The Indoor World Championships are always a highlight, not just for all the referees, officials, and athletes, but especially for the fans of Track & Field. Therefore it is a highlight for me to write about it as well.
This year, the Indoor version of one of the biggest meets of the year was due and it was hosted in Doha, Qatar. Overall 585 athletes from 146 countries competed in 26 events. The medal count was clearly won by the United States, with 17 medals (8 gold, 3 silver, and 6 bronze) followed by Russia with only 9 medals.
The biggest surprise probably happened in the triple jump. Teddy Tamgho out of France, who had already won gold, went for his 6th and final attempt. Like a shot out of a canon, the 20-year old Frenchman out jumped the old world record, held by Aliecer Urrutia and Christian Olsson. The new Indoor world record is now 17.90m (58’8¾”), and therefore 9cm longer than the old record of 17.81m.
Arguably, the most exciting contest of the tournament was the men’s Heptathlon. It was a really close dual between Brian Clay and Trey Hardee. Winning the 60m hurdles and the pole vault, Brian Clay set overall seasons best marks, though it was not enough to beat fellow American, Trey Hardee, by 20 points (6204 to 6184).
Also, the pole vault brought many surprises as spectators and fans from all over the world followed this meet. Australian Steve Hooker had no trouble winning the men’s vault clearing 6.01m (19’ 8¼”). Second and third place went to two vaulters out of Germany, Malte Mohr (5.70m; 18’ 8¼“) and Alexander Straub (5.65m; 18’ 6½”). After winning the gold, Hooker asked that the bar be raised to 6.16m in an attempt to set a new Indoor World Record…. All three attempts ended in misses.
The women’s competition was even more surprising. World Record holder and Olympic Champion, Yelena Isinbayeva, could only clear 4.60m (15’1”) to place 4th. Fabiana Murer from Brazil, who had set the second highest mark of the current season, won by soaring 4.80m (15’ 8¾”). Svetlana Feofanova (RUS) won the silver medal with a clearance of 4.80m (lost on misses) and Anna Rogowska (POL) took 3rd with a mark of 4.70m (15’ 5”).
Overall it was an exciting tournament and I personally can’t wait for next year’s competition, which will be hosted by South Korea.
Well that’s about it. Have an awesome April!