Buschbaum over 4.66m and Cantwell puts 21.62m in Salamanca
Wednesday 16 July 2003
Salmanca, Spain - Germany’s Yvonne Buschbaum highlighted at the ‘31th Gran Premio Diputación de Salamanca’ (EAA meeting) held yesterday (15 July) after torrential rain during the previous hour jeopardized the whole running of the meeting.

Buschbaum, who turned 23 just the day before, had a first time clearance in the women’s Pole Vault at 4.26, then passed several heights before returning successfully by taking 4.51 on her first attempt. The recently crowned German champion (4.70m last June 29) needed two jumps to get over 4.61 but only one to clear 4.66 before failing three times at a would-be PB of 4.71.

However, her win only came after a fierce battle with Russia’s Tatyana Polnova, one of the six women in history to have cleared 4.70m or better. Polnova, also 23, had a failure before a successful 4.31 clearance, went over 4.41 first time and had a foul at 4.51. At that point Polnova decided to shave up her energy before succeeding at 4.56m on her first attempt. The Russian vaulter didn’t try 4.61 and then had three fouls at 4.66. Her 4.56 clearance was enough to place second ahead of Germany’s Caroline Hingst, who set her all-time best with a 4.51 first time success.

Back in fourth Spain’s Naroa Agirre broke the National record on her second try over 4.41, one centimetre better than the previous mark.

America’s Christian Cantwell produced a world class performance in the men’s shot put with a best effort of 21.62m. Amazingly, Cantwell will not be battling for the World title in Paris in one month’s time as he faded to fifth at the US trials in June, defeated by world leader Kevin Toth, four-time World gold medallist John Godina, and the surprising Reese Hoffa, the latter only putting 19.34 here in Salamanca.

Cantwell had a narrow leading edge (21.02-20.95) after round one over fellow countryman Adam Nelson who would also have been out of the USA squad having ranked fourth at the trials, had it not been for Godina’s automatic entry as defending World champion.

Nelson took over in the second round throwing 21.10 but the 1.98m tall Cantwell answered with a huge 21.62m release in round four for a new PB. Nelson’s four last throws were fouls having to settle for second with his 21.10 ahead of Spain’s World Indoor champion Manuel Martínez. The European Cup winner in Florence some three weeks ago, the Spaniard could ‘only’ manage 20.52m in round two.

To the delight of the crowd Yago Lamela clinched an overwhelming win in the men’s Long Jump. Following a warm-up opening leap of 7.67, the twice World indoor silver medallist produced a consistent series of 8.00m plus jumps: 8.02-8.13-8.16-8.06 and a final leap of 8.19 (tail-wind 0.5).

On paper there should have been a close battle between Lamela and World leader Savante Stringfellow but the American World Cup winner had a poor performance breaking the sand at only 7.88 into a tail-wind of 1.1m/s. Sandwiched between them was Croatia’s European silver medallist Sinisa Ergotic with a best jump of 7.91.

Spain’s Reyes Estévez took a convincing win in the men’s 800m. Running in third place at the bell (52.2 for him), the in-form Estévez (3:32.86 for third at the IAAF Golden League in Rome last Friday) overtook America’s Floyd Thompson entering the home straight to win comfortably in 1:47.66. 1500m European Cup winner Juan Carlos Higuero pipped the American in the closing stages to take second place 14 hundredths adrift Estévez, with Thompson in third another four hundredths behind Higuero.

In other events - Romania’s Cristina Cassandra had no real challenge from Portugal’s Analidia Rosa in the women’s 3000m steeplechase, the former clocking 9:58.56 to Rosa’s 10:12.76.

Spain’s (Argentinian-born) Cora Olivero was the undisputed winner in the women’s 400m hurdles in 56.10.

Jamaica’s Vonette Dixon ran 13.41 into a headwind of 0.8 m/s in the women’s 100m Hurdles.

Brazilian Claudio Sousa managed a double 100-200 success beating Cuba’s Freddy Mayola (10.40-10.44) and Spain’s European 400m silver medallist David Canal (21.08-21.11) respectively.

Emeterio Valiente for the IAAF