Magdelin Martinez wins in Sestriere (Lorenzo Sampaolo) © Copyright
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Wind assisted 15.24 for Martinez in Sestriere

Sestriere celebrated the tenth anniversary of the world record of 6.14 set by the pole vault legend Sergey Bubka here in 1994 with a new meeting held in a sunny afternoon at 2050 metres of altitude, which marks the return of athletics in the famous Italian mountain resort.

The Cuban-born Magdelin Martinez from Italy was the star of the Sestriere meeting with a convincing win in a wind-assisted 15.24 (+4.2 m/s) in the women’s triple jump. The 2003 World bronze medallist from Paris also produced another wind-assisted 14.91 (+3.5 m/s) and two solid legal jumps of 14.69 and 14.79 in the second and the third attempt.

Martinez, a serious medal contender in Athens, beat the 2003 World indoor bronze medallist Kenè Ndoye from Senegal, who will be one of her main rivals in the Greek capital. Ndoye finished second with 14.57 (with a slight head wind of -0.2 m/s) and also leapt to 14.32 with a -3.1 m/s head wind.

“This result confirms that I have worked very well in the past four weeks in Formia with my coach Gianni Tucciarone. I am now based in Formia for most of the year to find good weather conditions for training. I just need to keep my form and work on the speed in the run-up.

“I am more relaxed than in the past and this explains my good recent results. I am training at exactly the same time when the qualifying round and the final will take place in Athens to get used to the conditions I will find in Greece. I love competing in Greece which is similar to Cuba. Last year

“I jumped in Trikala and I found very ideal conditions to perform well. Before flying to Athens I am planning two more competitive tests in Formia on 6 and 14 August,” said Martinez, who jumped over the 15 metres barrier for the first time in her career with a legal 15.03 last June at the Italian Club Championships in Casal del Marmo near Rome.

Four over 8 metres in men's Long Jump

Petr Lampart from Czech Republic (who jumped 8.18 last year as a junior) won a good long jump competition with a wind-assisted 8.31 leap (+2.8 m/s) in the fifth attempt.

Lampart overhauled Ndiss Kaba Badji from Senegal who was leading until the penultimate attempt with a legal 8.20 which improved his previous PB by eight centimetres. Badji tried to respond to Lampart but his windy 8.30 (+3.1 m/s) final effort was not enough for first place.

Gregor Cankar from Slovenia, a former bronze medallist in Seville 1999, was third with a windy 8.30 (+3.3 m/s). Jonathan Chimier was the fourth man over the 8 metres barrier in Sestriere with a legal 8.05 (+2 m/s).

Badji was delighted with his second place: “I set my PB and qualified for Athens where I want to reach the final. I come from Dakar where I was born 21 years ago. In the capital of Senegal I am currently training in the International Training Centre under the guidance of the Russian coach Viktor Kuzin.”

The 400 metres Hurdles specialist Benedetta Ceccarelli who set her PB at the Rome Golden Gala with 55.14, confirmed her recent improvement with a solid PB in the 400 metres flat with 52.95.

Italian Olympic hopefuls perform well

Italy’s Alessandro Attene, a 400 metres Olympic semi-finalist in Sydney, is gradually returning to his best form after some troubled years. After winning the Italian 200 metres title in Florence he won over this distance in 20.84 ahead of Koura Kaba Fantoni (an Italian born in Kinshasa, Congo), Italian under 23 champion in the 100 and the 200 metres this year, who finished second with 20.96.

Darren Chin from Great Britain won the 100 metres sprint dash in 10.37, the same time clocked by Dejan Vojnovic. Koura Kaba Fantoni was third with 10.42.

Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF

Selected results from the International meeting in Sestriere

100 metres: 1 Darren Chin (Great Britain) 10.37; 2 Dejan Vojnovic (Slovenia) 10.37; 3 Koura Kaba Fantoni (Italy) 10.42

200 metres: 1 Alessandro Attene (Italy) 20.84; 2 Koura Kaba Fantoni (Italy) 20.96; 3 Anthony Ferro (Belgium) 21.07

400 metres: 1 Andrew Steele (Great Britain) 46.46; 2 Ibrahima Maiga (Mali) 46.94; 3 Ibrahim Tondi (Nigeria) 48.52

Long Jump: 1 Petr Lampart (Czech Republic) 8.31 (windy +2.8 m/s); 2 Ndiss Kaba Badji (Senegal) 8.30 (windy +3.1 m/s; legal 8.20 PB); 3 Gregor Cankar (Slovenia) 8.30 (windy 3.3 m/s); 4 Jonathan Chimier (Mauritius) 8.05 (+2.0 m/s); 5 Arnaud Casquette (Mauritius) 7.95

Pole Vault: 1 Dominic Johnson (Santa Lucia) 5.40

100 metres: 1 Kadiatou Camarà (Malì) 11.82 (-1.3 m/s)

200 metres: 1 Daniela Graglia (Italy) 24.20

400 metres: 1 Benedetta Ceccarelli (Italy) 52.95 (PB); 2 Makelesi Bulikiobo (Australia) 53.38

Triple Jump: 1 Magdelin Martinez (Italy) 15.24 (windy +4.2 m/s; series: 14.39/-0.9 m/s -14.69/ +0.8 m/s;  – 14.79 /+1.5 m/s; - 14.91/+3.5 m/s; 15.24/+4.2 m/s; 14.52/ -0.4 m/s); 2 Kene Ndoye (Senegal) 14.57 (-0.2 m/s); 3 Dana Veldakova (Slovakia) 13.96; 4 Barbara Lah (Italy) 13.95