• 11 European Champions at Berlin’s ISTAF, Semenya returns, farewell for Robert Harting and Kim Collin

Article source: Athletics

Eleven European Champions will return to Berlin for Germany’s major athletics meeting on Sunday: The ISTAF will see its 77th edition in the Olympic Stadium, which was the venue of the continental championships earlier in August. An athlete who produced the stand-out performance at the ISTAF a year ago will also return to the German capital. Caster Semenya ran a world-best for 600 m in 2017 and now features in the 1,000 m, an event where ISTAF made history back in 1990. Two athletics stars will end their careers on Sunday in the Olympic Stadium: Kim Collins and local hero Robert Harting. The ISTAF is part of the IAAF World Challenge Series.

„After the great European Championships a few weeks ago we are happy that so many champions as well as other top stars return to the ISTAF. We will celebrate a sort of extra time after a superb athletics summer,“ said Meeting Director Martin Seeber. „Ending his career on Sunday in the Olympic Stadium, Robert Harting will be very much in the focus.“

Turkey’s World and European 200 m Champion Ramil Guliyev will compete in the 100 m and will be challenged by Britain’s Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, who won the European gold in the 4x100 m. At the age of 42  Kim Collins of Saint Kitts and Nevis chose the ISTAF as his farewell meeting. The 100 m World Champion from 2003, who holds a PB of 9.93 which he achieved at the age of 40, will run one last 100 m race.

France’s Pascal Martinot-Lagarde (110 m hurdles) plus Germans Mateusz Przybylko (High Jump), Thomas Röhler (Javelin Throw) and Arthur Abele - the decathlete will compete in the Discus Throw - complete the list of European male champions at the ISTAF. The women’s events will feature Berlin gold medallists Elvira Herman of Belarus in the 100 m hurdles, Germany’s long jumper Malaika Mihambo, Greek’s triple jumper Paraskevi Papachristou, Paulina Guba of Poland, who won the Shot Put, and German javelin thrower Christin Hussong. In total 28 medal winners from Berlin will return for the ISTAF.

Gesa Krause was supposed to be the sixth European Champion from Germany to start at the ISTAF, however the 3,000 m steeple chase champion had to withdraw due to a cough. „I tried everything to get fit in time, but it does not work,“ said Krause. Instead of attacking her German record at the ISTAF she ended her season. Krause will however watch the ISTAF from the stands and set herself a different goal: „I can’t run - but may be I manage to sign 3,000 autographs!“

19 world records or world bests were established in the long history of the ISTAF. Last year Caster Semenya ran one of them, improving the 600 m mark to 1:21.77. On Sunday the South African will compete at the 1,000 m. An event which was last staged at the ISTAF in 1991 and which had produced a world record a year earlier. In 1990 Christiane Wachtel - at that time still running for the GDR a short time before German reunification - clocked 2:30.67. 22 years ago Russia’s Svetlana Masterkova established the current world record of 2:28.98. Semenya has already run the distance twice this year, improving her PB to 2:31.01 in July. At least the meeting record could be a target on Sunday.

While a women’s mile race with Britain’s Eilish McColgan and Germany’s talented Konstanze Klosterhalfen will be held for the first time in the history of the ISTAF the Steeplechase could be a close race. Kenyans Roseline Chepngetich, who has a PB of  9:08.23, and Daisy Jepkemei (9:10.71) plus Bahrain’s Winfred Mutile Yavi (9:10.74) are the favourites.

The men’s 1,500 m features Timothy Cheruiyot, who became the seventh fastest runner in history this season when he clocked 3:28.41 in Monaco. The 22 year-old Kenyan was runner-up in the World Championships in London last year.

Spectators at the ISTAF will look forward to the women’s 100 m, where crowd favourite Gina Lückenkemper, the European 100 m silver medallist, hopes to upset Marie-Josée Ta Lou (Ivory Coast). The 100 and 200 m silver medallist from the World Championships 2017 leads the season’s list with a time of 10.85.  

Two of three medal winners from the Europeans will compete in the Long Jump and Shot Put. German champion Malaika Mihambo will be challenged by Britain’s Shara Proctor, who took the bronze medal in Berlin. However Proctor’s fellow countrywoman Jazmin Sawyers might also be in the mix. She won the Long Jump at the ISTAF in 2017.

Poland’s Paulina Guba snatched the gold medal in Berlin in the Shot Put a few weeks ago, stunning Christina Schwanitz in the last round. The German had to settle for silver, but will look to amend things at the ISTAF. Both might be challenged by Raven Saunders (USA).

The men’s javelin has been a true highlight of the ISTAF in recent editions. With Germany currently boosting most of the best throwers in the world this should again be a thrilling event. In 2017 World Champion Johannes Vetter won in the Olympic Stadium with 89.85 m from Olympic gold medallist Thomas Röhler (86.07). Now Röhler comes back to the ISTAF as the European Champion. Silver medallist Andreas Hofmann and Estonia’s Magnus Kirt, who was third in Berlin, will be challenging Röhler.

The final action on Sunday will be provided by the discus throwers. It will be the last event for 33 year-old Robert Harting, who has been Olympic champion, three-times World champion and twice European gold medallist. Some of his fiercest rivals from past years are on the start list: Poland’s Piotr Małachowski and Robert Urbanek, Estonia’s Gerd Kanter and of course Harting’s brother Christoph.

More information about the ISTAF and tickets are available at: www.istaf.de

There will be live web reporting from the ISTAF on Sunday on Twitter.

Latest Videos
» Live Stream Athletics
» Texas Tech Classic, Lubbock, Texas - Live Stream
Thursday, Jan 24th at 19:00 (UTC)
» New Balance Indoor Grand Prix - Live Stream
Saturday, Jan 26th at 20:00 (UTC)
» ISTAF Indoor 2019 (Berlin, GER) - Live Stream
Friday, Feb 1st at 17:00 (UTC)
» Combined Events Tallinn 2019 - Live Stream
Saturday, Feb 2nd at 09:00 (UTC)
» Indoor Meeting - Karlsruhe - Live Stream
Saturday, Feb 2nd at 18:00 (UTC)
» Flash News

The IAAF Doping Review Board has agreed that the applications of 42 Russian athletes have met the exceptional eligibility criteria to compete in international competition as neutral athletes in 2019 under competition Rule 22.1A(b) while the Russian national federation (RusAF) remains suspended.


January 22, 2019 See More on: IAAF.ORG


Ethiopia’s Worknesh Alemu and Kenya’s Cosmas Lagat upset the formbook and produced outstanding performances in hot conditions to triumph at the Tata Mumbai Marathon on Sunday (20), winning at the IAAF Gold Label road race in 2:25:45 and 2:09:15 respectively. Both marks were the second fastest winning times in the history of the event, the pair taking first prize cheques of USD $45,000.

January 20, 2019 See More on: IAAF.ORG

• Stefanidi opens season with huge 4.74m clearance in Reno

Current Olympic, World and European champion Ekaterini Stefanidi of Greece opened her 2019 indoor season with a massive 4.74m clearance at the World's biggest pole vault meet, the UCS Pole Vault Summit, in Reno, Nevada on Friday night. (Women's top 3 Stefanidi 4.74 m; Nageotte 4.74m, and Jacobus 4.66m). (Men top 3: Ludwig 5.71m, Yamamoto 5.71m, and Irwin 5.61m).

January 19, 2019 See More on: IAAF.ORG

• Vivian Cheruiyot and Mary Keitany lead London Marathon women's elite field

The defending champion Vivian Cheruiyot and the current TCS New York City Marathon champion Mary Keitany return to the Virgin Money London Marathon in 2019. They join their compatriots Gladys Cherono (2018 Berlin Marathon champion) and Brigid Kosgei (2018 Chicago Marathon champion) meaning the winners of the last four Abbott World Marathon Majors will be on the Start Line in London on Sunday 28 April.

January 19, 2019 See More on: Londonmarathon

Past Headlines Latest Results Upcoming Events
Watch Athletics
©2019 WATCHATHLETICS.COM. All rights reserved.