De Grasse Dazzles with Sprint Double at Ostrava Golden Spike; Duplantis Close to Record

Posted by: Watch Athletics

At the 2024 Ostrava Golden Spike, part of the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold series, Olympic champion Andre de Grasse dazzled the crowd by clinching a sprint double, showcasing his unmatched speed and precision. The event, held on a vibrant Tuesday, also featured outstanding performances from other top athletes. Djamel Sedjati of Algeria set a new world lead in the men’s 800m, while pole vault sensation Armand Duplantis of Sweden narrowly missed setting a new world record, adding to the meet's high-octane excitement. These highlights underline the caliber of competition and the thrilling athletic prowess on display at the Ostrava meeting.

Men’s 100 metres:

André De Grasse, the Olympic 200 metres champion, dominated the men’s 100 metres, clocking in at 10.10 seconds. Close on his heels was Reyem Forde from Jamaica with a time of 10.17 seconds, narrowly holding off Olympic champion Marcell Jacobs, who finished third at 10.19 seconds.

Marcell Jacobs commented on his performance, saying, “It definitely wasn't my best race. I need to review it with my coach to identify what went wrong. After 40 metres, I just couldn't accelerate. It’s a setback, but it’s also a learning opportunity before the European Championships. I'm racing again in Oslo in two days, and I'm aiming to improve there. Hosting the European Championships doesn't add any pressure for me. Training with André really motivates me; he's a great guy.”

Men’s 200 metres:

André De Grasse achieved a double victory, winning the 200 metres in 20.09 seconds, significantly ahead of Jamaica's Andrew Hudson, who finished in 20.63 seconds.

De Grasse shared his thoughts: “This event was a test of my fitness and endurance, and I'm pleased with the results. It feels great to be healthy and to be competing at this level again. I’m grateful for my career's longevity. Dreaming of making it to the Olympic podium for the third consecutive time motivates me daily. Training with Marcell Jacobs has been invaluable, especially for improving my 100 metres. Winning today gives me a slight edge in our friendly rivalry, and it was a productive session overall. Next, I aim to break the 20-second mark.”

Duplantis Clears 6.00m in Ostrava:

Armand Duplantis, the Olympic champion, won the men’s pole vault, successfully clearing 6.00m on his third attempt at the Golden Spike meeting in Ostrava. This marked his third career win at this event. Duplantis also made attempts at the world record height of 6.25m, coming incredibly close.

Ethan Cormont was the runner-up with a vault of 5.62m, edging out Belgian record holder Ben Broeders on countback.

Duplantis stated, “The cold and windy conditions today made it a challenging competition for all of us. Pole vaulting is particularly sensitive to such weather. Despite this, I’m pleased with my performance, especially the close call on my third attempt at 6.25m. It almost felt like the best jump of my life, and it's boosted my confidence for future competitions. Sometimes, the first couple of attempts are about safety and conserving energy, but on the last one, I felt good enough to really go for it, and I was surprisingly close. It’s about mastering these conditions, and today was a solid step forward.”

Men’s 800 metres:

Djamel Sedjati from Algeria set a world lead in the men’s 800 metres with a time of 1:43.51, slightly faster than the previous record set last week. He finished more than two seconds ahead of French runner Gabriel Tual.

Sedjati reflected, “This was my first 800 metres of the season, and I was eager to see how I'd perform. I felt strong throughout the race and managed to maintain a commanding lead. My previous 1000 metres race in South Africa went well, and I’m looking to carry this momentum into my next race in Stockholm.”

Men’s Shot Put:

Leonardo Fabbri of Italy continued his impressive form, winning his fifth consecutive outdoor competition with a throw of 22.40m, his final test before the European Championships in Rome.

Jordan Geist of the USA broke the 22-metre barrier for the first time with a throw of 22.09m, while Nigerian record holder Chukwuebuka Enekwechi was third with 21.34m.

Fabbri expressed his ongoing focus on technique, "I'm continuously working on refining my technique, which is translating into these consistent results. Although I've been consistent, I'm still striving for that breakthrough throw. I'm confident it’s coming soon, especially with the European Championships in Rome up next. Competing in front of a home crowd will be exhilarating, and I'm looking forward to potentially achieving a personal best."

Women’s Pole Vault:

Molly Caudery, the world indoor champion, triumphed in the women’s pole vault, setting a new meeting record with a clearance of 4.84m. Ekaterini Stefanidi from Greece secured second place with 4.64m, while Amalie Svabikova from the Czech Republic completed the podium in third with 4.54m.

Molly Caudery commented on her performance, saying, “Today's conditions were quite tough, but I managed to overcome many challenges during the competition. The crowd was fantastic and really supported me, making it a fun experience despite the challenges. Although I had a few third attempts, securing the 4.84m mark and setting a new meeting record was a highlight. This being my first time competing in Ostrava, I was thrilled with the warm reception and support from everyone. Looking ahead to major championships, the competition in pole vault is fierce, and heights of 4.90m or more will likely be necessary to win in events like the ones in Rome or Paris.”

Men’s Javelin Throw:

Julian Weber, the reigning European champion from Germany, clinched first place in the men’s javelin throw with a throw of 87.26m, outperforming Jakub Vadlejch from the Czech Republic, who threw 86.08m.

Julian Weber shared his thoughts: “Winning here in Ostrava means a lot to me, especially under less than ideal conditions with a challenging headwind. Technically, I felt in good form, and the competition was close with Jakub. It's always a spirited rivalry, and I look forward to our next encounter at the European Championships. This was just my second competition this year, so there’s still a lot to refine and improve. I'm excited about competing in Mainz, my hometown, next year and hope Jakub and other top competitors will join.”

Men’s 400 Metres:

Steven Gardiner from the Bahamas secured his second career victory at the Golden Spike meeting, winning the men’s 400 metres in 44.39 seconds. He held off Alexander Doom, the world indoor champion from Belgium, who set a new personal best by 0.07 seconds and narrowly missed breaking Jonathan Borlée’s national record by just 0.01 seconds.

Steven Gardiner reflected on the race conditions: “The cool weather today made the race more challenging, but I'm pleased with my performance and the victory. The conditions certainly added a layer of difficulty, but winning here is a significant achievement. My focus now shifts to training as I prepare for the upcoming Olympics, with possibly one more race planned in this period.”

Women’s 100 Metres:

Ewa Swoboda from Poland began her outdoor season victoriously in the women’s 100 metres, clocking 11.05 seconds and leading over Gina Bass Bittaye from Gambia, who finished in 11.14 seconds, and Zaynab Dosso from Italy, who came in third at 11.18 seconds.

Ewa Swoboda expressed her satisfaction, stating, “I’m really pleased with today’s result, especially since I exceeded my expectations under challenging conditions. The side wind and cold didn’t make it easy, but winning against such a strong field feels rewarding. Living close to Ostrava, I felt at home and supported by the crowd. I’m taking a break from competitions to rest before the European Championships, aiming to return in top form.”

Women’s 100 Metres Hurdles:

Ditaji Kambundji of Switzerland, the European indoor champion, continued her winning streak by claiming victory at the Ostrava meet with a time of 12.68 seconds, following her recent win at the Diamond League in Doha. She narrowly edged out European outdoor champion Pia Szkryszowska, who finished in 12.71 seconds, and Nadine Visser of the Netherlands, who took third with 12.86 seconds.

Kambundji expressed her satisfaction, saying, “The support I receive is overwhelming and it fuels my performance. Every hurdle counts, and maintaining focus is key. Despite the challenging conditions today, the energy from the crowd was incredible and made the event very enjoyable. It’s inspiring to compete at the same level as my sister, and we push each other to excel.”

Women’s 400 Metres:

Natalia Kaczmarek from Poland, a world silver medallist, won the women’s 400 metres in 50.09 seconds. Gloria Lurdes Manuel from the Czech Republic finished a close second, setting a personal best of 50.59 seconds—the fourth fastest time in European U20 history. Andrea Miklos of Hungary was third in 50.76 seconds.

Kaczmarek commented on her performance, “While I aimed to break the 50-second mark before the European Championships, today's windy conditions made it challenging. However, I managed to maintain my pace through the final stretch. These races serve as important training milestones. I'm looking forward to my next race in Oslo, where the competition will be even stiffer.”

Men’s 400 Metres Hurdles:

Alessandro Sibilio, an Olympic finalist from Italy, set the fastest time in Europe this year and met the Olympic qualifying standard with a mark of 48.25 seconds in his first race since last August. Matic Ian Gucek from Slovenia followed closely, setting a national record of 48.37 seconds, with Mohad Abakar from Qatar finishing third.

Sibilio reflected on his performance, “Returning to Ostrava, where I previously competed in an empty stadium, and experiencing the vibrant atmosphere today was thrilling. I'm eager to return next year. Despite a tough year due to a minor injury, today's race reassures me that my training is on the right track.”

Women’s 1500 Metres:

Clara Mageean of Ireland, the European silver medallist, won the women’s 1500 metres in a time of 4:01.98, narrowly holding off her compatriot Sarah Healy, who finished in 4:02.12. Ravee Walcott Nolan from Great Britain secured third place with a time of 4:02.42.

Men’s 1500 Metres:

Federico Riva from Italy set a new personal best with a time of 3:33.53 to win the men’s 1500 metres. He edged out Raphael Pallitsch of Austria by just 0.06 seconds in a thrilling final sprint. The 34-year-old Pallitsch with 3:33.59 set a new Austrian record. Luke McCann from Ireland claimed third with a time of 3:34.32.

Women’s 400 Metres Hurdles:

Cathelijn Peeters from the Netherlands emerged victorious in the women’s 400 metres hurdles, setting a personal best of 54.31 seconds. Lina Nielsen of Great Britain followed in second with 54.81 seconds.

Peeters shared her thoughts, “Despite the wet conditions, I managed to set a personal best, which shows there's still room for improvement. I miscalculated the rhythm on the final hurdles, which is something I can refine. My goal is to reach the finals in Rome and compete at my best.”

Women’s Javelin Throw:

Haruka Kitaguchi, the world champion from Japan, won the women’s javelin throw with a mark of 60.47 meters, narrowly beating Petra Sicakova who threw 60.42 meters.

Kitaguchi remarked, “Although I aimed for 63 meters, I’m still happy to win. The unexpected fall in my first attempt was a shock, but the crowd’s support was incredible and pushed me to perform well.”

Men’s High Jump:

Norbert Kobielski from Poland secured the win in the men’s high jump, clearing 2.24 meters, tying with world indoor silver medallist Shelby McEwen but winning on countback.

Kobielski stated, “Today’s conditions were far from ideal, complicating the competition. Nevertheless, winning for the third consecutive time in such conditions shows resilience. I’m looking forward to perfecting my form for the upcoming major competitions in Rome and the Olympics.”

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