Julien Alfred (© Getty Images)
On a weekend when indoor action really started to heat up, the World Athletics Indoor Tour kicked off with meetings in Iowa City, Jablonec and Luxembourg, while Masai Russell and Julien Alfred were among the athletes to make their mark at other events in the US.
The Hawkeye Pro Classic, part of the American Track League, opened the World Indoor Tour season on Friday (20) and the two-day Silver level event included wins for Danniel Thomas-Dodd, Alaysha Johnson, Freddie Crittenden and Brittany Brown.
Jamaica’s Thomas-Dodd, the 2018 world indoor silver medallist, threw 19.12m to top the women’s shot put on day one, while Nigeria’s Chukwuebuka Enekwechi improved his indoor PB to 21.20m to win the men’s event.
On day two (21), NACAC 100m hurdles champion Johnson took 0.06 off her previous 60m hurdles best, running 7.84 to win the final ahead of Bahamian world indoor silver medallist Devynne Charlton (7.89), while NACAC 110m hurdles gold medallist Crittenden followed his 7.52 PB set a week prior with a 7.53 win to edge Michael Dickson with the same time.
USA’s 2019 world 200m silver medallist Brown started her season with a 7.19 60m heat and 7.20 final win, while Olivia Baker took the women’s 800m in 2:02.50 and Clayton Murphy the men’s 1000m in 2:20.70.
Also on Saturday (21), World Indoor Tour Bronze action began at the Jablonec Indoor event in Czech Republic. There, Britain’s 2019 world 200m champion Dina Asher-Smith got her season off to a winning start, clocking 7.18 in her heat and improving to 7.09 in the final, 0.01 off the PB she set in 2015 and matched in 2018 and 2021.
Turkey’s Kayhan Ozer ran a PB of 6.58 to win the men’s 60m final after a 6.65 heat, while Tomas Stanek threw 21.43m in the men’s shot put to triumph on home soil.
Belgium’s Tibo De Smet provided the highlight at the CMCM Indoor Meeting, a World Indoor Tour Bronze event, in Kirchberg, Luxembourg, on Sunday (22). Clocking 1:45.04 to win the men's 800m, he improved the national indoor record by more than a second and won ahead of Kenya’s Collins Kipruto (1:45.89).
De Smet’s compatriot Alexander Doom also ran the indoor race of his life, clocking a PB of 46.20 to win the 400m. Spain’s world 110m hurdles bronze medallist Asier Martinez won the men’s 60m hurdles in 7.65.
The first World Indoor Tour Gold meeting of the season takes place in Karlsruhe on Friday (27).
Collegiate records for Russell and Alfred
A week after improving her 60m hurdles PB to 7.88, Masai Russell went faster still and broke the US collegiate record with 7.75 at the Red Raider Open in Lubbock on Friday (20). The Kentucky athlete, who started the year with a PB of 7.93, improved the previous collegiate record by 0.03.
Also in Lubbock, Clemson’s Kiara Grant won the 60m in 7.09 to finish ahead of world indoor bronze medallist Marybeth Sant-Price (7.18), while another Kentucky sprinter, 18-year-old Jordan Anthony, ran a PB of 6.55 to win the men’s 60m.
Another US collegiate record fell at the Martin Luther King Jr. Invitational in Albuquerque on Saturday (21). Saint Lucia’s Julien Alfred already had the 60m record on her CV thanks to the 7.04 performance she achieved last year, but after clocking 7.05 in the heats, the 21-year-old Commonwealth 100m silver medallist improved to 7.02 to win the final.
Behind her, her Texas teammate Rhasidat Adeleke ran 7.20 for the runner-up spot but the tables were turned in the 200m. Racing over one lap, Adeleke improved her own Irish indoor record to 22.52, beating runner-up Alfred with 22.71.
Elsewhere, Coby Hilton stormed to a 60m PB of 6.51 at the UCCS Invite in Colorado Springs on Saturday (21), dipping under 6.60 for the first time.
At the RADD College Invitational in Florida, Kendal Williams won the men’s 60m in 6.59 ahead of Josephus Lyles (6.60) and two-time world 200m champion Noah Lyles, who ran 6.61.