European 5000m champion Konstanze Klosterhalfen provided one of the highlights of a packed afternoon of national indoor championships action, winning the German indoor 3000m title in Dortmund on Saturday (18) in a gun-to-tape 8:34.89.
Nor was it a time trial either. Klosterhalfen had the company of Hanna Klein who stuck doggedly in her slipstream for more than two kilometres of a fast and attritional race. Klein held on well to finish second in 8:36.83, just 0.41 shy of her recently set lifetime best.
“I was definitely nervous because I knew that Hanna [Klein] was super strong,” acknowledged Klosterhalfen on her compatriot who was also part of Germany’s gold medal-winning team at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships in Turin in December.
Klosterhalfen added: “I know there's more to come in perfect conditions but the feeling of being able to run fast was great. I will be training at home in Leverkusen for the two weeks leading up to the European Indoor Championships. We'll see how far I can go in Istanbul. It's a new situation again and I'm looking forward to the challenge.”
But standing in Klosterhalfen’s way could be four-time European indoor champion Laura Muir who outsprinted the German in a memorable 3000m at the 2019 European Indoor Championships in Glasgow.
Fellow European champion Gina Luckenkemper won the 60m in 7.17 from Lisa Mayer in 7.21 while Aleksandar Askovic won an eventful men’s 60m final in 6.56. Prospective favourites Julian Wagner and Owen Ansah were both disqualified for false starts but ran under protest.
The first day of the British Indoor Championships in Birmingham was highlighted by Reece Prescod blazing to victory in the men’s 60m in 6.54 ahead of European 100m bronze medallist Jeremiah Azu in 6.57.
Fellow European 100m bronze medallist Daryll Neita won the women’s 60m title in 7.17 ahead of former European indoor champion Asha Philip who improved her season’s best to 7.21.
Sulek improves to 4860 points in Torun
Adrianna Sulek improved her national record to 4860 points in the pentathlon at the Polish Indoor Championships in Torun on Saturday (18).
Not only is Sulek targeting her first major senior title at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Istanbul next month, Sulek has publicly stated her dual aim is to break Nataliya Dobrynska’s world indoor record of 5013 points.
Incidentally that world record was set by the Ukrainian in Istanbul when the Turkish city staged the World Athletics Indoor Championships in 2012.
Elsewhere, renowned fast starter Ewa Swoboda won the 60m title in 7.10 while Konrad Bukowiecki produced his first 21 metre-plus throw of the year, winning the shot put with 21.55m.
Gardasevic defeats Vuleta for Serbian indoor title
At the Serbian Indoor Championships in Belgrade, former European U20 champion Milica Gardasevic produced an outright lifetime best of 6.90m to defeat her more illustrious compatriot Ivana Vuleta who jumped 6.81m.
Gardasevic’s mark was also a European lead and puts her second on the 2023 world list with the European Athletics Indoor Championships beginning in 11 days’ time.
The unstoppable Femke Bol eased through her 400m heat at the Dutch Indoor Championships in Apeldoorn in 52.22 but the fastest time of the day was achieved by her good friend and training partner Lieke Klaver who clocked 51.74.
Isayah Boers led the qualifiers in the men’s 400m with an indoor lifetime best of 46.03.
And there were lifetime bests all round in the women’s 60m final. 19-year-old N’Ketia Seedo won the title in 7.18 ahead of Nadine Visser who smashed her lifetime best on the flat with 7.22.
Visser is targeting her third successive 60m hurdles title at next month’s European Athletics Indoor Championships in Istanbul.
Stay tuned for even more coverage from a busy and pivotal weekend of national indoor championships action.
Steven Mills for European Athletics