Jolanda Ceplak (SLO) in the semi finals of the women's semi finals (Getty Images) © Copyright
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Ceplak runs 1:59.17 at Open Hungarian Indoor Championships - IAAF permit - Day Two

Budapest, HungaryJolanda Ceplak of Slovenia, the World indoor 800m record holder clocked an impressive 1:59.17 yesterday on the second and final day of the Open Hungarian Indoor Championships – IAAF Permit – meeting in Budapest’s newly built Sportarena.

Organizers of the upcoming 10th IAAF World Indoor Championships in Athletics  (5 – 7 March) which will be hosted in the same venue, used the second day of the two day championships for a final dress rehearsal. The most complex task being the set-up of the Shot Put cage and mats, which has to be done in not less than eight times during the three-day World Indoors.

Season’s best at the best time

Yesterday the fastest men in the Budapest Sportarena took to the track to race for the 60m national and meet title. Home crowd favourites Gabor Dobos and Roland Nemeth had tough opposition to face in the blocks, as Cuba’s Freddy Mayola and Kareem Streete-Thompson of the Cayman Islands travelled to Hungary to make life tough for the two national sprint record holders. Dobos owns the 60m record with 6.54, while Nemeth is the man outdoors with a best of 10.08 for the 100m.

In the 60m heats, Nemeth beat Mayola quite comfortably with 6.70 to 6.79, while Kareem Streete-Thompson edged Dobos by 0.03 seconds. In the final it was Roland Nemeth who had the best start and did not ease up until the finish line. His winning time of 6.66 is a season’s best, a time he has not been able to match since January 2000. Dobos was second in 6.69, with Mayola third in 6.70 and Streete-Thompson just off the podium with 6.71.

Ceplak - impressive

While Nemeth and Dobos could be two of Hungary’s strongest medal contenders next week on the men’s side of the programme, Judit Varga is the most likely woman to have a good result at the World Indoors for the host nation.

Yesterday, the 800m/1500m national outdoor and indoor record holder decided to try and better her indoor 800m mark. Varga could not have had a better incentive as in the race was World record holder Jolanda Ceplak, and the Slovenian did her job well, finishing first with a time of 1:59.17, but Varga was unable to keep up and had to settle for 2:02,11, which was not enough for a new national best mark (2:01.80).

Open championship; victories from overseas

Unlike in the 60m dash, the hosts were not able to defend their track in the men’s 200m. Pole Marcin Jedrusinski cruised to victory in lane 6 in 20.89, ahead of World Indoor Championships silver medallist from last year Joseph Batangdon of Cameroon. Batangdon finished with 21.17, which is well off the form he showed last week at the French Championships, where he set a world leading mark of 20.57. Géza Pauer won the national title with 21.36 in the second heat.

There was international success in the field events too. Adrian O’Dwyer of Ireland set not only a new personal best but also equalled the national record in the Men’s high jump. The 20-year-old cleared 2.28m on his first attempt for the win. 

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