Sergey Shubenkov and Anzhelika Sidorova set meeting records at the Atletica Mondiale EA Classic in Padua on Sunday (2).
Padua inaugurated the new blue track of the Daciano Colbacchini stadium, which reopened the doors to athletics for the first time since 1993. Sergey Bubka set one of his 35 pole vault world records with 6.12m in the Colbacchini stadium in August 1992, before the Padua meeting was moved to the Euganeo stadium for 25 years.
The Atletica Mondiale meeting featured at least one Olympic, world or European medallist in each of the 15 disciplines of this year’s programme, including two fresh IAAF Diamond League winners, Shubenkov and Maria Lasitskene, and multiple world record-holder Genzebe Dibaba.
Two days after winning the IAAF Diamond League final in Brussels in 12.97, Shubenkov clocked a meeting record of 13.09 in the men’s 110m hurdles, which is dedicated to the memory of Italian later hurdler Daciano Colbacchini.
“It was a good race,” said Shubenkov. “I feel in good shape. I really enjoy the atmosphere of meetings in smaller athletics arenas. It’s a great track. I learned from the mistake I made in Berlin. I have two more competitions: Zagreb and the IAAF Continental Cup in Ostrava.”
Dibaba headed to Padua with hopes of breaking the world record for the mile. Paced by Spain’s Esther Guerrero, the five-time world indoor champion went through 400 metres in 1:01.96 and 800 metres in 2:05.38, after which it was just her against the clock. 3:12.1 was on the clock as the bell sounded for the final lap, but her pace dropped in the windy conditions and she settled for victory in a season’s best of 4:20.51.
In the women’s pole vault, world indoor silver medallist Anzhelika Sidorova cleared both 4.50m and 4.75m on her first attempt to add three centimetres to Katerina Stefanidi’s meeting record.
Two-time world champion Maria Lasitskene won the high jump in Padua for the second consecutive year, clearing 1.95m on her first attempt to beat Ukraine’s Kataryna Tabashnik on countback.
“I look serious when I am competing, but I am a totally different person outside the track,” said Lasitskene after recording her 50th victory from her past 51 competitions. “My secret is to give my best thanks to the advice of my coach and my family.”
Olympic 4x100m champion English Gardner won the women’s 100m in 11.11, scoring her second victory on Italian soil after her 11.02 clocking in Rovereto nine days ago. It was another confidence booster for the 2016 US champion, who had spent much of the past 12 months side-lined by injury problems.
“I ran at this meeting last year but then I got a serious injury,” she said. “I always enjoy competing at this meeting. Padua is like a jewel.”
Michael Rodgers completed the US 100m double, winning in 10.10 to beat Ivory Coast’s Arthur Cissé by 0.05 on a cool evening, missing Femi Ogunode’s meeting record by 0.03.
Turkey’s European silver medallist Yasmani Copello edged Jamaica’s Annsert Whyte by 0.07 in a close 400m hurdles race in 49.09. Estonia’ Rasmus Magi finished third in 49.37.
“This has been the best season of my career,” said Copello. “Padua was an important competition in the final part of the season.”
World U20 bronze medallist Justus Soget pulled away on the home straight to win the men’s 1500m in 3:35.28, beating Jordan Williamsz from Australia (3:36.30) and Poland’s Michal Rozmys (3:37.08).
Ukraine’s double European champion Natalia Prishchepa kicked away from the field to win the women’s 800m in 2:00.37 ahead of Latvia’s Liga Velvere (2:00.91) and Great Britain’s Adelle Tracey (2:01.26).
Spain’s European indoor bronze medallist Alvaro De Arriba adopted a similar tactic to beat USA’s Erik Sowinski in the men’s 800m, winning in 1:45.47.
Jamaica’s 2016 IAAF Diamond League champion Stephenie Ann McPherson took a clear win in the women’s 400m in 50.94 ahead of world indoor champion Courtney Okolo (51.91).
Elsewhere, European bronze medallist Alona Dubitskaya from Belarus won the women’s shot put with 18.91m, while Mediterranean Games champion Davide Re overtook national record-holder Matteo Galvan in the final straight to win an all-Italian men’s 400m, 45.63 to 46.16.
Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF