The French capital may be covered in a blanket of snow, but world champions Luvo Manyonga, Kevin Mayer and Ekaterini Stefanidi received a warm reception from the crowd at the AccorHotels Arena when the trio won their respective events at the Meeting Paris Indoor on Wednesday (7).
Manyonga, contesting the first indoor competition of his career, adapted well to the new surroundings. The South African long jumper opened his series with a world-leading 8.23m and later improved to 8.32m with his penultimate attempt of the night. Miltiadis Tentoglou finished a distant second with a best of 7.89m.
The Olympic silver medallist’s winning jump ranks him second on the African indoor all-time list, just four centimetres shy of the continental record set in 2006 by Ignisious Gaisah.
Much to the delight of the home crowd, Mayer dominated all three disciplines within the triathlon competition. The French decathlete set a PB of 7.79 in the 60m hurdles and then jumped 7.48m to come within six centimetres of his indoor PB in the long jump. He ended his series with a 15.96m heave in the shot put, just one centimetre shy of his PB, despite having missed valuable training time in this event due to wrist pain.
“The form is not there, but the application and progression allow me to still beat my personal records,” said Mayer, who tallied 2814 points to win comfortably from Spain’s Jorge Urena (2551).
Like Manyonga and Mayer, Stefanidi’s form also appears to be moving in the right direction ahead of the IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018. The world and Olympic pole vault champion added 10 centimetres to her season’s best, winning with 4.81m before taking three unsuccessful attempts at a would-be Greek indoor record of 4.91m.
Compatriot Nikoleta Kyriakopoulou continued her post-childbirth return, finishing second with a season’s best of 4.61m.
Double world silver medallist Marie-Josee Ta Lou was the top performer on the track. The Ivorian sprinter won a quality women’s 60m in a season’s best of 7.12, finishing 0.02 ahead of Jamaica’s Remona Burchell.
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF