El Nasri (ESP) - 3000m 8:00.28 - in Leipzig (Mark Shearman) © Copyright
General News 16 February 2003 – Leipzig, Germany

Spanish men and Russian women take inaugural European Indoor Cup crowns

Leipzig, GermanyThe Spanish men and the Russian women came away as the team winners in the first-ever European Indoor Cup competition yesterday, Saturday (15 Feb).

For the Russian women, it was a runaway win with 60 points, compared with 49 for the host German team in second place.

The Spanish men had a much closer battle against their German rivals, as it took two tie-breaking attempts to split the teams apart after they tied with 56 points at the end of the afternoon.  Both squads collected three wins, and it was only on the basis of the second-place tally - two for Spain and one for Germany - that a winner could be declared.

The members of the Spanish team were wearing black ribbons in honour of three race walkers who were tragically killed earlier today in an automobile tragedy in Palencia, Spain, while travelling to a competition. 

Cup competitions, in which the scoring of team placing points is of paramount importance, are not usually overflowing with statistically superlative performances. Within the competitions, however, are exciting duels which make up for the lack of top marks. 

The biggest upset of the afternoon came in the men’s High Jump, as Alessandro Talotti of Italy leaped an equal-PB 2.28 to defeat the reigning European champion, Yaroslav Rybakov of Russia, who was second at 2.26. Rybakov came to the competition with a 2.34 season best and was perhaps the most prohibitive favourite competing in the men’s division today.

“During warm-ups, I felt a slight problem with my left knee,” said Talotti, the 22-year-old fourth-placer in Munich. “I was thinking about it a lot early in the competition, but when there were only three of us remaining at 2.26, I then concentrated on jumping well and my physical problem left my mind.”

Even Germany’s Roman Fricke became caught up by the atmosphere of his first national team appearance. He twice jumped indoor PBs and ended with a surprising third-place 2.24 after a near miss at 2.26. 

Britain’s Jason Gardener was another of the big names to appear today, but his condition was somewhat unknown after last weekend’s cramp-and-cold combination. That he has regained his top form was apparent in an outstanding 6.55 performance to win the 60 metres, despite drawing lane one and running virtually alone on the outside. Giving chase was Aristotelis Gavelis of Greece, who equalled his season best of 6.61 for second place.

“It was a bit scary after last week,” said Gardener of his first start after suffering a cramp in Chemnitz. “I had to be careful for this first race,” he continued, adding that his next competitions will be in Stockholm next Tuesday, followed by the Birmingham meeting on Friday. “As a European, I’ll be taking on the Americans there.”

Easily the top name on the women’s team rosters was pole vaulter Svetlana Feofanova of Russia. The World record holder may have felt some pressure from the host’s Annika Becker early on, but after a 4.65 clearance, to which the German athlete could not reply, Feofanova gamely tried a would-be 4.77 without any notable attempts. 

After jumping 4.50 and competing behind Feofanova in the jumping order, Becker of necessity went to a passing strategy as the Russian continued to clear heights. She had no further successful jumps, but she still easily placed second, ahead of the 4.30 of Poland’s Monika Pyrek.

The 400 metres races were split into two sections in each of the division, due to the limitations of the six-lane track and eight competing teams. Running in the first section of the women’s race, Grit Breuer of Germany put on a dazzling display of solo running, cruising in lane six and hitting the 200 metres point in 24.39 with the competition totally out of contact. She finished in 51.91 for her second sub-52-second race of the season, far ahead of Grazyna Prokopek of Poland (53.11).

“It was just like running alone in training,” said Breuer. “But I’m sure I could have run faster had I been in a duel with one of the other top runners.”

The other section of the 400 saw a determined Catherine Murphy of Britain withstand the final attack of European Indoor Champion Natalya Antyukh of Russia, 52.63 to 52.66. 

Murphy echoed Breuer’s veiled criticism of unseeded sections. “It would have been better had I been in Grit’s section.” 

In the men’s 400 metres, European Indoor Champion Marek Plawgo had the help Breuer had wished for as Spain’s David Canal pushed him all the way to the tape. For the Polish runner, the 46.76 win was far off his best times from last year, but it was enough to hold off Canal (46.93), and was also faster than Jamie Baulch’s 46.99 winner from the earlier section. 

Competing for the first time on a national team since the Sydney Games was France’s Christine Arron. The former European sprint champion, returning after a pregnancy leave last season, lowered her year’s best to 7.18 with a wire-to-wire win in the 60 metres.  Marina Kislova of Russia also started well but could not overcome Arron’s early advantage and finished second in 7.24. 

The women’s middle distances saw determined performances from a pair of British runners. One succeeded, but the other fell just short.

After Joanne Fenn led for most of the first three laps of the 800 metres, the Munich silver medallist, Spain’s Mayte Martínez, took the lead, but not without a serious comeback try from the British runner over the final 200. Martínez prevailed with a 2:03.14 to Fenn’s 2:03.70. 

In the 1500 metres, Hayley Tullett used much the same strategy as Fenn, as she led throughout much of the race. When the pace heated at the bell, Yulia Kosenkova of Russia tried to make a move with 100 left (in reality, this is the final spot in a race that a runner can overtake with certainty because the finish line is located in the middle of the final straight). Tullett rebuffed the Russian and held on to win in 4:08.63 to Kosenkova’s 4:09.10. 

Germany’s René Herms provided his team with an essential win in the 800 metres as he shot past early leader Nicolas Aissat of France with 100 metres to go. Dmitriy Bogdanov of Russia also was putting on a late charge, but he waited until he was in the final curve - running in lane three - to complete his acceleration. The unusual finish line location worked against Bogdanov, who suffered his second loss in the past week to the German, 1:48.65 to 1:49.30, as Aissat was third in 1:49.43. 

The afternoon programme included a progressive-style relay with distances of 200, 400, 600 and 800 metres. And this unusual event, staged at the end of the schedule, proved to be the deciding factor in determining the winner of the men’s team competition.

Spain held a four-point advantage over Germany going into the final event, but no one could have predicted the bizarre happenings which followed. The Spanish and Russian teams were eventually disqualified for passing-zone violations, which ordinarily would have given the Germans an easy team victory, given their relay personnel. 

However, bad luck dogged Nils Schumann, the final runner on the host team’s squad. As the Olympic 800 metres champion rounded the turn at the end of the second of his four laps, the baton suddenly sprang loose from his hand and landed at the base of the Pole Vault pit.

At the time, Schumann was in perfect position to make his final assault to bring the German team to both relay and European Cup victory.  But in a “cup” competition, one doesn’t abandon the event. Schumann retrieved the stick and finished the race, his disgust quite evident. 

“The lost of the baton was maddening,” he said later. “It happened so fast, but it was really just a bit of bad luck. I felt good at that moment, and I was already thinking about when I should move to the lead. I clearly could have won this relay.”

In any narrow team victory, it’s tempting to look back on one specific outcome as being pivotal to that achievement. In the case of the Spanish men, it was Yago Lamela’s final round win in the Long Jump near the end of the afternoon.

In a competition being led after three of the allowed four rounds, by the 7.97 of Ruslan Gataullin of Russia - the younger brother of former star pole vaulter Rodion - Lamela was only in third place, as Britain’s Chris Tomlinson had also leaped an indoor PB 7.97 and held second. 

The silver medallist from the Seville World Championships - and this year’s leading long jumper - then sailed 8.09 on his final attempt to seal the victory and fulfill his role as the event favourite. 

Ed Gordon for the IAAF

RESULTS

MEN:

60 METRES:  1. Gardener (GBR) 6.55;  2. Gavelas (GRE) 6.61;  3. Yepishin (RUS) 6.70;  4. Rabino (ITA) 6.72;  5. M Blume (GER) 6.72;  6. Jedrusinski (POL) 6.73;  7. Gutierrez (ESP) 6.86;  8. Nthepe (FRA) 7.04. 

400 METRES:  Race 1:  1. Baulch (GBR) 46.99;  2. Hackelbusch (GER) 47.51;  3. Cavallaro (ITA) 47.78;  4. Zircon (FRA) 47.96.  Race 2:  1. Plawgo (POL) 46.76;  2. Canal (ESP) 46.93;  3. Rudnitskiy (RUS) 47.31;  4. Vathistas (GRE) 48.63. 

800 METRES:  1. Herms (GER) 1:48.65;  2. Bogdanov (RUS) 1:49.30;  3. Aissat (FRA) 1:49.43;  4. Formela (POL) 1:49.53;  5. Olmedo (ESP) 1:49.55 ;  6. Neunhäuserer (ITA) 1:49.57 ;  7. Speaight (GBR) 1:51.09;  8. Farougias (GRE) 1:55.55. 

1500 METRES:  1. Higuero (ESP) 3:41.64;  2. Chébili (FRA) 3:42.27;  3. Graczyk (POL) 3:42.55;  4. East (GBR) 3:42.56;  5. Obrist (ITA) 3:42.67;   6. Zadorozhnyi (RUS) 3:42.69;  7. Karakatsanis (GRE) 3:44.75;  8. Haschke (GER) 3:45.11. 

3000 METRES:  1. El Nasri (ESP) 8:00.28 ;  2. Fitschen (GER) 8:00.59 ;  3. Perrone (ITA) 8:01.15 ;  4. Yemelyanov (RUS) 8:02.40 ;  5. Gelaskis (GRE) 8:02.99 ;  6. LeDauphin (FRA) 8:09.72 ;  7. Whalley (GBR) 8:13.81 ;  8. Burghard (POL) 8:29.56. 

60 HURDLES:  1. Fenner (GER) 7.68;  2. Giaconi (ITA) 7.74;  3. Doucouré (FRA) 7.77;  4. Vivancos (ESP) 7.77;  5. Kohutek (POL) 7.81;  6. Kislykh (RUS) 7.82;  7. Girdler (GBR) 7.87;  8. Pietris (GRE) 7.93. 

RELAY (200-400-600-800):  Race 1:  1. France [Djhone – Felip – Lomba – Lacasse] 4:14.42;  2. Poland [Urbaœ – Rysiukiewicz – Gasiewski – Krzosek] 4:15.18;  3. Great Britain [Golding – Elias – Deacon – Moss] 4:16.38;  4. Greece [Gousis – Tigas – Georgiou – Thomopoulos] 4:26.24.  Race 2:  1. Italy [DaCastello – Vallet – Rao – DeMeo] 4:16.77;  2. Germany [Malucha – Gatzka – Faller – Schumann] 4:17.59;  Disqualified:  Russia and Spain. 

HIGH JUMP:  1. Talotti (ITA) 2.28;  2. Rybakov (RUS) 2.26;  3. Fricke (GER) 2.24;  4. Charmant (FRA) 2.22;  5. Bermejo (ESP) 2.19;  6. Sposób (POL) 2.19;  7. Syrakos (GRE) 2.15.  No mark:  Challenger (GBR) retired before competing with pinched nerve in foot

LONG JUMP:  1. Lamela (ESP) 8.09 [7.87 – 7.93 – 7.77 – 8.09];  2. Gataullin (RUS) 7.97 [7.86 – 7.97 – 7.86 – 7.93];  3. Tomlinson (GBR) 7.97 [7.83 – 7.80 – 7.97 – 7.82];  4. Sdiri (FRA) 7.84;  5. Mateusiak (POL) 7.79;  6. Bigdeli (GER) 7.70;  7. Trentin (ITA) 7.50;  8. Tsatoumas (GRE) 4.29. 

SHOT PUT:  1. Bartels (GER) 19.69 [19.24 – 19.60 – 19.69 – 19.04];  2. Martinez (ESP) 19.60 [19.60 – 19.49 – 19.46 – x] ;  3. Yushkov (RUS) 19.58 [19.01 – 19.58 – x – x];  4. Niare (FRA) 19.31;  5. Chrzanowski (POL) 19.30;  6. Dal Soglio (ITA) 18.99;  7. Tigas (GRE) 18.47;  8. Rider (GBR) 17.38. 

MEN’S TEAM STANDINGS:  1. Spain 56 [tie broken by more second-place finishes by Spain since both teams had three wins];  2. Germany 56;  3. France 49 [based on number of wins];  4. Russia 49;  5. Italy 47;  6. Poland 46;  7. Great Britain 39;  8. Greece 24. 

WOMEN:

60 METRES:  1. Arron (FRA) 7.18;  2. Kislova (RUS) 7.24;  3. Möller (GER) 7.30;  4. Maduaka (GBR) 7.41;  5. Lisenco (ROM) 7.46;  6. Vasarmidou (GRE) 7.47;  7. Onysko (POL) 7.48;  8. Blay (ESP) 7.55. 

400 METRES:  Race 1:  1. Breuer (GER) 51.91 ;  2. Prokopek (POL) 53.11;  3. Bevis (FRA) 54.50;  4. Maqueda (ESP) 54.71.  Race 2:  1. Murphy (GBR) 52.63;  2. Antyukh 52.66;  3. Goudenoudi (GRE) 54.68;  4. Ripanu (ROM) 55.59. 

800 METRES:  1. Martínez (ESP) 2:03.14;  2. Fenn (GBR) 2:03.70;  3. Jakubczak (POL) 2:04.03;  4. Meissner (GER) 2:05.31;  5. Vashentseva (RUS) 2:05.94;  6. Fouquet (FRA) 2:06.99;  7. Cioncan (ROM) 2:07.37;  8. Ntalaka (GRE) 2:16.92. 

1500 METRES:  1. Tullett (GBR) 4:08.63;  2. Kosenkova (RUS) 4:09.10;  3. Chojecka (POL) 4:10.79;  4. Iagar (ROM) 4:14.31;  5. García (ESP) 4:14.59;  6. Efentaki (GRE) 4:17.34;  7. Bossert (FRA) 4:17.68;  8. Friedrich (GER) 4:19.49. 

3000 METRES:  1. Bogomolova (RUS) 8:55.41;  2. Mockenhaupt (GER) 8:56.33;   3. Frankiewicz-Janowska (POL) 9:00.77 ;  4. Martins (FRA) 9:00.92 ;  5. Tsirba (GRE) 9:01.47 ;  6. Grosu (ROM) 9:03.67 ;  7. Piedra (ESP) 9:07.47 ;  8. Butler (GBR) 9:27.02. 

60 HURDLES:  1. Alozie (ESP) 7.94;  2. Ferga-Khodadin (FRA) 8.06;  3. Redoumi (GRE) 8.17;  4. King (GBR) 8.20;  5. Laukhova (RUS) 8.21;  6. Hentschke (GER) 8.23;  7. Oleksy (POL), 8.29;  8. Zamfir (ROM) 8.70. 

RELAY (200-400-600-800):   Race 1:  1. Romania [Lisenco – Rus – Ripanu – Iagar] 4:52.62;  2. Poland [Pacholak – Radecka – Pskit – Zagorska] 4:53.36;  3. Spain [Sanz – Antonio – Bravo – Desviat] 4:53.91;  Disqualified:  Greece.  Race 2:  1. Russia [Tabakova – Goncharenko – Khrushchelyova – Klyuka] 4:41.69;  2. Germany [G Rockmeier – Marx – Urbansky – Knippel] 4:49.40;  3. France [Félix – Dia – Babin – Coulaud] 4:56.08;  4. Great Britain [Burnside – Griffiths – Meadows – Tullett] 4:57.89. 

POLE VAULT:  1. Feofanova (RUS) 4.65 [4.40 – 4.50 – 4.60 – 4.65/2 – 4.77/xxx];  2. Becker (GER) 4.50;  3. Pyrek (POL) 4.30;  4. Tsiligiri (GRE) 4.15;  5. Boslak (FRA) 4.00;  6. Bloomfield (GBR) 3.80.  No height:  Agirre (ESP) at 3.80.  [ROM had no entry.]

TRIPLE JUMP:  1. Gavrila (ROM) 14.23;  2. Vasdeki (GRE) 14.07;  3. Castrejana (ESP) 14.01;  4. Bazhenova (RUS) 13.69;  5. Umlauft (GER) 13.55;  6. Zongo (FRA) 13.19;  7. Zagacka (POL) 13.16;  8. White (GBR) 12.85. 

WOMEN’S TEAM STANDINGS:  1. Russia 60;  2. Germany 49;  3. Great Britain 40 [three-way tie broken by number of wins and second places];  4. France 40;  5. Poland 40;  6. Spain 37;  7. Greece 32;  8. Romania 31.