HIGHLIGHTS: Warholm sensational again (47.08) at ISTAF; Pogacar & Roglic break defending champ Bernal in Tour de France

Olympic and World Triple Jump champ Christian Taylor of the U.S. (Photo: Mohan via Wikipedia)

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Headline results of noteworthy competitions around the world:

Athletics ● Another brilliant performance for Norwegian super-hurdler Karsten Warholm was the highlight of the 79th ISTAF Berlin on Sunday, in a meet with three world-leading marks:

Men/Triple Jump: 17.57 m (57-7 3/4), Christian Taylor (USA)
Women/1,500 m: 3:57.40, Laura Muir (GBR)
Women/Steeple: 9:06.14, Hyvin Kiyeng (KEN)

Despite a limit of just 3,500 fans in the historic Olympiastadion, there was plenty of noise, which was much appreciated by the athletes. “ISTAF is the best meeting in the world,” said Warholm. “To be honest, I got chills coming out here. Everybody is making a lot of noise, although they are not allowed to have a lot of people in here. The atmosphere was the best this year.”

Still chasing the 400 m hurdles world record of 46.78, Warholm blasted out of the blocks – as usual – from lane seven and ran perfectly through the first nine hurdles, but sailed (instead of hurdled) over the final hurdle and finished strongly in a sizzling 47.08.

That broke the 40-year-old (!) meet record of American Edwin Moses of 47.17, which actually points out how great Moses was in his prime. Warholm’s 47.08 is the no. 9 performance all-time; he now owns five of the top 12 times in history (no one else has more than two).

Swede Mondo Duplantis won the pole vault as expected, clearing 5.91 m (19-4 3/4) on his second try. He then went – as usual – to 6.15 m (20-2) to try for the best-ever vault outdoors, but wasn’t close on any of his tries. Poland’s Piotr Lisek cleared 5.82 m (19-1) for second; American Sam Kendricks managed 5.57 m (18-3 1/4) and was sixth.

In the triple jump, Olympic and World Champion Christian Taylor was leading at 17.02 m (55-10 1/4) into the fifth round when home favorite Max Hess (GER) boomed a season best 17.17 m (56-4) to take the lead. No problem for Taylor – one of the best clutch jumpers of all time – who responded with a world-leading 17.57 m (57-7 3/4) to seal the win.

Lithuania’s Andrius Gudzius, the 2017 World Champion, upset Sweden’s Daniel Stahl in the discus, winning with his final throw of 66.72 m (218-11). Stahl managed 65.89 m (216-2) in the second round, but did not improve, ending his 15-meet win streak from late June.

The women’s distances both produced world-leading marks, with Britain’s Laura Muir and Laura Weightman running 1-2 in the 1,500 m. Muir ran away from the field in the last 200 m and scored a world-leading 3:57.40 victory, while Weightman got a lifetime best of 4:00.49. American Shannon Rowbury got a seasonal best of 4:02.56 in fifth.

The 2015 World Champion in the steeple, Hyvin Kiyeng (KEN) surprised world-record holder Beatrice Chepkoech over the final lap and scored a 9:06.14-9:10.07 win.

Other highlights included 100 m wins for Arthur Cisse (CIV: 10.10) and Dafne Schippers (NED: 11.26), Johannes Vetter (GER) at 87.26 m (286-3) in the men’s javelin, and Ukraine’s Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk upset World Champion Malaika Mihambo (GER) in the women’s long jump, 6.87 m (22-6 1/2) to 6.77 m (22-2 1/2).

The next major meets on the schedule include the Hanzekovic Memorial in Zagreb (CRO) on Monday and Tuesday – Ryan Crouser of the U.S. is entered in the shot – and then the Golden Gala Pietro Mennea in the Wanda Diamond League in Rome (ITA) on Thursday (17th).

Cycling ● Sunday’s brutal, triple climb stage from Lyon to Grand Colombier was too much for defending champion Egan Bernal (COL), but was another showcase for the two Slovenian stars, Primoz Roglic and Tadej Pogacar in the Tour de France.

Slovenians Tadej Pogacar and Primoz Roglic went 1-2 in Stage 15 of the Tour de France and are 2-1 in the overall standings (Photo: PCS)

The final, 17 km climb up the Grand Colombier was the undoing for Bernal, who remained within striking distance of leader Roglic coming into Sunday’s stage at 59 seconds behind. But four km into the climb, Bernal fell back and ended up 25th, some 7:20 behind the winners.

It was the third time that the two Slovenians finished 1-2 in a stage in this year’s Tour: Roglic won Stage 4 and Pogacar won stage 9 and now Stage 15. Both were given the same time, so with the time bonus for winning, Pogacar now trails Roglic by 40 seconds, with Colombian Rigoberto Uran third, 1:34 back. Bernal dropped to 13th overall.

Having Bernal out of the picture signals the end of a five-Tour streak of winners for the INEOS team: Chris Froome (GBR) in 2015-16-17, Geraint Thomas (GBR) in 2018 and Bernal in 2019.

On Saturday, the 194.0 km stage featured a downhill finish and was won by Norway’s Soren Kragh Andersen, who sprinted away from the field for a 15-second win over Luka Mezgec (SLO) and Simone Consonni (ITA).

There is a rest day on Monday, then three straight climbing stages on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, then a hilly stage on Friday and a time trial on Saturday before the ride into Paris next Sunday.

The seventh of eight stages of the 55th Tirreno-Adriatico was held on Sunday, with a win for Dutch star Mathieu van der Poel, his first on the UCI World Tour this season. With only a time trial remaining on Monday, Britain’s Simon Yates leads the standings, up 16 seconds on Poland’s Rafal Majka and 39 seconds ahead of Geraint Thomas (GBR).

The biggest race of the season in the UCI Women’s World Tour, the 31st Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile, is underway with Dutch stars in control as expected.

After a Team Time Trial in Stage 1, two-time defending champion Annemiek van Vleuten (NED) romped to victory in Stage 2 over two-time winner Anna van der Breggen (NED: +1:16) and Pole Kasia Niewiadoma (+1:16) on Saturday. Sunday’s hilly third stage was win for three-time champion Marianne Vos, who outlasted Cecile Ludwig (DEN: +0:02) and Italy’s Elisa Longo Borghini (+0:05) at the finish.

Overall, van Vleuten has a 1:22 edge over van der Breggen and 1:37 over Niewiadoma with six stages remaining. The mountainous fifth and sixth stages should be the deciders.

Skiing ● Swiss Alpine star Wendy Holdener, a two-time World Champion in the Combined, suffered a “non-displaced fracture of the head of the right fibula” during Slalom training on 6 September and is off the slopes for a while.

Swiss-Ski medical officer Walter Frey was not optimistic, however, about her immediate future: “Although surgery is not imperative, the time required for healing could compromise Wendy Holdener’s participation in the World Cup opening in Soelden in mid-October.”

Swimming ● The International Swimming League announced plans for its second “season” on Wednesday (9th), to be held primarily in Budapest (HUN) from 16 October to 15 November.

The league has expanded to 10 teams, adding the Tokyo Frog Kings and Toronto Titans to the eight first-season teams. Eight teams will qualify for a semi-final (19-22 November) and four teams for the final, possibly to be held in Tokyo.

ISL has promised that all of its contracted swimmers will be paid $1,500 per month from September 2020 to July 2021.

Doubling down on his breakaway approach to the sport, ISL founder (and funder) Konstantin Grigorishin (UKR) said during a streamed news conference:

“For us records and time is not a big issue any more. Time is more a modern thing. It is more like a scientific experiment but when we are talking about post-modern competition: we don’t have time, we have to have some eternal achievements.”

Will this approach – completely contrary to the way swimmers have trained for more than a century – actually work? Despite what Grigorishin says, only time will tell.

More to come ● Sunday’s schedule includes the final day of two important events widely reported elsewhere (so no need for us to cover): the U.S. Open in tennis and the ANA Inspiration major in women’s golf.

You can follow the U.S. Open here and the final round of the ANA Inspiration here.