The 38th edition of the famous Arnstadt high jump meeting in Germany was arguably the best ever with the Russian pair of Ivan Ukhov and Aleksey Dmitrik both going over a meeting record of 2.40m on Saturday (8).
Ukhov, the winner three times in Arnstadt from 2009-2011, cleared that height on his first attempt, his fifth straight win this winter, while Dmitrik, the Arnstadt winner in 2012 and 2013, went over on his second attempt to add four centimetres to his indoor and outdoor best.
Dmitrik then unsuccessfully had three times at a Russian record 2.42m – never before has a jumper jumped as high as 2.40m but had to settle for second place – while the London 2012 Olympic Games champion passed at that height and attempted a world indoor record height of 2.44m, his second and third attempts being particularly close.
Russian jumpers have now won in Arnstadt for the past 10 years and it was an all-Russian men’s podium this year as Lev Missirov went over a personal best of 2.33m. He finished ahead of The Bahamas’ former world champion Donald Thomas, who equalled his indoor best of 2.33m while Marco Fassinotti equalled the Italian indoor record by also going over 2.33m but earlier failures meant he only placed fifth in the astonishingly high quality competition.
There was also an excellent women’s competition before the capacity crowd of 1300 spectators. Kamila Licwinko (nee Stepaniuk) firstly added one centimetre to her Polish indoor record set last month in Cottbus when she went over 1.97m with her first attempt. She then cleared 2.00m with her third attempt.
In second place, Germany’s Marie-Laurence Jungfleisch added a centimetre to her best when she went over 1.97m.
Four other jumpers went over 1.94m. Equal third were Uzbekistan’s Nadezhda Dusanova and Sweden’s Emma Green Tregaro while Spain’s Ruth Beitia and Russia’s Irina Gordeyeva were equal fifth.
There was good high jumping at the British Indoor Championships as well with heptathlon talent Katarina Johnson-Thompson setting an absolute British high jump record of 1.96m in Sheffield on Saturday.
"I had no idea that high jump was in me," said Johnson-Thompson. "I've been working a lot mentally with the high jump, not so much physically, because I always feel like I've got a big jump in me."
The 21-year-old, who was also the 2012 IAAF World Junior Championships long jump gold medallist, cleared the record height with her third attempt, and shattered her previous best of 1.89m having earlier cleared 1.90m and then 1.92m.
Pole vaulter Holly Bleasdale cleared a world-leading 4.73m and then had the bar raised to 4.81m. On one of her attempts it looked like she had cleared that height as the bar wobbled but stayed on the uprights for several seconds but it eventually dropped after the long delay.
Moscow 100m finalist James Dasaolu recovered from an awful start to power his way to the UK 60m title in 6.50, equalling his season's best from last month and just 0.01 away from the world lead. Dwain Chambers was second in 6.53.
Pichardo 17.76m outdoors in Havana!
Cuban triple jumpers were in fine form outdoors in Havana as the 2013 IAAF World Championships silver medallist Pedro Pablo Pichardo improved by his best by seven centimetres to 17.76m, just nine centimetres short of Yoelbi Quesada’s national record of 17.85m, which was set when he won at the 1997 IAAF World Championships.
Behind Pichardo, Enesto Reve also set a life-time best of 17.58m. Both men have been selected for the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland, next month.
Yarisley Silva cleared 4.60m in the pole vault and Yarianna Martinez won the women’s triple jump with 14.36m.
Russia’s Aleksandra Butvina came out on top in the pentathlon at the Indoor Combined Events International meeting in Tallinn with 4549 points, 19 points ahead of Poland's Karolina Tyminska who was second with 4530 points, the second and third highest tallies of the winter.
It puts the pair in a good position to be invited to contest the event at the IAAF World Indoor Championships next month. In addition to the 2013 IAAF Combined Events Challenge winner and the top three athletes who accept invitations from the 2013 heptathlon list, invitations will be extended to the top three from the 2014 indoor lists at 17 February and one other athlete will be invited at the discretion of the IAAF.
Latvia’s Laura Ikauniece improved her best to 4496 points for third place in the Estonian capital.
Brazil’s Carlos Chinin won the heptathlon with 5951 points and equalled the South American record of Chile’s Gonzalo Barroilhet from 2008.
US favourite and two-time World Championships decathlon winner Trey Hardee won the pole vault with 5.14m and led going into the final event but, after an erratic two days of competition, knew that he was going to be some way adrift of his personal best of 6208 points and did not contest the 1000m.
The New Mexico Classic indoor meeting in Albuquerque on Friday night (7) saw long jumper Tyron Stewart improve his absolute personal best to 8.16m. Second was Jeff Henderson with 8.03m.
Dee Dee Trotter won the 400m on the first day of Frank Sevigne Invitational in Lincoln, Nebraska, with a quick 52.57.
Phil Minshull for the IAAF