Ivan Ukhov jumping in Birmingham on 21 Feb (Getty Images) © Copyright
General News 26 February 2009 – Athens, Greece

Ukhov raises his world leading mark to 2.40m in Athens

Athens, GreeceIvan Ukhov raised once more his own world season leading performance for the High Jump, having a leap over 2.40m in the IAAF indoor permit meeting “Athina 2009” held on Wednesday (25) in Athens.

The meeting witnessed more good marks, among were the winning times by American Angela Williams (7.15 in the 60m) and Russia’s Ana Alminova (4.02.23), both the second best performances in the world in 2009.
Ukhov attempts World record

Ukhov was the undeniable star of the meeting. He came to Athens as the season’s best high jumper worldwide and he further entrenched his leading position having a successful jump at 2.40m, making him the fourth equal best jumper of all-time indoors.

After his win Ukhov attempted 2.44m to break the world record which has been held at 2.43m by Javier Sotomayor since 1989. Being tired he only made one attempt at this height

“I feel in great shape during this period” Ukhov said after the competition. “I hope I’ll have a chance in my next competitions to attempt again the World record.”

Russian compatriot Aleksander Sutchove was second with 2.30m, while Cyprus’ Kyriakos Ioannou improved his season’s best to 2.28m to get the third place.

Williams and Jelks win the 60m races

World Indoor champion Angela Williams confirmed why she was the favourite in the women’s 60m. She dominated the race in an impressing 7.15 sec, the second faster time of the season. Taheshia Harrigan equalled her season’s best with 7.18 to get the second ahead of Bulgaria’s Ina Eftymova who clocked 7.24

Williams’ compatriot Mark Jelks was the first to leave the blocks and he controlled the race until the finishing line, although British Simeon Williamson attacked him in the last metres. Both runners clocked 6.57 with the American the winner, Brazilian Vincente Da Lima placed third with 6.64.

Alminova clocks 4:02.23, Keitany wins in 3:34.82

Both men’s and women’s 1500m races were fast. Russia’s Ana Alminova took the lead form the early stages of the women’s race attempting to achieve a good time a few days before the European Indoor Championships. She crossed the finishing line in 4:02.23, the second faster time of the season, while Poland’s Sylwia Ajdys was second with 4:07.43.

The best 1500m runner this year, Kenya’s Haron Keitany was the expected winner of the men’s race with 3:34.82. Keitany had a strong competition by his compatriot Shedrack Korir and Ethiopia’s Mekkonen Gebremedhin, who entered the race holding the 4th position of the world list this year. Korir was second tonight with 3:35.51, while Gebremedhin was finally fourth with 3:38.42. In the last metres of the race Bahrain’s Bilal Mansour Ali won the third place with a season’s best 3:37.62.

Faulk wins the 60mh, national record for Douvalidis
American Dexter Faulk dominated the 60m Hurdles with 7.57 sec, leaving behind him the British hurdler Andy Turner who clocked 7.60 and Netherlands’ reigning European Indoor champion Gregory Sedoc who placed third with 7.63. Russia’s Yevgeniy Borisov who is among the top world hurdlers of the season had a rather moderate race, producing a 7.64 enough only for the fourth place.

In this race Greece’s Konstantinos Douvalidis was 5th breaking the national record with 7.68

Potapova takes Triple Jump

One more favourite lived up to the pre-meeting forecasts and won in Athens. The current world leader of the women’s Triple Jump had her best attempt at 14.31m, enough for the first place, but 36-year-old Yamile Aldama was able to closely challenge her with 14.27m.

Both Russia’s Ana Pyatykh and Slovenia’s Marija Sestak were not in their best form yet. Pyatykh was 5th with 14.13, while the Slovenian had her best attempt at 14.12m to take the sixth place.

Other events

In the women’s 400m Russia’s Yulia Gushkina had a rather easy mission as much of original entry list made up by her compatriots did not show for the meeting. The race became even easier for her as in the first meters Tatyana Veshrukova, who was the faster entrant, was obliged to abandon the race because of an injury. Gushina took a large winning margin in 53.22 sec in her first appearance this season with Spain’s Laia Forcatel who clocked 55.33 a distant second.

The men’s Long Jump competition did not produce any jump over 8m although Brazilian Mauro Da Silva approached it, leaping 7.94m. Germany’s Nils Vinder was second with 7.80m.
Russia’s Victor Chistyakov dominated the Pole Vault with 5.70m, in front of Ukraine’s Oleksandr Korchmid who cleared 5.60m and Russia’s Sergey Kucheryanu who was third with the same performance.

Finally Greece’s Antonia Stergiou won the national competition in the women’s High Jump with 1.90m setting the standard for the European Indoor Championships.

Michalis Nikitaridis for the IAAF

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