ISTAF BERLIN: Tobi Amusan relished conditions for sprint hurdling in the Olympic Stadium. The Nigerian world record holder won the 100m hurdles in 12.45, the second fastest time ever at the ISTAF meeting. Grant Holloway led a USA trio across the line to win the men’s event. Karsten Warholm ran 47.24 to win the 400m hurdles by a clear margin and the American Noah Lyles had the better of the African record holder Ferdinand Omanyala in the 100m. The Olympic and World champion Malaika Mihambo gave the home fans plenty to cheer with her long jump victory, while the American Valarie Allman achieved another big win in the women’s discus.
The hierarchy in the men’s sprint hurdles remained intact: Grant Holloway won in 13.05 from his fellow Americans Freddie Crittenden (13.07) and Daniel Roberts (13.25). The double world champion in the 110m hurdles commented post-race that: “I was just maintaining my shape. The secret is to do what is best for my body. It was not a perfect race. I just need to get a couple of things fixed. Running here was amazing, fantastic.”
Karsten Warholm also says the Olympic Stadium in Berlin is one of his favourite tracks. On his third ISTAF appearance, the Norwegian world record holder was in strong form, clocking 47.24, the fourth fastest time in the world this year and the third fastest ever at ISTAF. Warholm later commented: “I feel great. I am satisfied that I am able to run these fast times at the end of the season. It shows I am back, run strong, not this year, but next year. I have been working a lot on the home straight, to be able to run the last 100m well. I fell that it is coming along.”
Plaudits are also due to the runner-up, Ludvy Vaillant, with a personal best of 48.26 by the Frenchman who finished fourth at the European Championships. The third man across the line also set a personal best: Joshua Abuaku with 48.55. The German finished fifth in the championships in Munich. Two days after he beat perhaps the greatest pole vaulter in history, Mondo Duplantis, Ernest John Obiena suffered defeat. The World Championship bronze medallist from the Philippines passed at 5.88m which his Dutch rival Menno Vloon cleared first time, setting a national record. Both men failed three times at 5.95m, giving Vloon a notable win on countback.
What Noah Lyles had earlier described as the “cool atmosphere” of the ISTAF meeting in the Olympic Stadium seemed to agree with him. The American World Champion over 200m dropped down to the 100m and comfortably beat Africa’s fastest man, Ferdinand Omanyla of Kenya, 9.95 to 10.11. Britain’s Jeremiah Azu continued his fine form this season, the European bronze medallist finished third in 10.16. Elsewhere the European champion Julian Weber comfortably won the javelin with 84.90m and the World Junior champion Reynold Cheruiyot of Kenya won the 1500m in 3:35.04.
Tobi Amusan continued her run of form in the 100m hurdles as the Nigerian won in 12.45, the second fastest time ever at ISTAF. Runner-up to the Nigerian world record holder was the American Tia Jones in 12.58 with Jamaica’s Olympic bronze medallist Megan Tapper third in 12.66. The winner reckoned that, despite her winning time, it was a far from a perfect performance: “I need to improve my start and finish. It is a little wobbly,” said Amusan.
Germany’s Malaika Mihambo often leaves her best effort to the final round in the long jump. This time the Olympic and World champion began with 6.92m and that proved enough to beat Nigeria’s World Championship silver medallist Ese Brume who cleared 6.78 in round two. Britain’s Jazmin Sawyers achieved her best in round four with 6.69, securing third place for the European bronze medallist. Mihambo later reflected on her season and the effects of Covid: “Overall I am proud of what I did this season, even if I would have wished for a bit more. I notice though that I still suffer from post-Covid which is why I did not do all the attempts.”
The fans at ISTAF are well used to Valarie Allman throwing big distances with the discus. The Olympic champion from the USA did not disappoint them, leading throughout the competition and breaking the 70-metre barrier with her final throw. Allman won with 70.06m, ahead of the German duo of Kristin Pudenz, the European silver medallist (65.20m) and Shanice Craft (64.36m). Valarie Allman commented: “After the World Championships there was this bittersweet feeling with my bronze medal. I am excited to have this chance to show I can throw better. 70m in the discus is a big barrier, so today is really a special competition for me.”
Victory in the women’s 5,000m went to Beatrice Chebet of Kenya in 14:44.25, the World Championship silver medallist. Elly Henes of the USA made an enormous improvement on her personal best for second place – all of 15 seconds – to run 14:52.87.
Further information can be obtained at www.istaf.de