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Report03 Feb 2021

Sutej breaks pole vault meeting record in Ostrava


Slovenian pole vaulter Tina Sutej wins in Ostrava (© ČAS / Adolf Horsinka)

Slovenian record-holder Tina Sutej was a class apart in the pole vault at the Czech Indoor Gala in Ostrava on Wedesday (3), part of the World Athletics Indoor Tour.

The Olympic finalist saw off the last of her competitors with her 4.50m vault and continued her string first-time clearances when going clear at 4.63m. She registered her first failure of the day at 4.70m, but successfully got over it on her second try, securing an Olympic qualifying mark in the process.

Sutej went on to attempt a would-be national record of 4.76m but was unsuccessful. Romana Malacova was second with 4.43m.

“This gives me a lot of confidence,” she said. “My first competition of the year last weekend wasn’t very good (she cleared 4.51m in Novo Mesto), but this was a lot better.”

Istvan Szogi, who opened his 2021 campaign last weekend in Vienna with a Hungarian indoor record of 3:37.55, notched up his second successive victory of the season. He bided his time for much of the race, allowing pacemaker Hakim Saleh to lead through 800m in 1:58.7 before Filip Sasinek assumed pole position, going through 1200m in 2:57.34.

Szogi kicked coming off the final bend and went on to win in 3:39.28, narrowly missing the meeting record. Charel Grethen came through to take second place in a Luxembourgish indoor record of 3:39.49, which also betters the outdoor national record of 3:39.92 set back in 1980.

European indoor silver medallist Jamie Webb, another winner and PB-setter in Vienna last weekend, continued his winning ways in Ostrava. The Briton held off the two-pronged Czech challenge of Filip Snejdr and Lukas Hodbod to win in 1:46.45. Snejdr (1:46.63) and Hodbod (1:46.93) were also rewarded with PBs.

Polish teenager Pia Skrzyszowska won the women’s 60m hurdles convincingly in 8.02. Romania’s Anamaria Nesteriuc was second in 8.15.

Three-time world indoor champion Pavel Maslak won the 400m in a season’s best of 46.22, while Ricardo dos Santos produced a Portuguese indoor record of 46.64 to finish second, just ahead of Vit Muller (46.65).

Maslak wasn’t the only Czech winner in Ostrava. Tomas Stanek won the shot put with 20.94m and Radek Juska took the long jump with 7.90m.

Belgium’s Cynthia Bolingo Mbongo, contesting her first indoor race since taking European indoor silver two years ago, won the women’s 400m in 52.89. Greece’s Irini Vasilou was a close second in 52.96.

Elsewhere, Britain’s Oliver Bromby (6.65) and Jamile Samuel of the Netherlands (7.28) won the 60m finals.

Jon Mulkeen for World Athletics