Karsten Warholm wrote a piece of ISTAF history by breaking the 40 year-old meeting record of the great Edwin Moses in Berlin’s Olympic Stadium on Sunday. The Norwegian stormed to a world-class time of 47.08 seconds in the 400 m Hurdles, which is the 9th fastest ever run in this event. There were three world leading marks in the 79th edition of the ISTAF: Great Britain’s Laura Muir clocked 3:57.40 in the 1,500 m, which is also an ISTAF record, Kenya’s Hyvin Kiyeng won the 3,000 m Steeplechase in 9:06.14 and Christian Taylor of the US took the Triple Jump with 17.57 m
In warm weather conditions 3,500 spectators were allowed back into Berlin’s huge Olympic Stadium. Social distance and hygiene measures were in place.
Karsten Warholm’s name was written into the start list only a few days ago, but he emerged as the athlete who produced the number one performance at Germany’s top athletics meeting. And of course this did not come as a surprise. Bursting out of the blocks he flew away from the field, running against the clock. However he could not quite keep up the tremendous pace during the second half. But with a time of 47.08 Karsten Warholm did break the ISTAF record which Ed Moses held for 40 years. The American ran 47.17 on 8 August 1980. Estonia’s Rasmus Magie was second behind Warholm in 49.22 while David Kendziera of the US took third with 50.28.
„It was a really good lap. And it is my third best time ever so I am absolutely happy with that. Over the final two hurdles I was tiring a bit,“ said Karsten Warholm. Asked about records the Norwegian answered: „I am coming closer and closer with low 47 times. If I continue to be consistent at this level then the records can come.“ However he did break a really tough mark today by removing Ed Moses’ time from the ISTAF record list.
It took world record holder Armand Duplantis just seven jumps and only two clearances to win the event in the Olympic Stadium. This says almost everything about how dominant the Swede is in the Pole Vault. He cleared 5.57 m with his first attempt, then missed 5.82 m once and passed his remaining two attempts to the next height of 5.91 m. After another miss he flew over this height seemingly with ease. That was enough to beat Piotr Lisek of Poland and Brazil’s Olympic Champion Thiago Braz, who took second and third with 5.82 m clearances. Sam Kendricks was not able to reproduce his recent strong form and had to settle for sixth place with 5.57 m. While the American watched on Duplantis moved the bar up to 6.15 m, again trying to improve Sergey Bubka’s best outdoor mark.
However Armand Duplantis could not get off to a proper jump. Once he stopped before the jump and twice he did not fully jump up to the bar. „Everything needs to be perfect for 6.15. However there was wind, so that the conditions were not good enough to take a jump at 6.15. I did not want to take a risk. The stadium would be perfect for a world record with better wind conditions and a repositioning of the pit,“ said Armand Duplantis. „The atmosphere was fantastic, it did not feel like a limited capacity.“ He will now compete in Rome and then finish the season in Doha.
With his final attempt Christian Taylor took the Triple Jump, producing a world leading mark of 17.57 m. Before that Germany’s European Champion Max Heß had been in the lead with 17.02. „It was a dream come true to finally be able to compete at the ISTAF in Berlin,“ said Christian Taylor after his first participation in the traditional meeting. „I knew that a world lead was possible today. I needed more competitions to jump further. I did not have the head to heads I normally have.“
After 2016, 2017 and 2019 Johannes Vetter took the Javelin Throw for the fourth time at the ISTAF. While he could not quite reach his best form with which he produced a sensational German record of 97.76 m recently he still achieved a world-class mark of 87.26 to deny Andrian Mardare of Moldova (82.61) and Poland’s Marcin Krukowski (82.31). „I was a bit tired after ten competitions in a row. 87 metres is great for me today,“ said Johannes Vetter.
There was a surprise in the Discus Throw where Andrius Gudzius of Lithuania won with 66.72 m. Swedish favourite Daniel Stahl had to be content with 65.89. „It was a bad day for me - I don’t know why. I just did not compete,“ said Stahl. Kristjan Ceh of Slovenia was third with 65.88.
Laura Muir took the 1,500 m in style, running away from the field and holding on after the pacemaker dropped out at the 1,000 m mark. The Scot clocked 3:57.40, improving her own world lead and breaking the ISTAF record of 3:58.43. It was her fourth fastest time ever. „I had a lot of confidence, I love this stadium. Two years ago I won the European Championships here. So I wanted to come back and run fast,“ said Laura Muir. „I have one more race this season at the Diamond League Meeting in Rome.“
Behind her fellow-Briton Laura Weightman clocked a personal best of 4:00.09 and Australia’s Jessica Hull ran an Ocean record with 4:00.42.
In the 3,000 m Steeplechase World Champion and world record holder Beatrice Chepkoech and fellow-Kenyan Hyvin Kiyeng were ahead early in the race. Chepkoech was in the lead, however when they entered the home straight Kiyeng burst past her to win with a world lead of 9:06.14.
Beatrice Chepkoech crossed the line in 9:10.07. Marusa Mismas of Slovenia ran a national record of 9:20.68 for third place.
„Due to the corona virus I was stuck in Kenya and kept training. This was my first competition this year and I am grateful for this. If there are opportunities for other races I will compete,“ said Hyvin Kiyeng, who was the World Champion in 2015.
There was a slight upset in the Long Jump. Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk of the Ukraine took this event with a fine mark of 6.87 m which is a season’s best for her. She had been behind Malaika Mihambo in second place on a couple of occasions, but this time it was the other way round. The German World Champion had to settle for second with 6.77 while Jazmin Sawyers of Great Britain took third (6.67). „Taking into account that I was jumping with a shortened run-up this is still a very good result,“ said Malaika Mihambo, who ended her season in Berlin.
See full meet results here.
More information about the ISTAF is available at: www.istaf.de