Former European indoor champion among winners as Russian clears national record and Blanka Vlasic continues comeback in Prague
Ivan Ukhov continued his unbeaten record indoors this winter at the O2 Arena in Prague on Tuesday and he did it in style, soaring over 2.42m with only one man, Cuba’s Javier Sotomayor, having ever cleared higher.
Managing the world-leading height on his first try, the Olympic champion and 2010 world indoor gold medallist went on to attempt what would have been a world indoor record 2.44m but never really came close.
In the women’s competition, Blanka Vlašić continued her comeback by clearing 2.00m for victory.
The former world indoor and outdoor champion managed the winning height on her final attempt for a meeting record.
Also returning to her winning ways was Jenny Meadows who was another to set a meeting record.
The 2011 European indoor champion clocked a season’s best of 2:01.67 to win the women’s 800m from Czech runner Lenka Masná and Russia’s Yekaterina Poistogova, proving that she is returning to her best following illness and injury setbacks.
The 32-year-old, who missed the summer season due to a stress fracture of the femur, had to be satisfied with fifth at the Sainsbury’s Indoor Grand Prix just over a week ago where she said she had to focus on the bigger picture.
“You’ve just got to swallow your pride sometimes,” she commented after that race in Birmingham.
“Last weekend (UK Championships in Sheffield) was the first time since 2009 that a British athlete has beaten me and there were girls today that have never beaten me. But I’ve got to think about the bigger picture and that’s what I’m trying to do right now.”
Also in action in Prague was fellow Brit Tiffany Porter who clocked her third quickest-ever 60m hurdles time to go joint second on the world season rankings with 7.91 for victory. Dayron Robles won the men’s event in a meeting record 7.51 as Britain’s Andy Pozzi finished joint second with 7.60.
In the 60m, Kim Collins ran 6.49 for a personal best at the age of 37 to finish ahead of Dwain Chambers with 6.52 and Richard Kilty with an equal PB of 6.53. Gabon’s Ruddy Milana Zang won the women’s race in 7.17 as Britain’s 2011 world youth 200m champion Desiree Henry ran a PB of 7.22 for third. Her best for the distance before the competition had been 7.52.
Luke Lennon-Ford was third with 46.65 in a 400m won by Jamaica’s Edino Steele in 46.11, while Pavel Maslák won the rarely-run 500m with 1:00.36 ahead of Britain’s Conrad Williams with 1:01.59, a national record.
» Full results from Prague can be found here