Cuban stars Yargelis Savigne and Dayron Robles made the headlines at the Memorial Primo Nebiolo in Turin held in wet weather conditions.
The Memorial Primo Nebiolo is one of a select group of Area meetings at which points can be acquired by athletes to qualify for the IAAF / VTB Bank World Athletics Final, to be held on 13-14 September in Stuttgart, Germany.
Savigne 4.77m, just short of season's best
Yargelis Savigne, the reigning World outdoor and indoor champion, opened her European campaign with a superb 14.77 (just one centimetre short of her season’s best in Cuba last week) in her opening attempt. Savigne produced five valid attempts (14.66 – 14.40 – 14.40 – 14.60 – 14.51) fouling only her final attempt.
Olga Saladuha finished second with a windy 14.61 ahead of Russia’s Olga Udmurtova (14.59) and Italian record holder Magdelin Martinez, fourth with 14.42.
“I am very happy with my first european competition,” said Savigne. “The runway was very fast and I am happy with my 14.77. I will take part in 7-8 competitions in both Long and Triple Jump competitions before Beijing. My next competition will be on 10 June in Moscow.”
Robles back to winning ways
Cuban 110 metres hurdler Dayron Robles won his first European outdoor race after being defeated by David Oliver in Berlin (1 June) with an easy 13.28.
“I am not particularly happy because I have not achieved my goal,” said Robles. “My feeling was different from last week in Berlin. There I wanted to win against big competitors. Here in Turin I was focussed on running a fast time but the track was a bit slow. The rain affected the race a bit and there was a delay.”
Another Cuban star Osleydis Menendez, Olympic champion from Athens, showed progress by taking the women’s Javelin Throw clinching the win with 61.90m on her final attempt.
The Turin crowd spurred local favourite Zahra Bani over the 60 metres for the second time this summer with 60.22m for second place, not far from her SB 60.60 set in Saragozza last week. Third was Poland’s Barbara Madejczyk with 58.35.
Rosa up for it but Di Martino isn’t yet
Italy’s World outdoor and indoor finalist Chiara Rosa won her first major women’s Shot Put competition of the summer with a solid 18.66m release in the sixth round. Rosa backed up this result with a second best 18.65m in the fourth attempt. The Italian record holder beat Cuban Misleides Gonzales, second with 18.14.
Marina Aitova from Kazakhistan cleared 1.96 in her first attempt to win the women’s High Jump. Second at 1.92m was Czech Romana Dubnova. World silver medallist Antonietta Di Martino, who broke the Italian record clearing 2.02m at last year’s Memorial Primo Nebiolo, could not reproduce the same form. She took third place with 1.90 on her second attempt before failing three attempts at 1.92.
Russian Yaroslav Rybakov, World silver medallist, cleared a winning 2.27m on his first attempt in the men’s High Jump. Rybakov failed three attempts at 2.31.
A series of 100 metres heats were held as a warm-up for the Olympic qualifying 4x100m relay races which ended the meeting. Unfortunately, wet weather conditions and a headwind did not help to produce fast times in these sprint races.
British sprint hope Craig Pickering, last year’s European Indoor silver medallist in the 60 metres, held off his compatriots Harry Aikines Aryeetey (World junior champion from Beijing 2006) and Christian Malcolm in 10.38 in a sprint race slowed by a headwind of -1.0 m/s.
Angela Williams from the USA, World Indoor 60m champion, took a photo-finish win in the women’s 100 metres beating briton Emma Ania in 11.21.
Audrey Alloh, a young Italian sprinter born in the Ivory Coast, won the ‘B’ 100 race in 11.63
World Indoor 60m bronze medallist Candice Davis from the USA beat Anay Teyeda from Cuba (13.01) in the 100m Hurdles. In the Valencia final in March the Cuban had taken the 60m Hurdles silver in front of Davis. Italian champion Micol Cattaneo who came close to her PB with 13.11 for third place.
Mohammed Al Azimi from Kuwait won a close 800 metres battle against Sudan’s Ahmad Ismail in the final straight in 1:46.13. After a 51.24 clocking at the bell Ismail took the lead at 600 metres but he was overhauled by Al Azimi who prevailed with his final sprint.
Anastasia Rabchenyuk from the Ukraine clinched a surprising win in the women’s 400 metres Hurdles in 55.05 beating US Christine Spence, second with 55.40 (third in the world seasonal list with 54.21) and last year’s World bronze medallist and World Athletics Final winner Anna Jesien from Poland (55.57).
Hurtault Erison from the USA edged out compatriot Jamaal Torrance in a close finish in the men’s flat 400 metres in 46.13.
Pavel Gerasimov from Russia cleared 5.70m in his first attempt to win the men’s Pole Vault. Second was Viktor Chistyakov with 5.60.
The Italian 4x100m women’s relay team, which equalled the national record with 43.44 last week in Geneva, finished first in 43.85 ahead of Lithuania (44.28) and Bulgaria (44.35).
Poland narrowly beat Netherlands in a close 4x100 men’s race in 38.99 to 39.03. Italy finished third in 39.15. In the women’s 4x400 which ended the meeting before a spectacular firework display a young Italian team clocked a winning 3:30.89.
Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF