Raphael Holzdeppe on his way to winning the German pole vault title (© Getty Images)
World champions Raphael Holzdeppe and David Storl were among the leading performers at the German Championships in Nurnberg, which concluded on Sunday (26) after three days of action.
Holzdeppe showed he is rounding into his best form ahead of the defence of his world title in Beijing, winning the pole vault with a lifetime best of 5.94m.
After first-time clearances at 5.60m and 5.70m, he waited until his two remaining opponents – Tobias Scherbath and Carlo Paech – had bowed out before upping the bar to a PB height. Once again, he got over it on his first attempt, adding two centimetres to the championship record and moving to second on the 2015 world list.
The 25-year-old then upped the bar to a would-be national record of 6.02m, a height he wasn’t quite able to negotiate, but he was more than pleased with his result.
“To jump a personal best and championship record is an incredible feeling,” said Holzdeppe after moving up one place to fifth on the German all-time list. “I have planned for this for a long time and today it finally worked.”
In the shot put, Storl showed that he has sufficiently recovered from the niggling neck injury that kept him out of the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Monaco, winning his event with 21.47m.
With five attempts at 21 metres or better, and a sixth attempt just two centimetres shy of that line, any of his throws would have been enough to win by more than a metre.
“I was missing a bit of speed, but this was my last competition before the World Championships,” said Storl, who was competing on the eve of his 25th birthday. “There, I will push a little further to defend my title.”
World silver medallist Christina Schwanitz was just as dominant in the women’s event. She followed her opening-round throw of 20.00m with three more efforts beyond 19 metres, eventually winning by almost three metres from World University Games champion Lena Urbaniak.
Having been denied a 10th successive national title last year, former world record-holder Betty Heidler regained her crown from leading domestic rival Kathrin Klaas in the hammer, winning easily with a throw of 75.34m.
The women’s javelin and discus, however, were a lot closer. Katharina Molitor’s early lead of 63.37m was bettered in the second round by world champion Christina Obergfoll, who threw a season’s best of 64.11m. But Molitor responded in the next round with 65.40m, a mark that remained the lead for the duration of the contest.
Nadine Muller threw a season’s best of 65.72m in the first round of the discus to lead from European under-23 Shanice Craft, who opened with 64.79m. But while neither of them bettered their opening marks, Julia Fischer was improving with each throw and eventually landed one at a season’s best of 65.98m to take her first senior national title.
Thomas Rohler won his fourth successive German title in the javelin, all six of his throws landing well beyond the 81-metre line. His winning distance of 84.73m was achieved in the fifth round and saw him overtake Johannes Vetter, who had thrown 83.12m in round two. Lars Hamann finished third with 81.03m.
Three-time world champion Robert Harting may still be out of action, but younger brother Christoph ensured the German discus title remained within the family. Having trailed Martin Wierig for much of the competition, the 24-year-old saved his best for last, throwing 64.06m in the final round to win by 51 centimetres.
World indoor finalist Marie-Laurence Jungfleisch won the high jump with 1.95m, finishing 11 centimetres in front of Katarina Mogenburg, daughter of former world record-holder and 1984 Olympic champion Dietmar Mogenburg.
Kohlmann now a regular sub-two performer
Before this month, Fabienne Kohlmann had never run faster than two minutes for 800m; her PB dating back to 2010. But the former 400m hurdler is now the World University Games bronze medallist, the fastest German since 2000 and the national champion over two laps of the track with a PB of 1:58.37.
Following the lifetime best she set in Bellinzona last week, Kohlmann produced the second-best time of her life to win in Nurnberg. Training partner Christina Hering led for most of the first lap before Kohlmann took up the running, passing the bell in 59.62.
Kohlmann maintained the lead to the finish but was chased hard by Hering as the pair crossed the lien in 1:59.28 and 1:59.54, a PB for the latter.
Julian Reus replicated his feats from 2013 by winning both the 100m and 200m titles. After clocking 10.09 (1.8m/s) in the heats, he won the 100m final in 10.12 (-0.2m/s). He returned 24 hours later to comfortably win the 200m title in 20.42, the second-fastest clocking of his career.
Verena Sailer similarly ran a faster time in the heats than in the final to win the women’s 100m title. Having clocked a season’s best of 11.16 in the first round, she ran 11.20 to take victory in the final.
Triple European under-23 sprint champion Rebekka Haase finished second in the 100m in 11.29 but returned to win the 200m in a PB of 22.95.
Following her PB of 9:20.15 at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Monaco, Gesa-Felicitas Krause produced her fastest time on German soil to win the 3000m steeplechase in 9:32.20, crossing the finish line just as her nearest rival was negotiating the final water jump.
Gregor Traber ran the fastest time by a German athlete in 10 years to win the 110m hurdles. The world indoor finalist clocked 13.32 to finish a metre in front of Matthias Buhler.
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF