Kszczot leads a series of season leads in Düsseldorf with fine 800m display

Kszczot leads a series of season leads in Düsseldorf with fine 800m display

Provided by IAAF

Düsseldorf, Germany - Poland’s Adam Kszczot produced one of five world season leads at the PSD Bank Meeting in Düsseldorf on Friday night (10). In front of 2000 spectators he took the 800m with 1:45.44 minutes, leaving all his African rivals well behind him. Running events produced most of the highlights while Christian Cantwell (USA) improved his season’s best significantly to 21.31 m in the Shot Put.

Men’s events: Kenyans Chepseba and Longosiwa take world leads

In the 800m Adam Kszczot took the lead after pacemaker David Takacs (Hungary) had paced through the 400m mark in a promising 51.82 seconds. The 22-year-old held on and well increased his advantage in the final lap. “I was well prepared for this race,” said Adam Kszczot after crossing the line in a world season lead of 1:45.44, which in last year’s indoor list would have been good enough for second place. Well behind the Polish 800m hope for the Olympics, Boaz Lalang (Kenya) took second in 1:47.06, followed by Ahmed Ismail (Sudan/1:47.23).

Asked about his next goals the European Indoor champion Adam Kszczot said: “I fully focus on preparing for the Olympic Games and I hope that finally all the years of training will pay off. I do not plan to run the World Indoors and I will most probably not go for the Europeans in Helsinki as well. In London my goal will be to get a medal. We will have to see what is possible.”

While the Kenyans were heavily beaten in the 800m they proved their superiority in the two other running events that followed. First Nixon Chepseba took the 1500m with a world lead of 3:35.53 from Bethwel Birgen (Kenya/3:35.93) and Ilham Tanui Özbilen (Turkey/3:36.31). There was a good depth in this race with five runners clocking sub 3:38 times.

“I had hoped for a slightly faster time, but at least I won again here in Düsseldorf. Next week I will try to improve in Lièvin,” said Chepseba.

It was at this meeting last year, where Kenyan youngster Isiah Koech had produced a World Junior Indoor 5000m record with 12:53.29. Now he came back to Düsseldorf, but this time had to settle for second place with a slower time. When the leading group had reached the 2000m mark in 5:10.26 it looked as if a similar result as in 2011 could be reached. But the pace slightly slowed in the next kilometre with a 3000 m split of 7:49.12. It was Koech who then took the lead, followed by his fellow countrymen Thomas Longosiwa. With two and a half laps to go Longosiwa ran away from the leading group and set a first strong 5000m mark of the season. His world season lead of 12:58.67 is the first sub 13 minutes time this year. Isiah Koech came second with 13:02.36, followed by Paul Kipsiele Koech (Kenya/13:02.69) and Yitaya Atnafu (Ethiopia/13:04.18).

“I did not expect to win tonight, but you never know what will happen. The result shows that I am in fine form and I intend to run at the World Indoor Championships,” said Longosiwa.

Meanwhile France has got another young sprinter besides Christophe Lemaitre who may do well at future international championships. Jimmy Vicaut took the 60m in a world lead of 6.53 seconds after a superb start and a strong race. The 19-year-old, who belonged to France’s 4x100m silver medal team in the World Championships in Daegu last year, was well ahead of Joshua Norman (USA/6.63) and Terrell Wilks (USA/6.65).

There was an upset for Olympic champion Dayron Robles (Cuba) in the 60m Hurdles. It was Kevin Craddock (USA) who just held on to win in 7.53 seconds from Robles (7.55). Jeff Porter (USA) took third in 7.62.

One of the best fields assembled on Friday night was the men’s Shot Put. And it did not take long for the event to produce some outstanding marks. After opening with 19.92m Christian Cantwell improved by almost one and a half metres at his next attempt. He achieved 21.31m, which was the first ever 21m mark or beyond at this meeting. A year ago Ralf Bartels had produced a meeting record of 20.91m. He could not do better than 18.93m this time and placed sixth and last.

For Cantwell, the World Indoor champion in 2008 and 2010, it was a season’s best as well. Three weeks ago he had finished third with 21.01m in Nordhausen. “For me the real season has started tonight. I did not do well before and do not really know what went wrong. Additionally I was a bit ill recently,” said Cantwell, who also let fly with 21.30 in his final attempt.

Poland’s Tomasz Majewski produced a very good series with each of his attempts well over the 20m mark (20.39 – 20.83 – 21.09 – 20.41 – 21.19 – 21.03), but it was not good enough to beat Cantwell. But there was another disappointment apart from losing to his American rival. Majewski, who had established his national record in Doha at the World Championships in 2010 with 21.20, missed this mark agonisingly close, by just one centimetre. The reigning Olympic Champion reacted shaking his head, when the scoreboard showed 21.19.

Germany’s reigning World champion David Storl had to be content with third place and 20.67m. “Somehow I am not relaxed enough. But all my focus is on the World (Indoor) Championships – it is then, when I want to be in top form and want to win a medal,” Storl said.

Women’s events: Dibaba impressive, but disqualified

There was drama in the 1500m, where Genzebe Dibaba burst away impressively from the field in the final stages and crossed the line in 4:01.96. This would have been a huge personal best (indoors and out) for the 21-year-old, the younger sister of the double Olympic Champion Tirunesh Dibaba. But the Ethiopian was disqualified together with Kenyans Pamela Jelimo, who ran a 1500 m debut in Düsseldorf, and Helen Obiri. The three of them had cut inside too early at the end of the second bend. But so strong was the performance of Genzebe Dibaba that she has to be regarded as one of the favourites should she be selected to run this event at the World Championships. Finally Anzhelika Shevchenko was declared the winner. The Ukrainian had finished with 4:07.55, which this was still enough for the fastest time of the season.

Lolo Jones (USA) showed a fine performance, when taking the 60m Hurdles in 7.94 seconds. It was a very close affair with fellow American Danielle Carruthers, who had the better start, just beaten by one hundredth of a second. Yvette Lewis (USA) took third with 8.03.

“I was a bit nervous before the start, because I had picked up a slight injury when competing in Russia. But the physio really helped. I plan to run the World Indoors,” said Jones.

Olesya Povh (Ukraine) won the 60m in convincing style in 7.13, while it was Russia’s Antonia Krivoshapka, who was well ahead in the 400m with 52.21 seconds.

Jörg Wenig for the IAAF