farquhar made it a good night for New Zealand by winning the javelin with 81.07m.

Wallace Spearmon, who won the 200m in 20.79, spoke of his plans to move up to 400m.

Toea Wisil of Papua New Guinea, who trains with Sally Pearson’s coach, Sharon Hannan, took a double in the women’s sprints. Despite a headwind of -0.7m/s in the 100m, she came within 0.04 of the Papua New Guinea record with 11.41, and had a winning 200m time of 23.09, which would have smashed her own national record, rendered ineligible through a barely-illegal tailwind of 2.1m/s.

Kingston, 4 May

Tyson Gay’s 100m in 9.86 and Ryan Whiting’s 21.74m shot put were among five world-leading marks in an enthralling Jamaica International Invitational meeting.

With Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake absent, Gay recorded the year’s first sub-10 time, with Jamaica’s Nesta Carter a distant second in 10.03.

Whiting won with an effort of 21.74m ahead of US compatriot Christian Cantwell.

Nickel Ashmeade won the 200m in a world-leading time of 20.00 ahead of fellow Jamaican Warren Weir, who clocked 20.14. Jamaica’s double Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce won her 200m in 22.38, the second-fastest time of the year.

The two other world-leading times came in the sprint hurdles races with Dawn Harper-Nelson beating her US colleague Queen Harrison in the women’s 100m hurdles, the pair clocking 12.62 and 12.64 respectively.

Antwon Hicks won the 110m hurdles in 13.25 on the track where he had become world junior champion 11 years earlier.

Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell-Brown defeated Allyson Felix in the 100m, clocking 11.01. Felix was fifth in 11.13.

Tokyo, 5 May

The Seiko Golden Grand Prix offered a first senior international opportunity to 17-year-old home sprinter Yoshihide Kiryu, who a week earlier had equalled the world junior record of 10.01.

“I wasn't as nervous as I thought I would be,” said the Japanese high school student, who was third in 10.40 in a race won by Mike Rodgers of the United States in 10.19 into a headwind.

"I was really looking forward to my first race against foreign runners. The way the foreign athletes accelerate in the second half (of the race) is so different,” he added.

"He's going to be great," commented Rodgers.

The women’s 100m was won by Bulgaria’s Ivet Lalova in a modest 11.46 as she fought against a -2.4m/s headwind.

Anna Chicherova, the Olympic high jump champion competing for the first time in almost eight months, won with 1.95m, and Olympic long jump bronze medallist Janay DeLoach won with 6.82m.

Jairus Birech won the men's 3000m steeplechase in a world-leading 8:15:26, and in the men's 800m, Anthony Chemut defeated fellow Kenyan Robert Biwott, 17, to win in 1:46.51.

Belem, 12 May

Cuban triple jumper Ernesto Reve and Brazilian sprinter Ana Claudia Lemos Silva were the stars in Belem.

Reve, still only 21, won his event with 17.37m, while Lemos Silva set a South American record of 11.05.

There was further home sprint success as Brazil’s Bruno de Barros took the men’s 100m and 200m. He won the 100m in 10.25, then 80 minutes later took the longer sprint in 20.35.

Colombia’s Rafith Rodriguez impressed in the 800m with his 1:44.70 victory, while Jamaica’s Patricia Hall came close to her 400m PB, winning in 50.86.

Ponce, 18 May

US 400m hurdler Johnny Dutch ran a world-leading time of 48.02 to upset local hero Javier Culson and the US-based Ivory Coast sprinter Murielle Ahoure earned a 100m and 200m double in Puerto Rico.

A packed 12,000 crowd at the Francisco Montaner Stadium also saw Ahoure take the 100m comfortably in 11.09, a season’s best.

The world indoor 60m silver medallist returned to the track almost two hours later for her first 200m of the year and earned another comfortable victory in 22.47, just 0.05 short of her personal best.

Ten days later after posting his world-leading 13.17, Olympic 110m hurdles finalist Orlando Ortega earned victory over Barbados’s 2009 world champion Ryan Brathwaite in 13.23.

Beijing, 21 May

The meeting was highlighted by world-leading marks from USA’s David Oliver in the 110m hurdles, which he won in 13.16, and the other in the women’s high jump, which was won by Olympic champion Anna Chicherova with a 2.02m leap.

Local attention was on Zhang Peimeng, who had broken the national 100m record one month prior with 10.04. But Justin Gatlin won in a season’s best of 9.91.

Fellow US sprinter Mike Rodgers clocked a season’s best 9.96 in second, but in third place there was a surprise as 23-year-old Chinese Su Bingtian, who held the national record at 10.16 prior to Zhang’s breakthrough, finished with a personal best of 10.06.

Li Jinzhe, who had a world-leading long jump to his credit, was forced to exit the stadium after suffering a gash to his left arm – but by then he had already won with 8.31m.

The men’s high jump also engaged local interest as 21-year-old Beijing resident Wang Yu added five centimetres to his personal best with a world-leading 2.35m to go equal second on the Chinese all-time list. The last Chinese athlete to jump higher was former world record-holder Zhu Jianhua back in 1985.

Hengelo, 8 June

A day after his 30th birthday, Polish discus thrower Piotr Malachowski threw a world-leading 71.84m at the Fanny Blankers-Koen Games, a national record which moved him to fifth on the all-time listings.

“I have been hunting for this throw for three years now, and we had perfect conditions today," said Malachowski. “Yesterday, there was no beer for me, but today? Maybe, yes!”

Another surprise came in the pole vault when Cuba’s Yarisley Silva achieved an outdoor world-lead and Central America and Caribbean record of 4.90m. Only two women – Russia’s world record-holder Yelena Isinbayeva and the USA’s Jenn Suhr – had ever gone higher.

Abeba Aregawi won the 800m in a Swedish record of 1:59.20.

Kenenisa Bekele couldn’t keep up with the tempo over 5000m when the pace went from 64 to 62 seconds, and three laps from the finish he left the track on which he ran his world record of 12:37.35 in 2004.

Rabat, 9 June

European champion Christophe Lemaitre produced the biggest surprise of the night as he defeated the pre-event favourite Justin Gatlin in the 100m with a wind-assisted 9.98.

Gatlin, who had just beaten Usain Bolt in Rome, was forced to settle for second place in 10.02, his first 100m defeat of the year.

Ethiopia’s Mohammed Aman, who had set a world-leading time of 1:43.61 in Rome, was an easy winner of the 800m, clocking 1:44.37.

Eusebio Caceres of Spain needed just one attempt to win the long jump. His first-round effort of 8.22m was his only valid jump of the evening.

Morocco’s Aziz Ouhadi recorded one of the two ‘home’ wins on the night, taking the 200m in a wind-assisted 20.59 (3.1m/s).

The other Moroccan win came in the 1500m. In the absence of Olympic bronze medallist Abelaati Iguider with a minor back injury, compatriot Fouad El Kaam crossed first in 3:34.68.

Russia’s Olympic bronze medallist Ekaterina Poistogova ran a well-timed race in the 800m to set a meeting record of 1:59.80.

Moscow, 11 June

Held in the Luzhniki Stadium just two months before Moscow hosted the IAAF World Championships, 2011 world champion Mariya Abakumova provided the highlight of the meeting with her 65.94m javelin victory.

On the track, Ukraine’s Mariya Ryemyen defied the heavy rain to win the 200m in 22.73. Her compatriot Bohdan Bondarenko won the high jump on count-back with 2.28m.

Ryan Brathwaite, the 2009 world champion, won the 110m hurdles in 13.34, while Andre Oliver defeated home star Yuriy Borzakovskiy in the 800m, clocking 1:44.93.

Dakar, 12 June

Almaz Ayana, better known as a steeplechaser, dominated the women’s 3000m and reduced her personal best by almost six seconds with a time of 8:44.30 as she won by almost 20 seconds and posted the second-fastest time in the world this year.

Eusebio Caceres, a two-time World Junior Championships medallist, won the men’s long jump with 8.20m, and the women’s long jump was won by Bianca Stuart of the Bahamas with 6.73m.

Ferguson Rotich won the 800m in a personal best of 1:45.40, coming home ahead of fellow Kenyan compatriot Anthony Chemut who was second in 1:45.43, while Daniel Kipchirchir Komen won the 1500m in 3:35.15.

After his personal best of 48.56 at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Rome the previous week, Senegal’s 400m hurdler Mamadou Kasse Hanne provided the one domestic win of the evening when he crossed the line in 48.99.

Ostrava, 27 June

A newly-refurbished Mestsky Stadion welcomed record crowds at the 52nd edition of the Golden Spike, where world-leading performances by Tirunesh Dibaba and Valerie Adams were among the highlights.

Held earlier in the evening, the women’s 10,000m provided athletes an opportunity to achieve qualifying marks for the IAAF World Championships, but three-time Olympic gold medallist Dibaba wasn’t content simply to dip under the ‘A’ standard of 31:45.

Instead, the Ethiopian went out hard and ran out a clear winner in a world-leading 30:26.67, smashing by 27 seconds the meeting record she set when winning here in 2008. For Dibaba, who has never lost over 10,000m ever since taking up the event in 2005, this was her 10th consecutive victory over 25 laps.

Adams, the world and Olympic champion in the shot, produced a best effort of 20.88m on her final attempt – the seventh-best throw of her career and the best mark witnessed in Ostrava since 1984.

The oldest meeting record of the Golden Spike fell to Olympic and World 400m champion Kirani James, who bettered the 1976 mark of 44.70 set by Alberto Juantorena with 44.49.

Olympic bronze medallist Zuzana Hejnova delighted the home crowd with her 400m hurdles win in 53.32, improving Ionela Tirlea’s meeting record of 53.87 set a decade ago.

Olympic 100m hurdles champion Sally Pearson made a winning return after injury to win in 12.67.

Another athlete making their season debut was Yelena Isinbayeva, who won the pole vault with 4.78m.

Madrid, 13 July

Jamaica's Nesta Carter provided the highlight of the 'Meeting de Madrid 2013' with an outstanding 9.87 win in the men's 100m.

Brandon Johnson of the United States finished strongly in the 800m to lower his personal best from 1:43.97 to 1:43.84.

The highly anticipated women’s high jump saw another US victory as Olympic silver medallist Brigetta Barrett bounced back with 1.98m after losing at the IAAF Diamond League in Paris eight days earlier.

Bulgaria’s Georgi Ivanov, the 2004 world junior shot put champion, defeated a field which included Germany’s world champion David Storl with a best of 20.57m, with Storl’s best a relatively modest 20.27m.

Berlin, 1 September

In the first round of the first event of the day, Maria Abakumova improved the javelin meeting record to 68.82m before moving up to 70.53m – the third best throw of her career, the tenth best throw ever and the farthest distance marked since September 2011 when Abakumova won the world title in Daegu with 71.99m.

It was the Russian’s fourth consecutive victory since her third-place finish at the World Championships on home soil in Moscow.

Triple world discus champion Robert Harting won in his home city thanks to an effort of 69.02m, while New Zealand’s four-time world shot put champion Valerie Adams added yet another victory with six attempts over 20 metres. Germany’s 37-year-old Nadine Kleinert (17.73m) placed fourth in her last competition in a big stadium.

“There were some tears today when I said goodbye to Valerie Adams,” said the two-time world silver medallist. “I will miss this crazy chick.”

In the men’s shot, Germany’s world champion David Storl won with 20.91m, but the most emotional performance came from veteran Ralf Bartels (19.08m) who, at the age of 35, ended his long career in Berlin.

Zagreb, 3 September

Another thrilling night of track and field in Zagreb produced five meeting records and a little disappointment for the home crowd as Sandra Perkovic’s winning streak of 15 victories came to an end.

USA’s 34-year-old Gia Lewis-Smallwood stole the show in the discus with a personal best and meeting record of 66.29m while Croatia’s reigning Olympic and world champion finished second with 65.63m.

“I wouldn't be competing if I wasn't competing in my home town,” said Perkovic, who later left the stadium in tears.

Finland’s Tero Pitkamaki won the javelin with 86.36m, breaking a meeting record which had stood for more than 20 years, while a meeting record of 5.75m was achieved in the pole vault by Brazil’s Augusto Dutra de Oliveira.

Five men dipped under the previous 3000m meeting record of 7:37.50, led home by Kenya’s Caleb Mwangamgi Ndiku, who won in 7:35.06.

Rieti, 8 September

Rieti staged the final leg of the IAAF Hammer Throw Challenge for both men and women. World silver medallist Anita Wlodarczyk earned overall victory ahead of Russia’s Olympic and world champion Tatyana Lysenko with a meeting record of 76.57m. Lysenko had to settle for the overall runner-up position after managing 73.90m.

Hungary’s Olympic champion Krisztian Pars won the men’s hammer with 79.80m in the third round, beating world champion Pawel Fajdek, but the Pole took the overall title, beating Pars by 246.23m to 264.17m.

Silas Kiplagat, sixth in the World Championships 1500m in Moscow, won in a season’s best of 3:30.13. Johan Cronje, world bronze medallist in Moscow, set a South African record of 3:31.93 in second place.

Qatar’s Musaeb Abdulrahman Balla, 24, dipped under 1:44 in the 800m for the first time to set a national record of 1:43.93.

South Africa’s Caster Semenya, world champion in 2009 and Olympic silver medallist in London, returned to sub-two-minute form to win the women’s 800m with a season’s best of 1:58.92.

Mike Rowbottom for the IAAF