German Indoor Day 1

Otto improves to 5.90 - German Indoor Championships day 1
Saturday 17 February 2007
Leipzig, Germany - Björn Otto confirmed his tremendous form this indoor season by taking the German Championship title with a world leading indoor height of 5.90m.

The men’s Pole Vault was the highlight of day one of the championships which drew 3500 spectators to Leipzig’s indoor arena on Saturday. Danny Ecker placed second with 5.80m while Tim Lobinger jumped a season’s best of 5.75m to take third. In a great competition Fabian Schulze also cleared 5.75m for fourth place.

19-year-old Christian Blum bolts to a 6.59 PB to claim the German indoor title

While Otto and Ecker have undoubtedly qualified for the European Indoor Championships in Birmingham in two weeks it remains unclear if Lobinger or Schulze will get the third ticket to Britain. So far Schulze has had the better season with a height of 5.83, but now he was narrowly beaten by Lobinger in Leipzig.

Lobinger struggled at his first two heights of 5.50 and 5.65m, which he both cleared on his third attempt. But then he went straight over 5.75m and took the lead since both Ecker and Otto had passed at that height. Schulze cleared 5.75m on his third attempt, which could be vital concerning the Birmingham ticket. Under pressure because of Lobinger’s fine jump at 5.75m Otto made no mistake. As with 5.50 and 5.70 he also cleared 5.80 on his first try. Ecker cleared the height with his second. In the meantime, Lobinger failed to clear 5.80 and Schulze went for 5.85, but that was too high this time.

The championship race was now between Ecker and Otto. Ecker did not manage to clear 5.90 m though his first attempt looked quite good. On his last attempt Otto flew over the bar to achieve a personal best (indoors and out). The 29 year-old Otto then lifted the bar to 6.01 m which would have been a German record. But after his first missed attempt he gave up.

A season’s best 7.23 for Sina Schielke at the German indoor championships

“This was almost a perfect competition for me. But shortly before I felt as if I might get a cramp in my calf,” Otto said. “That was also a reason for not continuing at 6.01.” He will now go to one more meeting in Athens before heading to Birmingham.

Christian Blum won the 60m sprint final in 6.59 seconds, which is a German season’s best. Sina Schielke also improved her season’s best to 7.23 to win the women’s 60m. Peter Sack took the Shot Put with a 19.70m effort.

A full meeting report to follow after the conclusion of the championships on Sunday evening (CET).

Jörg Wenig for the IAAF