Jimmy Vicaut (325) in the 100m at the 2016 Spitzenleichtathletikmeeting in Lucerne (Hanspeter Roos / organisers) © Copyright
Report Lucerne, Switzerland

Chilly conditions slow Vicaut but Buchler flies high in Lucerne

Hopes were high that European 100m record holder and 2016 world leader Jimmy Vicaut could get close to the time of 9.86 that he clocked last week but chilly conditions at the 30th edition of the Spitzenleichtathletikmeeting in Lucerne reduced the Frenchman to a modest 10.08 in the Swiss city on Tuesday night (14).

Vicaut clocked 9.98 in the first run but it did not count. After a false start, Vicaut and two other sprinters raced and crossed the finish line, having not heard the recall gun.

The race was annulled before being repeated 15 minutes later and in the second run, into a 0.6 m/s headwind, Vicaut proceded to beat Ivory Coast’s Ben Youssef Meite, who was second in 10.26.

“It was a good race. After clocking 9.98 in the first run, I had to return to the blocks. I did my job. I could have run faster but I am quite happy considering what happened. Unfortunately, I did not hear the gun,” said Vicaut, who equalled his European record of 9.86 on home soil in Montreuil last week.

However, local fans did get plenty to entertain them and keep them warm, as Swiss pole vault record holder Nicole Buchler cleared 4.40m and 4.50m with her second attempts before vaulting 4.60m and 4.70m at the fisrt time of asking.

Buchler then made three unsuccessful attempts at a national record of 4.81m, three centimetres higher than her current mark.

Finland’s Wilma Murto, world indoor junior record holder with 4.71m during the winter, finished second with 4.50m, ahead of Brazil’s 2011 world champion Fabiana Murer on countback. 

Another Swiss win came courtesy of the reigning European 400m hurdles champion Kariem Hussein, who edged out USA’s Joshua Anderson to win by 0.04 in 49.47.

Adams entertains

New Zealand’s IAAF Athlete of the Year in 2014 Valerie Adams, another local favourite as she spends much of her year based in Switzerland, provided another highlight by winning the women’s shot put with an effort of 19.37m. It was an easy win for the double Olympic champion and four-time world champion, a familiar face and regular winner at the Lucerne meeting in recent years, as all her four valid attempts were over the 19 metres and would have enough to win.

“It was an average competition but I had a lot of fun competing in front of my Swiss fans” reflected Adams

Bosnia’s 2015 world championships 800m bronze medallist Amel Tuka launched his sprint as he came into the final straight to win over two laps in 1:45.56, finishing ahead of 2014 world junior champion Alfred Kipketer, the Kenyan coming home second in 1:46.00.

“It was a good race considering the chilly conditions. It was cold, just 12 degrees. It was my third race of the season. My coach says that the big goal is Rio and I have worked hard for this goal recently. I am also planning to run at the European Championships in Amsterdam,” commented Tuka. 

USA’s Queen Harrison cruised to a win in the women’s 100m hurdles in 12.84 while Germany’s reigning 200m European junior champion Gina Luckenkemper, still ionly 19, won the women’s 200m in 22.91 into a strong headwind of 1.4 m/s just a few days after clocking her personal best of 22.67.

Sara Slott Petersen from Denmark, fourth in the IAAF World Championship Beijing 2015 400m hurdles, took her specialist event in 55.20, coming home ahead of Great Britain’s reigning European champion Eilidh Doyle, who was second in 55.57.

Linsey Sharp, Britain’s 2012 European 800m champion, after going through the bell in 59.34 went on to win a tactical race in 2:02.87, holding off a classy field with Iceland’s former world youth and European junior champion Anita Hinriksdottir second in 2:03.17. Poland’s Joanna Jozwic and Swiss record holder Selina Buchel were given equal third in 2:03.78. 

Another British win came in the 110m hurdles from Lawrence Clarke, who edged Hungary’s Balasz Baji by 0.07 to win in 13.42. 

Australia's Kathryn Mitchell was the only thrower to send the javelin over 60 metres barrier and won with 62.97m while Canada’s Christabel Nettey reached 6.56m in the second round of the women's long jump and that was good enough to win in difficult weather conditions.  

Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF