Dayron Robles after his 12.92 in Stuttgart (Getty Images) © Copyright
General News Düsseldorf, Germany

Robles faster still – 7.33 in Düsseldorf

  Dayron Robles of Cuba edged ever closer to a World record in the men’s 60 Metres Hurdles with a brilliant 7.33 clocking at the 3rd PSD Meeting in Düsseldorf Friday (9-Feb) night.  It was the second-fastest performance ever, with only Colin Jackson’s 7.30 record in 1994 standing in front.  It also lowered Robles’ Central American and Caribbean record from the Stuttgart meeting last weekend. 

Even with no false starts to complicate things, Robles still was conservative out of the blocks, with all other hurdlers actually reacting faster to the gun.  But he controlled the race from the first barrier and extended his lead continually until hitting the wire.

7.26 possible this winter?

“My coach (Santiago Antunez) is saying that I’m rushing too much into the first three hurdles,” Robles commented later.  “I have to learn to concentrate more, and then I can break the record.”  The Cuban thinks that 7.30 is not the limit of his abilities this season, putting 7.26 as a reasonable goal for the winter.

But the indoor season is just a warm up for the bigger prizes of the outdoor campaign.  “My biggest dream is to compete at the Olympics,” he continued.  “And no one can make me fear Liu,” he concluded confidently. 

Thomas Blaschek of Germany, who finished second to the Cuban last weekend in Stuttgart, did the same tonight in 7.60, with Robles’ countryman, Joel Hernández, in third at 7.67 ahead of current European champion Stanislav Olijars of Latvia (7.70). 

Robles had earlier lowered the meeting record with 7.46 in the qualifying round.  It was one of seven meeting records set or broken during the evening. 

Next up for Robles is the anxiously-awaited competition in two days, on the fast Karlsruhe track Sunday afternoon. 

Just before the Cuban captured the headlines, LoLo Jones of the US continued her strong season with a 7.87 victory in the women’s 60 Hurdles, defeating compatriots Damu Cherry (7.98), Danielle Carruthers (8.00) and Kellie Wells (8.00).

Borza on cruise control

Yuriy Borzakovskiy is certainly the nonpareil 800-metre runner this indoor season.  The Russian literally coasted to a 1:46.58 win with more than a one-second margin over second-place Ismael Kombich of Kenya at 1:47.71. 

Just as he did in Stuttgart, Borzakovskiy did not let himself get too far behind the pacer.  Never ever worse than third, he perhaps made his final move to the front earlier than planned, with almost 300 metres remaining, when Steffen Co of Germany appeared to take the inside passage while on the curve.  With too many bodies in too tight a space, the Russian quickly moved to the outside and created needed space by sprinting away at that point. 

Moving off the final curve and into the home straight, Borzakovskiy knew that after his 53.6 opening 400, the time would not be anything special, and he shut down about ten metres before the wire.  Even in doing so, he negative-split the final 400 in 53.0. 

Josef Repcik of Slovakia held off young German talent Robin Schembera for third, 1:48.13 to 1:48.24.

The B-race of the men’s 800 Metres was controlled over the last 150 metres by Germany’s Rene Bauschinger, who sprinted past Tom Chamney of Ireland to win, 1:49.57 to 1:50.38.  

Tetyana Petlyuk of Ukraine, the current European indoor silver medallist and the winner here last year, held the lead for the last lap in the women’s 800 Metres and scored a 2:01.63 victory over Russian rival Olga Kotlyarova (2:02.03). 

14.77m world lead for Savigne

The evening started slowly for World champion Yargelis Savigne in the women’s Triple Jump as her first three attempts netted only a 14.10 and two fouls.  But on her fourth trip down the runway, the Cuban came up with a world-leading 14.77 which put her on top for the rest of the evening.  The distance just missed her PB of 14.80 which came at the PSD meeting last year.  It was fortunate for Savigne that she flew to that long distance, for Marija Sestak also found her rhythm in the fourth stanza with a Europe-leading 14.60, a new Slovenian record. 

Finishing third was Ukrainian Olha Saladuha with PB 14.45. 

Kenyan Silvia Kibet sprinted away from two other combatants with 300 metres remaining in the women’s 3000 Metres to win that event in 8:52.53.  It was only the second career indoor race for Kibet, and the time bettered last weekend’s Stuttgart performance by about 1½ seconds.

Kibet, the fourth placer in the Osaka 5000, had split away from the pack and led at the 2K mark (5:56.37), along with Slovenia’s Sonja Roman and Sabrina Mockenhaupt of Germany.  But Mockenhaupt was left to do much of the pacing work over the final kilometre and paid for it as the other two outraced her to the wire. 

Roman finished strongly with a Europe-leading 8:54.24, which pipped Mockenhaupt’s third-place 8:54.68.

In the men’s 3000, Kenya’s Jonas Cheruiyot rode the pace of Bahraini Hasan Mahboob Ali (formerly Silas Kirui) through the first two kilometres (5:10.63) and then took off for a 7:47.81 win, never really being challenged over the final laps by second-place Isaac Sang with 7:50.92.  European indoor champion Caliandro Cosimo eked out third with 7:51.63, ahead of 38-year-old Russian Vyacheslav Shabunin (7:51.69).

Straub defeats more experienced field in the Pole Vault

The men’s Pole Vault had the deepest field of any event of the evening, but it also had the least expected results.  Three of the top four finishers—all from host Germany—were relatively inexperienced at high-level international competition as current Universiade champion Alexander Straub won over two-time European indoor champion Tim Lobinger on a countback at 5.71.  The next places went to Tobias Scherbarth and Malte Mohr at 5.61.

Recognizeable names began to appear frequently only with the fifth placer, Ukraine’s Denis Yurchenko, who jumped an evening-best 5.41 but would have finished higher had one of his 5.61 attempts not been taken away because of illegal use of hands.  Athens Olympic champion Tim Mack of the US also leaped 5.41 to take sixth.

The list of no-heighting vaulters was also impressive, as European indoor bronze winner Björn Otto, American Jeff Hartwig, and world indoor fourth placer Fabian Schulze failed at the opening 5.41, while Lars Börgeling postponed his “salto nullo” until 5.51.  

Ironically, tonight’s meeting director Marc Osenberg, a manager of many of Germany’s pole vaulters, must have had mixed feelings as many of his longtime clients were underperforming while many of the newcomers were grasping an opportunity well.


The men’s 400 Metres was contested in two sections.  The first race  saw Moscow silver medallist California Molefe of Botswana overtake former European champion Ingo Schultz of Germany in the final metres to narrowly win, as both were timed in 47.65.  Schultz had charged off his position in the outside lane and built an advantage after 200 metres (21.89), but the Botswanan had just enough left to nip the tall German at the tape. 

Chris Lloyd of Dominica came from behind to win the second race in 47.18, with European indoor finalist Clemens Zeller of Austria also closing fast with 47.35. 

Paris World Champion Andrey Mikhnevich threw 20.77 on his final attempt to move atop the European year list and win the men’s Shot Put in his season opener.  The Belarus athlete was easily the class of the competition, with all five of his legal throws over twenty metres.  Far back in the next spots were American Dan Taylor with 20.07 and current European Cup champion Peter Sack of Germany at 20.03. 

Other winners included a pair of American sprinters.  Angela Williams won the Women’s 60 Metres in 7.17 over Tahesia Harrigan’s 7.22, and DaBryan Blanton captured the men’s sprint with 6.61 ahead of countryman Mike Rodgers (6.65).

Click here for full results

Ed Gordon for the IAAF