Wattenscheid, GermanyWorld champion Robert Harting produced the best result of the day in the men’s events at the DAK Leichtathletik-Gala in Wattenscheid. The German discus thrower won his event on Saturday (26) with 67.62m.
In the women’s programme the strongest results came in the jumping events. Russians Svetlana Feofanova and Olga Kucherenko took the Pole Vault and the Long Jump with 4.71m and 6.90m respectively. In the Long Jump though, the wind was slightly above the limit with 2.1 m/s when the Russian jumped 6.90. More than 4000 spectators watched the events in Wattenscheid.
Usually the meeting of the national federation served as a last test for the Germans before the big championships of the summer, but this year the federation decided to stage the national championships just one week before the Europeans in Barcelona. So the Wattenscheid meeting had to take place earlier than in recent years.
“It was my aim to throw 67 metres and I have achieved this,” said Berlin’s Robert Harting, who had a first round throw of 66.44m, which would have been already good enough for winning. But after 64.46m, 66.18m and two fouls Harting finally improved to 67.62m.
Second placed Benn Harradine (Australia) had thrown 64.68 m while Bogdan Pishchalnikov (Russia/63.86) and Virgilius Alekna (Lithuania/63.73) followed in third and fourth positions.
“It is my aim to be able to throw at least half a metre further than my personal best at the European Championships because the others are getting stronger,” said Harting, who targets his first 70m throw. So far his personal best stands at 69.43m. Harting now heads for a three week training camp in Kienbaum near Berlin to prepare for Barcelona. “Now it is more important to train than to compete,” he said.
There was another German winner in a throwing contest in Wattenscheid: Ralf Bartels took the Shot Put with 20.11m from fellow German David Storl (19.63).
While Mario Forsythe (Jamaica) won the 100m in 10.17 seconds (+ 0.4 wind) from Kim Collins (St Kitts & Nevis/10.20) and Ainsley Waugh (Jamaica/10.25), the 110m Hurdles saw a very close finish and another Jamaican victory. Richard Phillips clocked 13.52 seconds (+ 0.3 wind) and just edged out Petr Svoboda (Czech Republic/13.53) and Germany’s Matthias Bühler (13.55).
Hooker – 5.80
World and Olympic champion Steve Hooker took the Pole Vault. The Australian was the only one to clear 5.80m, which he managed at his second attempt. Germans Malte Mohr (5.70m) and Fabian Schulze (5.60m) placed behind him. Hooker then went for 5.90m, but missed this three times. “It was getting better and better and the jumps at 5.90 looked pretty good,” said Hooker. “I now intend to jump well in the Diamond League.”
Feofanova wins the women’s vault; Spiegelburg PB
The Pole Vault was the main attraction of the women’s events in Wattenscheid. Former World champion Svetlana Feofanova and Germany’s Silke Spiegelburg both cleared 4.71m at their first attempts. They then missed 4.78m three times each, with the Russian winning on countback as While Feofanova had made no mistakes at lower heights Spiegelburg had needed a second jump at 4.36 and 4.61m.
With 4.71m, the 24-year-old Spiegelburg improved her personal outdoor best by one centimetre (indoors she has cleared 4.75m), and she should be the one who finally will break Annika Becker’s national record of 4.77 from 2002. Carolin Hingst (Germany) took third place in Wattenscheid with 4.61m.
“It was a great competition, but I want to go higher and beat my personal best again in Barcelona. And with such a height I should do well there,” said Spiegelburg, who revealed that enjoys jumping against strong opposition. “Therefore I really like the Diamond League.”
Olga Kucherenko showed fine form once again this season. The world season leader with 7.13m opened her competition with 6.80m and then improved by ten centimetres in round two. But the wind was slightly above the limit with 2.1 m/s when she jumped 6.90. Kucherenko then continued with 6.62m, passed the next two rounds and finished with a foul.
Ariane Friedrich won the High Jump with 1.96m. She tried 2.00m unsuccessfully three times. “The problem was that there were a lot of delays during our competition. It had already started with a one hour wait in the callroom, which made me angry. It is a pity because I felt really strong during my warm-up,” Friedrich, who beat Vita Styopina (Ukraine/1.93) into second place.
There was also a major problem at the start of the 400m women’s race, which was signalled as a false start. But then referees did not stop those who had not heard the recall gun. Results had to be annulled, leaving the runners frustrated.
There were two more German winners: Carolin Nytra took the 100m Hurdles in 12.77 seconds (-0.3 wind), while Nadine Kleinert won the Shot Put with 18.90m from her compatriot Denise Hinrichs (18.20).
Katharina Molitor throws 64.53m in Leverkusen
A day earlier (Fri 25) the women’s Javelin Throw produced the best result at a smaller meeting in Leverkusen. Germany’s Katharina Molitor won the event with 64.53m from her training partner Linda Stahl (59.94).
Jörg Wenig for the IAAF