Veteran sprinter Kim Collins was hoping to add another special performance on a heady night of world records at the Globen Galan, but a stumble out of the blocks in the 60m final prevented him doing so – although it didn’t prevent him earning an unlikely victory at the IAAF World Indoor Tour meeting in Stockholm on Wednesday (17).
Such mistakes are bad enough over 100m, but over 60m they are almost always conclusive. Not on this occasion.
Although relative youngster Mike Rodgers of the United States, the 30-year-old who had won the first two IAAF World Indoor Tour 60m races in Karlsruhe and Boston, got away well, he was overhauled by the smooth technique of the man from St Kitts and Nevis, who moved from last to first in the space of the last 40 metres, clocking 6.56, just 0.02 faster than his qualifying time.
Rodgers was second in 6.58, ahead of fellow US sprinter Joe Morris (6.59).
“Getting away slow is better than being disqualified,” said Collins, the 2003 world 100m champion who turns 40 in April. “But I wanted to run better than that. When you see the crowd excited like they are tonight, you want to have a great run. It didn’t happen – but there you are.”
Adam Kszczot’s impeccable timing served him well again here in the 800m as he tracked Musaeb Balla of Qatar at the bell before moving through to pass him on the inside and claim victory in 1:45.63, the fastest time run so far this year. Balla clocked 1:45.93, finishing well clear of Ethiopia’s world indoor champion Mohamed Aman, still to find his best form, who finished third in 1:47.39.
Morocco’s Abdalaati Iguider produced an electric last lap to set the fastest 3000m time of the year so far, 7:39.04, finishing a stride ahead of 18-year-old world junior champion Yomif Kejelcha. The prodigious young Ethiopian had shadowed Iguider at the bell and overtook him on the back straight, but the shorter man renewed his efforts on the inside to see off the challenge.
Kejelcha was rewarded, however, with a personal best of 7:39.11 – also inside the previous world-leading mark of 7:39.23 set by Kenya’s Augustine Choge in Dusseldorf earlier this month.
Tim Nedow, winner of the opening World Indoor Tour shot put in Karlsruhe, went from strength to strength in amassing another maximum 10 points, finishing with the flourish of a meeting record and outright personal best of 21.33m – just 24 centimetres short of the world lead with which Kurt Roberts won Saturday’s second tour event in Boston.
Competing in a separate annexe to the main arena, the throwers were alone on the floor but watched – unusually – by a crowd gathered around a balcony. Nedow played to the gallery throughout, encouraging increasing applause after his opening effort of 20.28m established him in a lead from which he was never dislodged. Successive efforts of 20.88m, 21.10m and 20.50m underlined his superiority before the final effort which he acknowledged with both arms aloft.
Michael Haratyk of Poland, second on this year’s world list with 21.35m, had to settle for second place with 20.46m.
Sweden’s 2015 female athlete of the year, Angelica Bengtsson, began promisingly in the pole vault, leading with first-time clearances of 4.27m and 4.39m, but came to grief at 4.49m. The 22-year-old local heroine, who finished fourth at last year’s IAAF World Championships, was already screwing up her face in dismay as she dropped, along with the bar, following her mistimed final effort.
The former world junior record-holder eventually finished fifth as Brazil’s 34-year-old world silver medallist Fabiana Murer made a huge effort to sign off in what was her final appearance in this favoured arena – she will end her career after competing at the home Olympics this summer – with a victory.
Murer managed a season’s best of 4.71m, but it wasn’t enough to win as Nikoleta Kyriakopoulou of Greece, last year’s Diamond Race winner, produced a national indoor record of 4.81m.
In fourth, 16-year-old Swede Lisa Gunnarsson set a world youth best of 4.49m, bettering her own mark of 4.47m, which she shared with Bengtsson.
The women’s long jump honours went, somewhat unexpectedly, to Ksenija Balta of Estonia, whose second-round effort of 6.76m proved too much for a field which included the world silver and bronze medallists, respectively Shara Proctor of Britain and Ivana Spanovic of Serbia.
Proctor was third with 6.57m behind fellow Brit Lorraine Ugen, who managed 6.71m, with Spanovic having to settle for seventh with 6.11m.
Sweden’s rising talent Khaddi Sagnia, seventh in Beijing last summer, fell short of her target of the 6.75m qualifying mark for next month’s IAAF World Indoor Championships, finishing fifth with 6.47m, one place behind compatriot Erica Jarder, who jumped a season’s best of 6.53m.
In the men’s long jump, Andreas Otterling delivered the only home victory of the night. The European indoor bronze medallist produced a personal best of 8.12m to finish 10 centimetres clear of China’s world bronze medallist Wang Jianan. Fellow Swede Michel Torneus, the European indoor champion, struggled to fifth place with 7.87m.
The women’s 400m honours went to Lisanne de Witte of the Netherlands, who passed double world 400m hurdles champion Zuzana Hejnova in the final 20m to clock 53.21, with the Czech athlete recording 53.51 ahead of 2012 European champion Moa Hjelmer (55.01).
Jeneba Tarmoh of the United States just got the verdict in the women’s 200m, finishing in 23.38, a hundredth of a second ahead of Michelle-Lee Ahye of Trinidad and Tobago, with 2013 world youth champion Irene Ekelund third in 24.05.
The experience of Spain’s 36-year-old double European champion Ruth Beitia told in the high jump as she produced three first-time clearances at 1.84m, 1.89m and 1.92m before becoming the only woman to clear 1.95m.
Until that final flourish, however, it was fast-improving Swede Sofie Skoog who was keeping the home supporters in good voice as she matched Beitia all the way to 1.92m, eventually taking second place ahead of Ukraine’s Oksana Okuneva, who also cleared 1.92m.
Mike Rowbottom for the IAAF