Ethiopian teenager Samuel Tefera provided the unexpected highlight of the Meeting Elite en Salle de Leure in Val de Reuil on Saturday (27) when he broke the world U20 indoor 1500m record* with a world-leading 3:36.05.
Tefera, who represented Ethiopia at the IAAF World Championships London 2017 after winning their national trial race, was competing in the first indoor race of his burgeoning career. But his youth and relative inexperience proved no barrier as he comfortably beat 2012 world indoor champion and 2015 world bronze medallist Abdalaati Iguider.
Tefera crossed the line in 3:36.05 to take 0.23 off the previous world U20 indoor record set by Belal Mansoor Ali in 2007. Iguider, the 2012 Olympic bronze medallist, finished second in 3:36.87 with fellow Moroccan Brahim Kaazouzi taking third in a PB of 3:37.15.
The other surprising record-breaking performance of the meeting came from Burkina Faso’s Fabrice Zango Hugues in the triple jump. The 24-year-old opened his series with a national indoor record of 16.65m, improving it to 16.71m in round three, 16.86m in round four and 16.96m in round five before ending his series with an African indoor record of 17.23m.
World champion Maria Lasitskene upped her own world-leading mark to 2.04m when winning the high jump in Volgograd before going on to take some close attempts at what would have been an outright personal best of 2.07m. Her leap is the highest indoor jump since 2012.
World silver medallist Danil Lysenko won the high jump meeting in Hustopece with a world-leading PB of 2.37m. Poland’s Sylwester Bednarek placed second with 2.31m with China’s Wang Yu taking third place with 2.28m.
World 400m hurdles champion Karsten Warholm opened his 2018 campaign by breaking his own Norwegian indoor 400m record. Competing at the Dimna Games in Ulsteinvik on Saturday, the 21-year-old stopped the clock at 45.88 to take 0.08 off the mark he set last year.
Double European indoor champion Laura Muir sped to a world-leading 1:59.69 to win the 800m at the Scottish Championships on Sunday. She is now the first woman in history to run faster than 2:00 for 800m indoors, 8:30 for 3000m indoors and 15:00 for 5000m indoors.
One week after setting a world indoor 600m best, Kenya’s Michael Saruni clocked a world-leading 1:45.19 to win over 800m at the Texas Tech Invitational in Lubbock on Saturday. Saruni, a student at the University of Texas at El Paso, now moves to 20th on the world indoor all-time list.
There was a high-quality high jump competition at the same meeting with three men leaping 2.30m. Jeron Robinson won on countback over Trey Culver and Vernon Turner.
Two weeks after clocking 7.31 over 60m, four-time world champion Brittney Reese contested her first long jump competition of 2018. She opened with two fouls but then found her groove with a 6.55m leap in round three. As is her trademark, she produced her best in the last round with 6.57m to take victory by one centimetre over Canada's Christabel Nettey.
Competing on an oversized track at the UW Invitational in Seattle, world indoor 1500m champion Sifan Hassan won convincingly in 8:34.45, the fastest time in the world this year under any conditions. New York City Marathon champion Shalane Flanagan was second in 8:43.28.
World indoor 3000m champion Yomif Kejelcha, now based in the USA, won the 5000m in 13:34.67. The Ethiopian won by 0.11 from training partner Galen Rupp, the Olympic marathon bronze medallist.
Murielle Ahoure regained the world-leading mark in the 60m at the Houston Invitational on Saturday (27). The 2013 world 100m and 200m silver medallist clocked 7.07 to win comfortably from Brazil’s world 100m finalist Rosangela Santos (7.25).
World U20 400m silver medallist Lynna Irby, who turned 19 just last month, sped to a pair of world-leading times at the Razorback Invitational in Fayetteville.
She first won the 200m in an outright personal best of 22.96 and then, in her first ever indoor 400m race, won the longer sprint in 51.48, just 0.09 shy of her outdoor PB. In a close race, World Championships representative Kendall Ellis was second in 51.53 and Sharrika Barnett registered an outright PB of 51.64 in third.
In the men's events, 20-year-old Obie Igbokwe was the fastest over 400m, winning his race in 45.72. European U20 400m champion Benjamin Lobo Vedel won one of the other races in a Danish record of 46.14.
A long-standing North American indoor record fell at the Dr Sander Invitational in New York on Friday as Kyra Jefferson, Deajah Stevens, Asha Ruth and Daina Harper teamed up in the rarely run 4x200m.
The quartet stopped the clock at 1:32.67 to take half a second off the previous mark set back in 1994. Their time was also a quarter of a second shy of the world record.
Commonwealth bronze medallist Kate van Buskirk got her season off to a strong start by winning the mile in 4:26.92. Her time took 0.10 off the Canadian indoor record set five years ago by Sheila Reid.
Ajee Wilson won the 800m in 2:00.90. The world bronze medallist tied up slightly towards the end, but did enough to hold off Jamaica’s Natoya Goule, who finished second in 2:01.07.
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF
*Subject to the usual ratification procedures