Kyriakos Ioannou from Cyprus, 2007 World High Jump bronze medallist in Osaka 2007, highlighted a packed second day of competitions at the Mediterranean Games in Pescara at the Adriatic Stadium (1) with his seasonal best of 2.30m.
Ioannou, the first World medallist in Cyprus’ athletics history, showed once again that he is able to rise to the big occasion clearing 2.30m and so beat Greek Konstantinos Baniotis (2.28) and Serbia’s veteran Dragurtin Topic (2.26), who added another medal to his collection in a very long career which started in 1990 when he won the World Junior gold and European Senior title at the age of 19.
Ioannou started with a first-time clearance at 2.10, then made a mistake at 2.21 but cleared 2.24 on his first attempt. He needed three attempts at 2.26 before passing at 2.28. Then he secured the win by clearing 2.30 at the first time of asking.
Spain’s Cuban-born Frank Casanas, who finished fifth at the Olympic Games in Beijing and boasts a PB of 67.91m, took the men’s Discus Throw with 65.58 in the opening round and backed up this result with a second best throw of 65.03.
The men’s 100m which featured Frenchman Martial Mbandjock (PB 10.06) and Italian sprinters Fabio Cerutti and Emanuele Di Gregorio, respectively European Indoor silver and bronze medallists in the 60 metres this winter, was one of the most anticipated finals of the second day of the Mediterranean Games.
Mbandjock, who this year has trained in California with the group of the famous coach John Smith, won the gold in 10.15sec, after a wind-assisted 10.14 in the semifinal (+2.2 m/s). Di Gregorio took the silver medal in 10.21 beating Cerutti, who was third in 10.23.
Greek Georgia Kokloni won the women’s 100m in 11.41 edging out France’s Myriam Soumari by five hundredths of a second.
Moroccan Hanane Ouhaddou took the women’s 5000m in 15:12.75 setting a new PB while beating Olympic 3000 Steeplechase finalist Elena Romagnolo and Silvia Weissteiner, both from Italy. Ohhaddou took the lead but was caught up by Weissteiner who overtook the Moroccan with two laps to go. Weissteiner pulled away from Ouhaddou with one lap to go but faded in the final bend and was overtaken by Ouhaddou who launched her winning sprint in the final straight. Romagnolo overhauled Weissteiner and secured the silver medal in 15:13.19, also a new PB. Weissteiner set her seasonal best in third place in 15:15.95.
Italian long jumper Tania Vicenzino had her best leap of 6.54m on her first attempt (a new PB) to beat Karin Mey Melis from Turkey by just one centimetre.
France’s Cerival produced a major surprise by winning the women’s Shot Put with a below-par 17.77m, while compatriot Phara Anacharsis took the women’s 400 metres Hurdles in 56.66sec.
Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF