ATHLETICS: Swoboda upsets Ta Lou and Kendricks wins vault in Torun

American vault star Sam Kendricks: from no. 15 to no. 3 all-time!

The third stop on the IAAF World Indoor Tour was in the Torun Arena in Poland, where the home fans had a lot to cheer about, especially sprint star Ewa Swoboda.

Already having defeated Dutch star Dafne Schippers in Karlsruhe (GER) last week, Poland’s Swoboda took on an even bigger challenge in 2018 World Indoor silver medalist Marie Josee Ta Lou (CIV).

No problem, as Swoboda came on for a tight, 7.15-7.16 victory over Ta Lou, to the delight of the home crowd. That’s three wins in a row for Swoboda, who also owns the world lead at 7.08 in the Karlsruhe heats. At 21, is she a star of the future?

The other standout event in Torun was the men’s vault, with American World Champion Sam Kendricks battle Poland’s Piotr Lisek and Pawel Wojciechowski. All three came in at 5.48 m (17-11 3/4) and while Kendricks and Lisek cleared on their first trials, Wojciechowski was eliminated with three misses. In fact, Kendricks and Lisek were the only ones in the eight-man field to clear the height.

They next jumped at 5.68 m (18-7 1/2) and both cleared, moving the bar to 5.78 m (18-11 1/2). Here it got interesting, with both missing their first tries. But Kendricks snaked over on his second try, putting the pressure on Lisek, who set meet record of 5.91 m (19-4 3/4) last season.

Lisek missed twice and had to settle for second. As the winner, Kendricks elected to try for a meet record and world lead of 5.92 m (19-5), but missed all three times.

There was one new world leader and a tie in Torun. Ethiopia’s Sam Tefera held off hometown hero Marcin Lewandowski (POL) to win the 1,500 m in 3:35.57, fastest in the world for 2019, and Spain’s Orlando Ortega equaled American Grant Holloway’s mark of 7.49 in the 60 m Hurdles.

Among the other highlights were American Erik Sowinski won the 800 m in 1:47.49, and a great finish in the women’s 800 m, as Ethiopia’s Habitam Alemu barely edged Britain’s Laura Muir, 1:59.49-1:59.50.

The IAAF World Indoor Tour will continue on Friday in Madrid (ESP). Summaries from Torun:

IAAF World Indoor Tour
Torun (POL) ~ 6 February 2019
(Full results here)

Men

400 m: Race 1: 1. Nathan Strother (USA), 46.32; 2. Rafat Omelko (POL), 47.24; 3. Liemarvin Bonevacia (NED), 47.39. Race 2: 1. Pavel Maslak (CZE), 46.19; 2. Luke Janezic (SLO), 46.46; 3. Karol Zalewski (POL), 46.67.

800 m: 1. Erik Sowinski (USA), 1:47.49; 2. Mostafa Smaili (MAR), 1:47.70; 3. Mateusz Borkowski (POL), 1:47.78.

1,500 m: 1. Samuel Tefera (ETH), 3:35.57; 2. Marcin Lewandowski (POL), 3:36.50; 3. Kalle Berglund (SWE), 3:36.63.

60 m Hurdles: 1. Orlando Ortega (ESP), 7.49; 2. Milan Trajkovic (CYP), 7.54; 3. Jarret Eaton (USA), 7.60.

High Jump: 1. Ilya Ivanyuk (RUS), 2.25 m (7-4 1/2); 2. tie, Sylwester Bednarek (POL) and Norbert Kobielski (POL), 2.20 m (7-2 1/2). Also: 4. Trey Culver (USA), 2.20 m (7-2 1/2).

Pole Vault: 1. Sam Kendricks (USA), 5.78 m (18-11 1/2); 2. Piotr Lisek (POL), 5.68 m (18-7 1/2); 3. Bokai Huang (CHN), 5.28 m (17-3 3/4).

Long Jump: 1. Juan Miguel Echevarria (CUB), 8.12 m (26-7 3/4); 2. Thobias Nilsson Montler (SWE), 7.97 m (26-1 3/4); 3. Tomasz Jaszczuk (POL), 7.87 m (25-10). Also: 8. Jarvis Gotch (USA), 7.14 m (23-5 1/4).

Women

60 m: 1. Ewa Swoboda (POL), 7.15; 2. Marie Josee Ta Lou (CIV), 7.16; 3. Imani Lansiquot (GBR), 7.23.

400 m: 1. Iga Baumgart (POL), 51.91; 2. Justyna Swiety-Ersetic (POL), 52.14; 3. Lea Sprunger (SUI), 52.48.

800 m: 1. Habitam Alemu (ETH), 1:59.49; 2. Laura Muir (GBR), 1:59.50; 3. Sofia Ennaoui (POL), 2:00.40.

60 m Hurdles: 1. Pam Dutkiewicz (GER), 7.95; 2. Reetta Hurske (FIN), 7.98; 3. Nooralotta Neziri (FIN), 8.03. Also: 4. Evonne Britton (USA), 8.04.

Shot Put: 1. Christina Schwanitz (GER), 18.97 m (62-3); 2. Aliona Dubitskaya (BLR), 18.91 m (62-0 1/2); 3. Jessica Ramsey (USA), 18.73 m (61-5 1/2).