In Düsseldorf, a staggering crowd of over 6,300 athletics enthusiasts gathered at the PSD BANK DOME for the ISTAF INDOOR, celebrating an electrifying festival of athletics. The event was marked by remarkable performances, including Jakub Szymański's breathtaking new Polish record in the 60-meter hurdles, securing him the top spot in the world rankings with a time of 7.47 seconds. His victory, alongside the thrilling pole vault duel between Piotr Lisek and Sam Kendricks and Mikaelle Assani's first major win in the women's long jump, underscored the high caliber of competition. Additionally, the event saw impressive wins in the sprints, with Amber Hughes, Shashalee Forbes, and Emmanuel Matadi clinching titles, and a new ISTAF record set by Paralympic sprinter Maxcel Amo Manu. The ISTAF INDOOR in Düsseldorf, lauded by athletes and fans alike for its vibrant atmosphere, once again proved to be a spectacular showcase for the sport of athletics.
At the age of 31, Piotr Lisek of Poland emerged victorious in the pole vault competition, engaging in an intense contest with American Sam Kendricks. The climax of the event came at 5.82 meters, with Lisek prevailing by having fewer misses, although both athletes had successfully cleared 5.75 meters. "The atmosphere was electric. I absolutely love competing here," Lisek expressed following his fifth ISTAF victory. In a surprising turn in the women's long jump, Malaika Mihambo, a crowd favorite, didn't win due to three failed attempts, paving the way for Mikaelle Assani, her fellow countrywoman, to clinch her first major victory with a leap of 6.64 meters.
On the quick blue track, Amber Hughes (USA) in the 60-meter hurdles, Shashalee Forbes (Jamaica) in the 60 meters with a new personal record of 7.11 seconds, and Emmanuel Matadi (Liberia) in the 60 meters, also impressed, each securing titles at the ISTAF INDOOR. The inaugural event for Paralympic sprinters was dominated by Italy's Maxcel Amo Manu, a double world champion, who established a new ISTAF record of 7.04 seconds. "This win means so much to me; the incredible atmosphere really drove me forward," shared Manu, reflecting on his previous success at the ISTAF in Berlin's Olympic Stadium in 2021.
Martin Seeber, the Meeting Director, remarked, "With 6,350 fans, this year's ISTAF INDOOR created an unforgettable ambiance, showcasing the diverse aspects of athletics. The enthusiastic feedback from both athletes and spectators was truly overwhelming. Once again, Düsseldorf proved to be an exceptional venue for athletics."