Vanessa Vandy (Hasse Sjogren) © Copyright
General News 25 February 2008 – Joensuu, Finland

18-year-old Vandy vaults 4.30m national record - Finnish Indoor Champs

Joensuu, FinlandPole vaulter Vanessa Vandy was in a brilliant form at the Finnish Indoor Championships in Joensuu on 23 / 24 February 2008.

Vandy, 18, set a new women’s Finnish Record of 4.30m which she cleared with her second attempt. Just few minutes before Minna Nikkanen, 19, the European Junior champion from last year had equalled her previous national record of 4.25m.

Nikkanen´s techique was very unstable and she could not produce any more good attempts at 4.30 or 4.35, but Vandy could. Especially Vandy´s last jump at 4.40 was vey close to succeeding.

"My aim for this year is 4.50m, and of course I wanted to clear the Entry Standard 4.40 for both the World Indoor Champs and the Olympic Games. As now I know I’m number one in the World Junior Indoor season list, I see lots of possibilities for me", said Vandy.

Vandy, who has a citizenship of both Finland and New Zealand, which his her father´s home country, placed 7th at the European Juniors in 2007. In Joensuu, she won her first Finnish title, but had beaten Nikkanen already in the match against Sweden in Gothenburg last summer.

Halkoaho’s 15th title

Johanna Halkoaho became a new record holder what it comes to Finnish Indoor titles. Halkoaho, 31, took her 15th one while winning the women’s 60m Hurdles. She has some golds at the Long Jumps and 60m flat from the previous years, as well, but now she´s focusing only for the Hurdles with her coach Anatoly Mikhailov.

"Of course I must be joyful and respect this kind of success. Today I was nervous, as I had felt some symptoms of a muscle cramp or something in my left hamstring, but I was not injured", smiled Halkoaho.

Häggblom is comfortable with form

Robert Häggblom won the Men’s Shot Put, but his result 19.92m was not as good as expected. Anyway, Häggblom, who placed 4th at the European Indoor Championships in Birmingham last year, felt comfortable.

"In the warm-up I put a 8.3kg shot 19.10m, which is better than ever before. It tells me, that I am in a 20.50-form and hopefully will get it out at the World Indoor Champs in Valencia next week. I’m not dreaming of medals, but reaching the final will be possible for me,” said Häggblom.

Petteri Lax, the 2007 European U23 silver medallist, opened his long j jumping season with a solid 7.86 leap after having suffered from a minor calf injury for some weeks before.

Keskisalo in a good mood

The reigning European 3000m Steeplechase champion Jukka Keskisalo enjoyed running in front of his home crowd in the the 3000m flat. Keskisalo, who had a very good training camp in South Africa in January, was a bit heavy-legged, but won easily in 8:14.39.

"I have not trained with high speed yet, but I am injury free now, and that’s the most important thing when thinking about next summer season", said Keskisalo, whose season last year was cut short due to a thigh injury.

Joni Rautanen and Johanna Manninen took the 60m titles in times of 6.73 sec and 7.39 seconds.

There were two double winners: Niclas Sandells at the men’s 800 & 1500m metres and Suvi Selvenius (nee Myllymäki) at the women´s 400 & 800 metres.

Antti-Pekka Sonninen for the IAAF

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