First medals of the IAAF World Indoor Championships are decided, while Richard Kilty and Dwain Chambers are quickest to progress in 60m
It was a golden evening for Ryan Whiting and Nadine Broersen at the IAAF World Championships in Sopot on Friday as the first medals of the weekend were decided. There were also strong performances from British athletes, with sprinters Richard Kilty and Dwain Chambers clocking the quickest times in the 60m heats to progress and Andy Vernon setting a lifetime best for a spot in the 3000m final.
Whiting successfully defended his world indoor shot put title with a best of 22.05m in the fourth round, adding five centimetres to the mark that won him gold two years ago. Finishing behind him was Germany’s world outdoor champion David Storl who retained his world indoor silver with a season’s best 21.79m. It would have been a repeat of all of the podium positions from two years ago too, had New Zealand’s Tomas Walsh not equaled the outright Oceanian record of 21.26m on his final go to better the best mark of Poland’s Olympic champion Tomasz Majewski, bronze medallist in 2008 and 2012.
The first gold of the championships went to Dutch multi-eventer Broersen, who made up for the disappointment of her hurdles fall at last year’s outdoor world championships and her disqualification at the European Indoors with a world-leading national record 4830 points to win the pentathlon. Behind her, Canada’s world heptathlon silver medallist Brianne Theisen-Eaton also set a national record of 4768 points for silver and Ukraine’s Alina Fodorova took bronze with a 4724 personal best, just six points ahead of Sharon Day-Monroe of the US who won the final event of the day, the 800m.
In the heptathlon, world record-holder Ashton Eaton of the US leads after four events, his 3653 points total putting him just one point down on his tally at this stage when setting the world record in 2012. Behind him is Andrei Krauchanka of Belarus with 3583 points, the 2011 European indoor champion having cleared 2.21m in the high jump for the best ever within a heptathlon high jump at the World Indoors.
Giving British hopes a boost were Kilty and Chambers, the two sprinters both advancing to the next stage and clocking the two quickest times of the first round in the process. A time of 6.57 by Chambers in the final heat followed a fourth heat-winning run from Kilty who equaled his 6.53 PB for the third time in a month. Behind him, Jamaica’s Nesta Carter clocked 6.58 for the final automatic qualifying spot. Germany’s Lucas Jakubczyk matched Chambers’ time of 6.57 to win heat five, with ten athletes going under 6.60 in this first round.
“A lot of people questioned whether I could come out here and perform with it being my first one,” Kilty later commented. “But I’m coming fearing no-one,” he added, “and I want to win.”
Their success could not be shared by 400m runners Nigel Levine and Margaret Adeoye, however, with both athletes failing to make it through to their respective finals. European indoor champion Pavel Maslák dominated the semi finals as the only athlete to dip under 46 seconds with 45.79. Bahamas’ 2010 world indoor champion Chris Brown cruised over the line in the second semi final, clocking 46.19, while in the women’s event, USA’s Olympic relay gold medallist Francena McCorory was the quickest in the second round with 51.35 ahead of Jamaica’s 400m hurdles specialist Kaliese Spencer with a 51.58 personal best.
Vernon impressed in the men’s 3000m, the Euro Cross bronze medallist running an outright lifetime best of 7:45.49 for fourth to grab the last automatic qualifying spot in a heat won by Kenya’s Augustine Choge. Also ahead of him, Olympic silver medallists Dejen Gebremeskel of Ethiopia and Galen Rupp of the US also secured their spots for the final. Reigning champion Bernard Lagat, who outkicked Galen Rupp at the US Indoor Championships, clocked 7:42.98 in the second heat to go through, finishing third behind Kenya’s Caleb Ndiku, who beat Lagat in Karlsruhe, and Ethiopia’s Hagos Gebrhiwet. Vernon’s British team-mate Jonny Mellor was among the casualties in the first round.
Australia’s Sally Pearson got the defence of her 60m hurdles crown underway with 7.79 to equal her own world lead and win the first heat. Second quickest through to the semi finals was US Indoor Champion Nia Ali with 7.87 to win the second heat while Britain’s Tiffany Porter, world silver medallist behind Pearson in 2012, clocked 7.95 to take the fourth and final heat despite easing up slightly as she approached the line.
Sweden’s reigning world outdoor and European indoor 1500m champion Abeba Aregawi cruised through to Saturday’s final, clocking 4:08.74 to comfortably win the second heat as Britain’s Jemma Simpson ran 4:11.93 in her heat but won’t progress. In the men’s long jump qualifying Adrian Strzalkowski seemed to make the most of the home advantage, jumping 8.18m for a national indoor record, having never before broken eight metres, indoors or out.
» You can find a report from Friday’s morning session here
» Full results from the first session of the IAAF World Indoor Championships can be found here