German pole vaulter Bjorn Otto (© Getty Images)
About 27,000 spectators at the two-day German Championships in Ulm on 6-7 July saw throwers as strong as ever, sprinters getting into shape for the IAAF World Championships in Moscow and Alyn Camara causing an upset in the Long Jump.
Olympic silver medallist Bjorn Otto was under pressure in the Pole Vault as Olympic bronze medallist Raphael Holzdeppe cleared 5.75m on his first attempt. But Otto showed strong composure as he jumped over the bar at 5.80m, forcing Holzdeppe to raise the bar to 5.85m, which was too high for the 23-year-old.
Otto went on to attempt 5.92m, but had to be content with what was his first ever outdoor national title, despite being just three months shy of his 36th birthday.
World Champion David Storl dominated the Shot competition with his first throw over 21 metres this season. With his winning effort of 21.04m, he moved up to eighth on this year’s world rankings. His next stop will be the Shot meeting in Biberach on Monday, and afterwards he’ll trust in his coach Sven Lang to get him into shape for the World Championships.
Fast times for Reus and Sailer
Julian Reus achieved A standards for Moscow in both the 100m (10.14) and the 200m (20.36) but will probably focus on the shorter distance and the sprint relay at the World Championships.
Verena Sailer clocked the second-fastest time of her career in the 100m, winning in 11.09.
“Today, everything just fitted perfectly,” said the 2010 European champion. “Before the race, I was so excited I almost felt sick warming up. But then I simply enjoyed the race.”
Camara jumps to victory
The big surprise of the championships came from Alyn Camara of Leverkusen who won the Long Jump ahead of the big favourites. He leaped 8.02m in round three before being surpassed in the final round by two-time European indoor champion Sebastian Bayer (8.04m).
But Camara, the last jumper of the competition, fought back and jumped to victory with 8.15m. Christian Reif, the 2010 European champion, finished third with 7.90m.
“Sebastian pushing me in the last round was necessary for me to improve – I didn’t even feel pressure, it was normal tension of a competition,” said Camara. “When I hit the board, I already felt that this was going to be a great jump.”
In the women’s Pole Vault, Martina Strutz impressed with a flawless performance up to the height of 4.60m. A clearance at 4.65m on her second attempt – her best performance since winning the silver medal at the 2011 World Championships – won her the German title ahead of Silke Spiegelburg, who cleared 4.50m. Third place with 4.45m went to 19-year-old Anjuli Knasche, fourth at the World Junior Championships last year.
Two medals for the Harting family
Olympic champion Robert Harting was accompanied on the podium by his 23-year-old brother Christoph who won bronze with 62.61m. Robert Harting, who had competed at the Paris Diamond League meeting on the day before, dominated the competition with five throws beyond the 66-metre mark, his best attempt being measured at 67.95m.
“I know that 68 metres won’t scare anyone in a World Championships final,” said Harting. “I will still have to improve by one or two metres.”
Martin Wierig, too, showed good shape with a throw of 66.10m which won him silver. For Moscow, he is looking at a top-six finish.
Hammer title No.9 for Heidler
World record-holder Betty Heidler celebrated her ninth national title in the Hammer Throw with a series of six throws beyond the 70-metre mark.
But she wasn’t completely happy with her winning attempt of 73.93m hopes to do better at the World Championships. “I am going to Moscow to win a medal,” she said. “I think that this is a realistic goal. My shape on the day itself will decide which medal it will be.”
European indoor champion Christina Schwanitz dominated the Shot Put and again showed that she is in top shape with 19.76m.
Muller beats the youngsters
Nadine Muller left behind the up-and-coming Germans in the Discus where she won gold with 64.17m ahead of Anna Ruh (63.79m) and Shanice Craft (60.77m), first and second at the World Junior Championships in Barcelona last year.
In the men’s Javelin, it was again Thomas Rohler who won with 83.56m. The women’s title went to Linda Stahl with 63.70m, almost two metres ahead of Christina Obergfoll (61.73m), who competed in Paris the night before.
Silke Bernhart for the IAAF