Report18 Feb 2015

Barshim improves Asian indoor high jump record to 2.41m in Athlone


Qatar's Mutaz Essa Barshim, winner of the high jump (© Getty Images)

World indoor high jump champion Mutaz Essa Barshim overcame the disappointment of clearing ‘just’ 2.30m 10 days ago in Trinec with another record-breaking display at the Athlone International Grand Prix on Wednesday (18).

The 23-year-old Qatari jumped higher than he ever had done indoors, adding one centimetre to his own Asian indoor record with a first-time clearance at 2.41m with distance to spare.

Before that, he had broken the Irish all-comers’ record by sailing over 2.37m on his first try.

He ended his series with three attempts at a would-be world indoor record of 2.44m, but it wasn’t to be. His younger brother, Muamer Barshim, finished second with an indoor PB of 2.25m.

Barshim’s previous Asian indoor record was set just earlier this month in Banska Bystrica in his opening competition of the year. The Malmo Games on 25 February will be his last competition of the indoor season.

USA’s Sharika Nelvis notched up her fifth victory in a row this indoor season, winning the 60m hurdles in 7.93, just 0.02 shy of the PB she set at last weekend’s Millrose Games. Panama’s Yvette Lewis was second in 8.04.

US athletes dominated the men’s events. Ben Blankenship became the first man to run a sub-four-minute mile indoors on Irish soil, winning by more than five seconds in 3:56.75.

Olympic relay silver medallist Manteo Mitchell won the 400m in 47.18, while Erik Sowinski won the 800m comfortably in 1:47.42.

But the 60m events were hit by big-name withdrawals, false starts and technical difficulties. Former world 100m record-holder Asafa Powell pulled out just hours before the competition after sustaining a groin injury in warm-up.

After a false start was committed in the men’s 60m final, the recall gun fired too late into the race and it had to be re-run. At the second time of asking, USA’s Harry Adams and Jamaica’s Winston Barnes both clocked 6.67, although Barnes had gone faster in the heats with 6.60.

Two-time world indoor bronze medallist Tianna Bartoletta crossed the line first in the women’s 60m final, but there was a timing malfunction and no performances were recorded. There was a re-run, but most of the elites declined to take part.

Bartoletta and Jessica Young were the fastest in the heats with 7.28. Former world champion Carmelita Jeter was second in her heat in 7.44.

British indoor champion Abigail Irozuru produced the second-best indoor leap of her life to win the long jump comfortably with 6.63m.

Germany’s world and Olympic steeplechase finalist Gesa Felicitas Krause set an indoor PB of 4:12.46 to win the 1500m by two-and-a-half seconds.

Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF