Leipzig, GermanyIt was Bastian Swillims who produced the best result of Day Two of the German Indoor Championships today.
In front of nearly 4000 spectators the 400m runner won this event with 45.99 seconds. So with less than two weeks to go before the start of the European Indoor Championships in Birmingham, UK, this puts Swillims close to Ireland’s European leader David Gillick (45.91). The 24-year-old Swillims, who had won this title already back in 2002, should be one of the German contenders for medals in Birmingham.
Looking strong throughout the race, Swillims became only the fifth German 400m runner ever to clock a sub 46 seconds time indoors. Thomas Schönlebe (45.05/1988), Jens Carlowitz (45.59/1988), Klaus Just (45.90/1985), and Hartmut Weber (45.96/1981) are the only ones in front of him on the German all-time list.
Swillims had a previous personal and season’s indoor best of 46.07. His outdoor personal best stands at 45.83 from 2004.
“It is unbelievable that I am now number five on the German all-time list. Last year I had already shown that I am on the way back to my best. I have joined my former coach Thomas Kremer again and that seems to have developed my performance so well”, said Swillims.
Looking ahead to Birmingham he said: “I hope to run both the individual and the relay event at the European Indoors. I think this will be a typical championship race where anything can happen. I like running indoors because the spectators are near by the track.”
Blum’s golden dreams
Another young German sprinter had shown a great performance a day earlier. 19-year-old Christian Blum won the 60m with a personal best of 6.59 seconds. This also looks promising for Birmingham. “I had a perfect race. And it was a dream to take gold. Now it is my goal to reach the final at the European indoors,” confirmed Blum.
Euro Indoor champs - Blaschek ‘no’, Bolm ‘yes’
Another athlete who would have had a good chance in Birmingham but has decided not to compete at the European Championships is Thomas Blaschek. He reached the national qualifying time in the second round of the 60m Hurdles competition in Leipzig with 7.61 seconds. In the final he had to be content with a slightly slower time of 7.64.
But before winning the title the hurdlers were disrupted by two false start. The first one was resulted from a technical failure which annoyed Blaschek and the others. Blaschek had completed almost half of the race when the signal for the false start came.
“In the end when it finally came to racing my technique was not good”, Blaschek said. “But I hope to improve to a sub 7.60 time on Friday in Chemnitz.” Still that would not change his mind regarding the European Indoors. “This year the focus is clearly on the World championships in Osaka in the summer. I want to reach the final. And that is what I am training for in the next months.”
In the women’s 60m Hurdles final there was no stopping Kirsten Bolm. After dominating the event and winning in 8.02 seconds she announced that she would run in Birmingham. Originally Bolm had wanted to decide this after the Chemnitz meeting.
Hingst’s loss is Hütter’s gain
There was a major blow in the pole vault for Carolin Hingst, who had improved the German indoor record to 4.70m this season. Hingst was supposed to be the big favourite. But she ended up in fifth position with 4.40m. None of her attempts at 4.50m looked particularly good. That was a height which Julia Hütter cleared on her first attempt – and she did so again at 4.55m for victory.
At this stage she was still in contention with Silke Spiegelburg, who missed her first attempt at 4.55m after clearing 4.45m before. Spiegelburg then went on for 4.60m and had promising jumps. But she did not clear this height with the two remaining jumps and had to settle for second place, while Anna Battke took third (4.45).
Hütter also tried 4.60m, but missed this three times.
“I have had a great season so far and had hoped for a medal but not really for the title. I know that the level of competition is very high in Europe so for me these championships will be a great experience”, Julia Hütter said. It remains to be seen if Carolin Hingst will be selected for Birmingham.
Lap counter error does not deter European champion
Jan Fitschen, who had won the 3000 m in 7:57.30 a day earlier, will remain focussed on the summer.
“As last year I will not compete at the international indoor championships and instead travel to Flagstaff for high altitude training”, said Fitschen, who sensationally won the European 10,000m gold in Gothenburg last summer.
During the 3000m final a rare mistake by a referee had caused some confusion among the runners. Suddenly the lap counter was switched from four to two remaining laps. Carsten Schlangen did not realize the mistake and started sprinting when entering what he thought was the final round. Fitschen went with him just edging him out at 2800m. But while Fitschen continued running and still won Schlangen stopped and then resumed his race. But he lost a medal, coming in fourth.
“I relied on the time not on the lap counter. So I was pretty sure that there was a mistake. But when Carsten started sprinting I decided to go with him just in case”, Fitschen said.
5.90m vault, the strongest memory
The men’s Pole Vault remained the highlight of the championships in Leipzig. Björn Otto had won this event on Saturday with a world indoor season’s lead of 5.90. Having shown very stable form this season he will travel to the European Indoors as the favourite for gold. “I want to compete well in Birmingham and jump high”, Björn Otto said. Danny Ecker is not far behind though and could well be in the hunt for any medal as well.
Jörg Wenig for the IAAF
60m: 1. Christian Blum 6,59, 2. Ronny Ostwald 6,62, 3. Marc Blume 6,72.
200m: 1. Alexander Kosenkow 20,94, 2. Sebastian Ernst 20,97, 3. Stefan Kuhlee 21,59.
400m: 1. Bastian Swillims 45,99, 2. Simon Kirch 47,22, 3. Thomas Goller 47,98.
800m: 1. René Herms 1:49,88, 2. Steffen Co 1:50,31, 3. Moritz Höft 1:50,51.
1500m: 1. Wolfram Müller 3:48,26, 2. Franek Haschke 3:48,56, 3. Markus Schneider 3:49,57.
3.000m: 1. Jan Fitschen 7:57.30, 2. Arne Gabius 7:59,94, 3. André Pollmächer 8:02,67.
60mh: 1. Thomas Blaschek 7,64 (2nd round: 7,61), 2. Willi Mathiszik 7,75, 3. Andreas Dengler 7,83.
5000m W: 1. André Höhne 19:28,83, 2. Jan Albrecht 19:50,77, 3. Hannes Tonat 20:11,14.
PV: 1. Björn Otto 5,90, 2. Danny Ecker 5,80, 3. Tim Lobinger 5,75, 4. Fabian Schulze 5,75, 5. Lars Börgeling 5,70.
LJ: 1. Nils Winter 7,91, 2. Sebastian Bayer 7,88, 3. Oliver König 7,85.
HJ: 1. Eike Onnen 2,22, 2. Matthias Franta 2,18, 3. Sebastian Kneifel 2,14.
TJ: 1. Andreas Pohle 16,72, 2. Thomas Moede 16,30, 3. Konstantin Gens 16,20.
SP: 1. Peter Sack 19,70, 2. Detlev Bock 19,10, 3. Sven-Eric Hahn 18,96.
60m: 1. Sina Schielke 7,23, 2. Verena Sailer 7,27, 3. Cathleen Tschirch 7,34.
200m: 1. Cathleen Tschirch 23,19, 2. Mareike Peters 23,50, 3. Jala Gangnus 23,75.
400m: 1. Claudia Hoffmann 52,50, 2. Jana Neubert 53,63, 3. Tina Kron 54,65.
800m: 1. Jana Hartmann 2:09,01, 2. Anne Kesselring 2:09,78, 3. Annett Horna 2:09,90.
1500m: 1. Kerstin Werner 4:25,24, 2. Sabrina Mockenhaupt 4:26,24, 3. Julia Hiller 4:26,26.
3000m: 1. Sabrina Mockenhaupt 9:25,28, 2. Antje Möldner 9:30,56, 3. Imke Schmidt 9:41,97.
3000m W: 1. Melanie Seeger 12:03,94, 2. Sabine Zimmer 12:12,23, 3. Ulrike Sischka 13:49,86.
60mh: 1. Kirsten Bolm 8,01, 2. Annette Funck 8,24, 3. Anne-Kathrin Elbe 8,25.
PV: 1. Julia Hütter 4,55, 2. Silke Spiegelburg 4,45, 3. Anna Battke 4,45, 4. Martina Strutz 4,45, 5. Carolin Hingst 4,40, 6. Nastja Ryshich 4,35.
LJ: 1. Bianca Kappler 6,59, 2. Julia Mächtig 6,41, 3. Urszula Gutowicz-Westhof 6,30.
HJ: 1. Ariane Friedrich 1,92, 2. Julia Hartmann 1,90, 3. Annett Engel 1,87.
TJ: 1. Katja Demut 13,76, 2. Anja Winter 13,28, 3. Katrin Wilts 13,05.
SP: 1. Nadine Beckel 17,49, 2. Aline Schäffel 16,75, 3. Katja Krol 16,73.