16 JAN 2012 General News

Spiegelburg opens with 4.77m national record, Koech to headline Dusseldorf 5000m

Silke Spiegelburg of Germany in action in the Pole Vault final (Getty Images)Silke Spiegelburg of Germany in action in the Pole Vault final (Getty Images) © Copyright

Pole vaulter Silke Spiegelburg opened her 2012 season on a high, setting a new German national record of 4.77m at the Nordrhein regional indoor championships in Leverkusen on Sunday (15).

With her first attempt clearance, the 25-year-old two-time defending European indoor silver medallist added one centimetre to her own previous record set last February in Karlsruhe and is two centimetres better than her 4.75m best outdoors set last season at the European Team Championships in Oslo.

Koech set for Dusseldorf return

Meanwhile, in nearby Dusseldorf, organisers have announced that Kenya’s 18-year-old ‘wonder runner’ Isaiah Kiplangat Koech will return to to head the field in the 5000m at the 7th “PSD Bank Meeting” at the Athletics Arena at Arena-Sportpark on 10 February.

Last year the 2009 World junior champion won the Dusseldorf 5000m in 12:53.29 in front of a capacity crowd, undeniably the meeting’s international highlight. It was the fourth fastest time ever recorded indoors.

Koech then proved last summer that his performance in Dusseldorf wasn’t a flash in the pan when he finished fourth in the 5000m at the World Championships in Daegu at the beginning of September.  

However, the 18-year-old will not have an easy ride in Dusseldorf. He’ll take on, among others, fellow-Kenyan Paul Kipsiele Koech, runner-up in Dusseldorf last year and the World indoor 3000m silver medallist in 2008.

Headed by last year’s winner Nixon Chepseba, Kenyan runners will also be striving for plaudits in the 1500m, but Ethiopia’s Gebremedhin Mekonnen, who finished fourth at the 2010 World Indoor Championships, wants to put a spoke in the Kenyans’ wheel. Christoph Lohse, the 2008 German national indoor runner-up will represent the German colours in this event.

Two hours of the meeting will be broadcast live on Eurosport.

Bob Ramsak and Dusseldorf organisers for the IAAF