News17 Jun 2012

Spiegelburg, Müller and Heidler show promising form in Wattenscheid - German champs, Day 1


Silke Spiegelburg of Germany in action in the Pole Vault final (© Getty Images)

Wattenscheid, GermanyThree women produced the highlights of day one at the German Championships in Wattenscheid on Saturday. Silke Spiegelburg took the Pole Vault with 4.70m, Nadine Müller won the Discus Throw with 66.47m and Betty Heidler threw the Hammer to 73.65m. All three should be in contention for an Olympic medal later this summer in London. Weather conditions were not ideal with some rain and temperatures around and below 20 C. during the day.

Women’s events: Only German record was too high for Spiegelburg

Spiegelburg confirmed her fine form in the Olympic season. The 26-year-old European silver medallist opened her competition with a first clearance of 4.40m. She then needed two attempts to get over 4.50m and had only one rival left in the competition. While German record holder Martina Strutz had to settle for third with 4.45 m it was Lisa Ryzih, who was challenging Silke Spiegelburg.

After Spiegelburg jumped 4.60m instantly she passed at 4.65m which Ryzih cleared at her third attempt to briefly take the lead. But Spiegelback went on to jump 4.70m at her second attempt, which was good enough to win. While Ryzih withdrew from further heights Spiegelburg asked for the bar to be risen one centimetre above the German record height of 4.80m. But she then failed three times to clear 4.81m.

"I have trained very well and stayed healthy," said Spiegelburg. "So I am happy that everything goes well for me. At the Olympics I will try to jump higher. And if I should then be able to break the German record, that would be superb. In the long term I hope to do even better. I have used another new pole today and I am not afraid of picking them. This year I jump much harder poles, which gives me courage."

No one was able to really challenge Müller in the Discus Throw. The silver medalllist from the 2011 World Championships had a perfect start with a first round throw of 66.47m. This remained her best mark of the day. In the following rounds she reached 63.20m, x, 62.16m, 63.83m and 64.88m. Julia Fischer (63.21mm) and Anna Rüh (63.14m) took second and third.

"I am in full training now so I had not expected to throw 66.47 today," Müller said. "I am really happy with this. I will go to the European Championships, but it will be more like a meeting for me because all the focus is on the Olympics."

It was a similar story in the Hammer Throw, where Heidler dominated with 73.65m. With Kathrin Klaas not competing Daniela Manz took silver with 61.90m. Heidler had thrown her winning mark already in the first round and then added 72.50m, 72.58m, x, 71.65m and 70.96m. There were no special preparations for Heidler for these championships. "I just came out of training for the Olympics to throw here," the World record holder explained.

Nadine Kleinert took the Shot Put with 19.18m.

Carolin Nytra, who had just recently come back from a long injury lay-off, showed a fine performance in the 100m Hurdles final. She won with 12.74 from Cindy Roleder (12.91/+1.7 wind). "I am happy that I already have such a good standard. This gives me hope regarding the European Championships," said Nytra.

While European Champion Verena Sailer took the 100m in 11.22 from Tatjana Pinto (11.26/+3.0 wind) another German star is still chasing the Olympic qualifying standard. Ariane Friedrich needs to clear 1.95m to achieve the A standard, but it did not happen in Wattenscheid on Saturday. Friedrich, who had ruptered her Achilles tendon and was forced to miss the whole of 2011, won the title with a 1.86m jump. But when she then tried to improve her season’s best by one centimetre to 1.93m she failed three times. "I am so frustrated, because the conditions were awful today. It was wet and the wind was blowing from various directions," said Friedrich.

Men’s events: John takes sprint hurdles after Traber fall

There were fewer highlights in the men’s events on Saturday, but that should change on Sunday. In a dramatic 110m Hurdles final Gregor Traber was leading until the final hurdle, when he fell. Running a fine race with a tailwind of 1.6 m/s Alexander John won the title with 13.52. Matthias Bühler (13.66), Erik Balnuweit (13.68) and Paul Dittmer (13.69) followed in a close fight for second and third places.

Lucas Jakubczyk won the 100m in 10.16 seconds (+2.7 wind) in a photo finish with Aleixo Platini Menga who was given the same time. While Sebastian Bayer won the Long Jump with 7.91m World Javelin champion Matthias de Zordo withdrew before the start of the competition due to a slight elbow injury. Thomas Röhler won the event with 78.58m.

Jörg Wenig for the IAAF
Pages related to this article