Olympic 4x100m champion Filippo Tortu had a rare but highly successful outing in the 200m at the Kip Keino Classic in Nairobi on Saturday (18).
Contesting just his fourth race at the distance as a senior, the world and European 100m finalist ran a strong home straight to finish third in 20.11 behind Fred Kerly from the United States in 19.76 and Botswana’s Isaac Makwala in 20.06.
Not only was Tortu’s time a lifetime best and European lead, he becomes the second fastest Italian sprinter in history behind Pietro Mennea who still holds the European record with 19.72 which was set at high altitude in Mexico City at the 1979 World University Games.
Mennea holds the eleven fastest times in history by an Italian sprinter in the event, including three sub-20 second performances.
“I am really satisfied with this result which directly qualifies me for the Eugene 2022 World Championships but it also leaves a bittersweet taste. The satisfaction is great but it is combined with the awareness that I could have done much better this year,” Tortu told FIDAL after the race.
“It was certainly the most complicated season ever and only after the relay at the Olympics Games did I manage to give myself a mental shift. Today I have a greater awareness of my means and I am happy to have finished with a flourish.”
Pawel Fajdek handed Olympic champion Wojciech Nowicki a rare defeat in the hammer this season. His longest throw of 78.33m bested Nowicki’s best effort of 77.99m while in the women’s hammer, Denmark’s Katrine Koch Jacobsen was the only athlete to break the 70 metre-line with 71.09m.
There were further European victories for former European U20 champion Milica Gardasevic from Serbia in the long jump with 6.68m, Aleksei Katkavets from Belarus in the javelin with 82.65m and for Rutger Koppelaar from the Netherlands in the pole vault with 5.65m.
Full results here.
Elsewhere around Europe...
World 5000m bronze medallist Konstanze Klosterhalfen broke Ulrike Bruns’ long-standing German record in the 2000m in Trier, Germany on Friday (17) evening.
Klosterhalfen stopped the clock at 5:34.53 to shave three seconds from the previous mark of 5:37.62 which was set by Bruns all the way back in 1985 some 12 years before Klosterhalfen was born.
Klosterhalfen now holds German records at 2000m, 3000m, 5000m and 10,000m although the 1500m record is still held resolutely by Christiane Wartenberg who clocked 3:57.71 at the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow.
Two-time European 3000m steeplechase champion Gesa Felicitas-Krause also clocked 6:10.91 in the 2000m steeplechase while 16-year-old Jolanda Kallabis was an excellent fourth in a German U18 best of 6:28.75.
In cold and unhelpful wind conditions in Norrkoping, Sweden on Friday (17), Daniel Stahl closed his season with another victory in the discus with 68.02m to surpass the 68 metre-line for the 13th time in 2021. "If the wind had come from the other direction, it would have been a Swedish record," he said.
At the Swiss Clubs Championships in Basel on Saturday (18), European U23 champion William Reais won the 100m in 10.35 before winning the 200m in a fast 20.30. Dany Brand also won the 400m hurdles in 49.49.
The rapidly improving Zane Weir from Italy improved to 21.66m in the shot put at the Italian Clubs Championships in Caorle on Sunday (19) to add three centimetres to his recently set lifetime best.
In Hof, Germany on Saturday (18), Matt Ludwig from the United States cleared 5.71m to win the pole vault-only meeting on countback from Poland’s Piotr Lisek and Ben Broeders from Belgium.