Just over a week after concluding her Olympic campaign with a fourth-place finish in the 4x100m, Ajla Del Ponte continued her dream season with a notable sprint double on home soil at the Resisprint International in La-Chaux-de-Fonds on Saturday (14).
Taking advantage of the excellent sprinting conditions on offer, Del Ponte began her afternoon by easing through her 100m heat in 11.27 before blasting to victory in the final in 10.90 (1.8 m/s), eclipsing her Swiss record and European lead by one-hundredth.
Del Ponte has very much focused on the shorter sprints this year but the European indoor 60m champion put her strength and speed endurance to good effect in her first outdoor 200m of the season.
The Swiss completed the second part of a sprint double by forging through the 23 second-barrier for the first time in wind-legal conditions, stopping the clock at 22.38 (1.9) in her third race of the day to come within 0.12 of Mujinga Kambundji’s national record.
Behind Del Ponte, the very experienced Lorene Bazolo, 38, smashed the Portuguese records in both the 100m and 200m. Bazolo sliced more than one-tenth from her previous national record in the 100m with 11.10 before smashing Luciana Jardim’s long-standing national record in the 200m with 22.64.
Another athlete who enjoyed a career defining day was Poland’s Anna Kielbasinska who ran in the heats of Poland’s silver medal-winning team in the 4x400m relay at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Kielbasinska won the 400m in a lifetime best of 50.38 - the fastest time by a Polish athlete since the days of the great Irena Szewinska - and she also decimated her 200m lifetime best, finishing third in 22.76.
Kielbasinska finished ahead of European 400m hurdles champion Lea Sprunger who approached her Swiss record with 50.70 in her last 400m flat race before she retires at the end of the season.
Another Swiss record was set in the 110m hurdles as 2019 European U23 champion Jason Joseph obliterated his previous mark of 13.29, stopping the clock at a European leading time of 13.12 to move to equal eleventh on the European all-time list.
SCHWEIZER REKORD!!! Sensationeller Auftritt von Jason Joseph in La Chaux-de-Fonds: In 13,12 Sekunden pulverisiert er seinen Schweizer Rekord (13,29) und ist damit der schnellste Europäer in diesem Jahr! @UBSathletics @PUMA @EuroAthletics @WorldAthletics @srfsport @lctherwil pic.twitter.com/ZwoxwQF6rE— Swiss Athletics (@SwissAthletics) August 14, 2021
Joseph won by a comfortable margin from Just Kwaou-Mathey (13.35) and Norway’s Vladimir Vukocevic (13.42). European champion Pascal Martinot-Lagarde was fourth in 13.49.
After a sub-11 second clocking in the women’s 100m final, the 10 second-barrier was broken in the men’s 100m final although the wind was just above the legal limit at 2.5 m/s.
France’s Mouhamadou Fall won the 100m final in 9.97 ahead of Germans Lucas Ansah-Peprah (9.98) and Julian Wagner (10.00) and Fall also finished second in a high quality 200m final behind Taymir Burnet from the Netherlands - 20.07 to 20.10.
Elsewhere, Italy’s 2017 European U23 champion pAyomide Folorunso partially made up for the disappointment of missing on the Olympic Games when won the women’s 400m hurdles in a personal best of 54.65, moving up to sixth on the European 2021 list, with Great Britain's Jessie Knight second in 54.78.
France’s Ludvy Vaillant won the men’s 400m hurdles in 48.80 and Zoe Sedney from the Netherlands won the 100m hurdles in a lifetime best of 12.83.