Commonwealth medallist runs world-leading 8:43.36, while Naoto Tobe impresses with 2.35m Japanese high jump record

Melissa Courtney stormed to victory at the Indoor Meeting Karlsruhe on Saturday, winning the 3000m in a world-leading Welsh indoor record of 8:43.36.

In her first race of the year following a training camp in Kenya, the Commonwealth 1500m bronze medallist improved her previous indoor best set in 2018 by more than 10 seconds, with her time moving her from 19th to eighth on the UK indoor all-time list.

Clocking a 29.43 last lap, she claimed victory ahead of Ethiopia’s Alemaz Samuel with 8:43.78 and Gudaf Tsegay with 8:46.27, while Germany’s Alina Reh was fourth in 8:47.40.

Courtney’s win secured her maximum points in the IAAF World Indoor Tour, which next moves on to Torun on Wednesday.

Over in the high jump, Japan’s Naoto Tobe enjoyed the competition of his life as the Asian Games bronze medallist equalled his indoor PB of 2.26m and then improved it four times – first to 2.29m, then 2.31m, 2.33m and finally 2.35m.

His 2.33m clearance was a world lead, meeting record and outright Japanese record, all bettered again when the 26-year-old, who has an outdoor PB of 2.32m from 2018, cleared 2.35m on his third try before three unsuccessful but close attempts at 2.37m.

Poland’s European indoor bronze medallist Ewa Swoboda showed some fine early season form as she was just 0.01 off her PB with a world-leading 7.08 in the first 60m heat. She went on to clock 7.10 to win the final ahead of Netherlands’ Olympic and world medallist Dafne Schippers with 7.19.

Eight athletes cleared 4.63m in the women’s pole vault, with Canada’s Alysha Newman, Russia’s Anzhelika Sidorova and Katerina Stefanidi of Greece all clearing 4.71m – a national indoor record for Newman.

The world indoor champions in the horizontal jumps had to settle for second this time as Sweden’s Thobias Nilsson won the men’s long jump on count back ahead of Juan Miguel Echevarria as both jumped 8.08m, while Ana Peleteiro won the women’s triple jump with 14.51m ahead of Yulimar Rojas with 14.45m.

Sweden’s Andreas Kramer won the 800m in an indoor PB of 1:46.52 as Britain’s Andrew Osagie was seventh in 1:49.01, while Kenya’s Vincent Kibet claimed 1500m success in 3:38.23.

Full results can be found here.

While the attention of many athletics fans was on Karlsruhe on Saturday evening, a certain Usain Bolt was also claiming the spotlight as he emerged from track retirement to take part in an NFL 40-yard dash against the clock.

According to footage of the sprint, the athletics great – who hung up his track spikes in 2017 – clocked 4.22 to match the fastest NFL 40-yard dash time and he did so wearing sweatpants and sneakers.

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