INDOOR MEETING Karlsruhe: World-class meeting, even in difficult times

He's done it again. Top pole vaulter Renaud Lavillenie has once again shown Karlsruhe and the INDOOR MEETING how to fly, and broke his own 2016 event record. The Frenchman cleared 5.95 metres at the first attempt; despite competing without the cheer of the crowd, Karlsruhe brought him success. "Usually, the atmosphere here in Karlsruhe is great, but it was a bit different today. Still, there is always a very special ambience in Karlsruhe," said the Frenchman after his competition. "All of us athletes want to deliver top performances, as a gif o the organisers," Lavillenie added.

Karlsruhe 2021 has indeed had its fair share of world-class performances. There were a total of eight world best results this year, four national records and two event records. Besides Renaud Lavillenie, Auriol Dongmo from Portugal also set a new event record. She won the women's shot put competition with 19.65 metres, which was not only an event record but also a world and national record, to kick off the World Athletics Indoor Tour.

Dina Asher-Smith is also in top form

Three-time World Champion from Berlin and reigning World Champion in the 200 metres Dina Asher-Smith is also in top form at the INDOOR MEETING and set her personal best indoors with 7.08 seconds in her final race. "I was very happy about my performance today and I've surprised myself," said the Brit after her victory. She crossed the finish line ahead of Orlann Ombissa-Dzangue and Ajla del Ponte.

The 400-metre event was an even bigger surprise when Marvin Schlegel of LAC Erdgas Chemnitz ran 46.61 seconds over two laps, beating his rivals Oscar Husillos and Pavel Maslak, former world and European indoor champion. "I travelled here with the intention of just doing my best and trying to match my result from last time. I am really happy that it was all it took to win the race," said the 23-year-old after his victory. Katharina Trost also won gold for Germany. She won the 1500 metres with a time of 4:12.02 minutes, a world best, ahead of Winnie Nanyondo from Uganda. The Kenyans reigned supreme in both the women's and men's 3000 metres at the INDOOR MEETING Karlsruhe 2021. In the women's race it was the Kenyan Beatrice Chepkoech, world record holder of the 3000-metre outdoor hurdles, who earned the top score with her victory of 8:41.98 minutes and secured her place in the World Athletics Indoor Tour rankings. The winner of the 3000-metre race was Bethwell Birgen, who with her time of 7:34.12 minutes beat her time from the previous year by more than four seconds.

U20 world record holder Wilhelm Belocian won the 60 metres hurdles

Hurdle sprinters have also set some record times at the INDOOR MEETING Karlsruhe. In the men's event, it was U20 world record holder Wilhelm Belocian from France, who won in a lightning-fast 7.49 seconds. The women's results were somewhat unexpected, however. Nooralotta Neziri from Finland crossed the finish line in 7.92 seconds, followed by Tobi Amusan, who came fourth at the World Championships, Nadine Visser, European indoor champion, and Elvira Hermann, the European outdoor champion, in second, third and fourth place.

Long jumper Juan Miguel Echevarria jumped 8.18 metres

Juan Miguel Echevarria, the 2018 World Indoor Champion and long-jump legend, won with an unbelievable first jump of 8.18 metres. The women's triple jump title also went to a Cuban athlete, Liadagmis Povea. She stepped onto the podium with a world best result of the year of 14.54 metres. The Brit Elliot Giles won the 800 metres in 1:45.50 minutes and local favourite Christoph Kessler of the LG Region Karlsruhe finished sixth with a personal best.

"We have seen incredible performances from our athletes. We could really see the athletes were hungry to compete after such a long break," said sports director Alain Blondel after the 37th INDOOR MEETING Karlsruhe, which he regards as thoroughly positive. "Karlsruhe has once again done the best advertising for international athletics. We were live for two hours today in seven countries around the world," he adds. Martin Wacker, meeting director and managing director of the organisers Karlsruhe Marketing und Event GmbH, can only agree with this: "This event will go down in history. We have set an example for athletics by holding the event under these conditions. We hope that we will be able to continue this success story in 2022 together with our supporters in the hall."

The World Athletics Indoor Tour continues on 9 February in Liévin, France, before it travels to Boston (13 February), Torun (17 February) on 24 February for the tour finale in Madrid.

Here you can find all results of the 2021 INDOOR MEETING Karlsruhe.

Fotos: Andreas Arndt

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