The 2012 men’s pole vault world-lead changed hands twice in barely an hour on Saturday as first Germany’s Björn Otto and then France’s 2010 European Athletics gold medallist Renaud Lavillenie did battle across a border and improved on the yearly mark in separate meetings.
The 34-year-old Otto, the 2007 European Athletics Indoor Championships bronze medallist, which was also the year when he cleared his previous best of 5.90m indoors and outdoors, went over a life time best of 5.92m at the special pole vault meeting in Potsdam.
The clearance moved Otto up to ninth on the European indoor all-time list.
After going over 5.72m with his second attempt, 5.82m first time and then his new personal best with his second attempt, Otto unsuccessfully tried for a German indoor record of 6.01m.
Ukraine’s 2010 European Athletics Championships silver medallist Maxim Mazuryk was second in Potsdam with 5.72m while Germany’s Kirsten Dilla finished third with 5.62m.
Having heard the news of Otto’s performance, Lavillenie later went over 5.93m at a meeting in Never, France, before attempting to improve his own French record of 6.03m by two centimetres – set when winning the 2011 European indoor title last March – when he had the bar raised to 6.05m.
Elsewhere in France on Saturday, the 2010 European Athlete of the Year Christophe Lemaitre sped to a 60m victory in 6.59 at Val de Reuil.
At the same meeting, Slovenia’s Marina Tonic won the women’s 60m hurdles in 8.13 while Poland´s Artur Ostrowski clocked 1:47.97 to win the men’s 800m,
Svitlana Shmidt made a huge impact on the third day of the Ukraine indoor championships in Sumy when she set a 3000m national indoor record of 8:41.01 on Saturday, taking just over a second off Maryna Dubrova’s 2004 mark of 8:42.20.
Better known as a steeplechaser, the 21-year-old Shmidt also sliced more than 25 seconds off her best for the distance with the fastest time by a European runner in 2012. A distant second was Natalya Tobias in 8:59.94.
In the women’s 800m, Natalya Lupus clocked 2:01.46 to come home in front of Olean Sidorska, who improved the national junior record to 2:03.73.
Irina Akhkozova won the women’s long jump with 6.53m while Viktor Shapoval came out on top when he beat Bohdan Bondarenko on countback, both men clearing 2.23m.
The sensation of the 2011 European Athletics U23 Championships, triple jumper Sheriff El-Sheriff, who memorably leapt a championship record of 17.72m in the Czech city of Ostrava, wasn’t in that sort of form in Sumy but took the title with a best effort of 16.81m.
At the IFAM Meeting in the Belgian city of Gent, Czech sprinter Pavel Maslak improved on Karel Kolmar’s 33-year-old national indoor 400m record of 46.21 when he ran 46.14. Ireland’s Brian Gregan won a separate race in 46.66.
Belgium’s 2009 European Athletics Indoor Championships 60m hurdles gold medallist Eline Berings continued her recovery from knee and thigh surgery last May, which wiped out her summer season, when she won over the barriers in 8.07.
Germany’s 2008 European Athletics Rising Star of the Year Raphael Holzdeppe was the best in the men’s pole vault with 5.53m while Dutch vaulter Riana Galiart won the women’s event with 4.33m.
There were several wins for a large contingent of Spanish athletes: two-time European Athletics Indoor Championships 800m medallist Antonio Reina triumphed over four laps of the track in 1:47.36 while Jackson Quinonez won the 60m hurdles in 7.71.
Former world junior champion Concepción Montanez won the long jump with 6.32m, a competition in which Russia’s 2004 Olympic Games long jump champion and 2007 World Championships gold medallist Tatyana Lebedeva made a modest return after almost two years out of action with 5.96m for fourth place.
It was also Lebedeva’s first indoor long jump competition since 2007.