Rogowska, Gardener and Kipchoge sparkle in Karlsruhe
Sunday 29 January 2006

Karlsruhe, Germany - Though today’s BW Meeting in the EuropeHalle was only the second IAAF indoor permit meeting of 2006, it can take justifiable pride in the fact that nine early season world leads were established, topped by high quality competitions in the women’s Pole Vault, men’s 60m, and 3000m.

Meeting record for Rogowska

Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya
(Kirby Lee)

The atmosphere in the Europahalle was as always superb and Poland’s Anna Rogowska literally rose to the occasion setting a new meeting record of 4.70m - world indoor season lead - to beat her compatriot Monika Pyrek, who was second on 4.65m.

The 24-year-old winner who holds the Polish outdoor (4.83m - 2005) and indoor (4.75m - 2005) records took the height of 4.70m on her make or break third try, having cleared 4.60m on her first and then bypassed 4.65m which Pyrek had taken on her second to lead the competition.

"I think, I could even jump higher,” confirmed the winner. “If I had cleared 4.83m, I would have tried the World record of Yelena Isinbayeva. Next time I will try it, if Yelena is in the field.”

Jason Gardener celebrates his win in Karlsruhe
(Getty Images/Bongarts)

Germany’s Anna Schultze was third on 4.40m, while World Junior record holder Silke Speigelburg also was successful at that height setting her indoor personal best to finish fourth on count-back.

The men’s Pole Vault also was a tidy competition with Olexsander Korchmid from Ukraine jumping the second highest height of the winter so far. Korchmid’s 5.76m beat Germany’s former World Indoor champion, Tim Lobinger (5.71m), and third place was taken by the 21-year-old German Fabian Schulze, also with 5.71m, a PB.

Stunning 3000m from Kipchoge

Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge, the 2003 World 5000m champion, won the 3000m race in 7:33.07, an astonishing time – of course the quickest this year – the 14th fastest clocking on the all-time indoor lists which also made him the fifth fastest athlete ever at the distance indoors. Yet more startling perhaps is that it was the 21-year-old’s first ever outing on an indoor track!

"I didn’t have any experience, but the pace was ok for me,” confirmed the Olympic 5000m bronze medallist. “I never thought that I could run such a good time, but I felt very well and everything was wonderful.”

A lot of credit should go to fellow Shadrack Korir who made it a real race and pushed Kipchoge for much of the way, and eventually finished second in 7:40.23.

Borzakovskiy remains a class act

But that was by no means the only high class result of the men’s middle distances as the men’s 800m, 1000m and 1500m each brought with them the fastest clockings so far this season.

In the 1000m, Kenyan Daniel Kipchirchir Komen ambitiously set his sights on Wilson Kipketer’s World indoor record (2:14.96) but after seeing off the persistent attentions of William Yiampoy, the World 800m bronze medallist, he crossed the finish-line in a world leading 2:18.19. Yiampoy was second in 2:19.04.

The best athlete in the 1500m was French steeplechaser Bouabdellah (Bob) Tahri, who showed a very impressive turn of speed to finish in 3:39.29. In the end he was quite well clear of Ireland’s James Nolan who had been in the vanguard of the race throughout, and finished second in 3:39.89.

However, if we are talking a good ‘head to head’ then the men’s 800m threw up a gem as Kenyan Wilfred Bungei did his utter most to defeat Russia’s Olympic champion Yuriy Borzakovskiy. But the Russians final attack around the last bend was impossible to resist, and he sailed to a clear 1:45.82 to 1:46.05 victory. In third came an even more distant Dmitryi Bogdanov (1:46.91), who is the European Indoor champion and training partner of the race winner.

Not to be outdone for season leading times, the women’s middle distance runners kept their side-up, as Hind Dehiba of France sped to a 4:09.90 success over Ukraine’s Iryna Lishchynska (4:10.28). "The result was ok, because I was ill, and some days ago I even couldn’ say if I could run. Now my next race will be in Stuttgart next weekend,’ said Dehiba.

Gardener speeds to 6.55 heat and holds on in the final

The fastest man at 60m was Jason Gardener, the reigning World and European indoor champion. Two years ago he ran a then European record of 6.46 on this track, and he obviously likes the stadium because flying to Germany from his victory in Glasgow, Scotland the previous night, the Briton clocked a world season leading 6.55 to win his heat in impressive style. He returned later in the evening, and by then three races in two days was catching up with him, and with a 6.58 dash he just managed to dip inside USA’s Marcus Brunson who clocked 6.60. Optical illusion or no, the finish seemed much closer than the times suggested.

"It is not bad, because I just started my season this week and it is my third race in one week. So it is not bad,” said the Olympic 4x100m relay gold medallist who will not defend his World Indoor crown this winter but will instead try for the 100m outdoors at the Commonwealth Games. "So I will concentrate more on the 100m,” confirmed the 30-year-old.

Locals happy with 200m

The home crowd were kept happy with a win by Tobias Unger in the 200m (20.71). "I had a little problem in the past few weeks with motivation for the indoors, because the 200m are not in the programme of the World Indoor Championships anymore. But now I feel that the feeling and the delight comes back,” confirmed Unger. “I am a 200m runner, and I will keep to it. If I qualify for the 60m it will be good, if not, I am looking forward to the outdoor season.”

A Polish flyer

In the 60m Hurdles events, the fastest man was Ron Bramlett from USA whose 7.58 beat fellow American David Payne (7.59), and Germany’s Thomas Blaschek (7.65). The women’s race turned into a closer battle this time between the first three. Aurelia Trywianska from Poland was the winner in 7.94 - the fastest this year so far - one hundred of a second faster than Jamaican Michelle Freeman. Third was Germany’s Kirsten Bolm (7.96).

Oprea sets national record

In the Triple Jump there was a big fight between the World champion from Helsinki, Walter Davis (USA), and the bronze medallist Marian Oprea (ROM). Finally, it was the 23-year-old Romanian who won with 17.38m, the longest in the World in 2006 and a new national indoor record, ahead of Davis - “I wish I could have been better” - who reached 17.11m.

With 17.09m in the second, 17.12m on his third, the Romanian’s best came in the final round, as did Davis’ 17.11m. The American also struck 17.09m in the third.

"17.38m in my first competition is very good,” said Oprea. “But I want even more. I want to jump a new (World) indoor record.”

In third place was Brazilian Jadel Gregorio, who had to be satisfied with 16.95m, while in fourth was Randy Lewis of Grenada, whose 16.84m was a national record.

Elsewhere of note in a packed meeting of quality, Jeanette Kwakye of Britain took the women’s 60m in 7.23, and Germany’s Claudia Hoffmann won the 400m in her PB of 52.58.

Ursula Kaiser and Chris Turner for the IAAF