Spanovic is the silver star


Ivana Spanovic produced the best long jump of her career as she maintained her amazing run of medal success at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Portland on Friday night.

The Serbian won silver with 7.07m - an overall national record - and she was denied gold only in the last round.

Her best outdoors is 7.02m from last summer and reaching the podium at this event means she has now won a medal in each of her last six championship appearances.

She looked to have secured top spot before American Brittney Reese leaped to a world lead of 7.22m.

Spanovic entered the competition with a season’s best of 6.85m and the furthest she had jumped indoors before was 6.98m in winning the European title in Prague last year.

She put a marker down from round one as she took the lead with 7.00m as Reese cleared 6.97m.

But the drama really began in the fifth round when Reese matched Spanovic’s 7.00m, and led on countback at that stage, before the Serbian once more showed her brilliant qualities as she came back instantly with the 7.07m that looked unbeatable.

It was also in this round where Great Britain’s Lorraine Ugen made a name for herself as her 6.93m equalled the national indoor record, a jump which brought her bronze.

But then in the final round, Reese went even further and Spanovic could not respond, ending with 6.76m.

She remains one of Europe’s most successful medal winners of recent times. This silver follows her bronze at the world indoor championships in 2014, her successive bronzes at the 2013 and 2015 world championships, her silver at the 2014 European Athletics Championships and her gold in Prague.

Ukraine’s double delight

Anastasiya Mokhnyuk achieved four individual personal bests – and an overall one too – as she won silver in the pentathlon on a day of celebration for Ukraine as her team-mate Alina Fodorova took bronze.

But Canada’s Brianne Theisen Eaton had too much speed for them in the 800m, a run that saw her crowned champion.

It was a fabulous competition for Europe, as once more the continent’s strength at multi-eventing came to the fore.

The 60m hurdles saw both Fodorova, first in the opening heat (8.27), and Mokhnyuk (8.11), second in the next behind Theisen Eaton (8.04), start with pbs.

Britain’s European junior champion Morgan Lake then won the high jump (1.88m) ahead of Fodorova (1.85m) on countback from Hungary's Gyorgyi Zsivoczky-Farkas, Theisen Eaton and Mokhnyuk, who achieved a second personal best.

At that stage Theisen Eaton (2161) led from Mokhnyuk (2145) and Fodorova (2109) but it all changed after the shot put.

It was there that Mokhnyuk (3007) took over with Fodorova (2999) in second, even though it was her fellow Ukrainian who beat her in the event, 15.44m to 15.01m.

Once more Mokhnyuk’s mark was a pb as Theisen Eaton dropped back to third overall (2935) after being fifth (13.70m).

The Ukrainians remained in first and second after the long jump, the penultimate event and first of the afternoon session, as Mokhnyuk’s amazing day continued with her fourth successive best performance. This time she won with 6.66m from Theisen Eaton (6.42m) and Fodorova (6.33m).

Mokhnyuk led with 4066 from Fodorova (3952) and Theisen Eaton (3916) but the Canadian climbed to the top as she soared away to win the 800m in 2:09.99 with Fodorova in ninth (2:20.42), two places ahead of Mokhnyuk (2:23.19).

It meant gold for Theisen Eaton by just 34 points with 4881 from Mokhnyuk, with Fodorova achieving an overall personal in third (4770).

Gag in the groove

It has been quite a week for Romania’s Andrei Gag.

Five days after winning the shot put in front of his home crowd in Arad at the 16th European Throwing Cup, he moved indoors to take silver in Portland.

New Zealand’s Tomas Walsh won gold with 21.78m, ahead of Gag’s opening 20.89m, with further medal success for Europe in third as Croatia’s Filip Mihaljevic had a personal best (20.87m) in the fifth round.

Britain’s European 100m hurdles champion Tiffany Porter won her third successive world indoor medal as she finished third in the 60m hurdles.

It is a fine record for Porter, who won silver in Istanbul in 2012 and bronze in Sopot two years ago.

Porter ran 7.90 behind American pair Nia Ali (7.81) and Brianna Rollins (7.82).

Pavel Maslak, of the Czech Republic, will bid to defend his 400m crown from lane five in the final at 7.05pm local time tonight after winning his semi in 45.71.

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