Yulimar Rojas at the Meeting Toni Bonet in Ibiza (© Sergio Mateo / Sportmedia)
World triple jump champion Yulimar Rojas started her Olympic season in style, leaping a world-leading 15.14m (2.0m/s) to win at the Meeting Toni Bonet in Ibiza, Spain, on Saturday (8).
Venezuela’s world indoor record-holder, who jumped 15.43m in February last year and has an outdoor best of 15.41m from 2019, achieved her 15.14m in the second round and backed it up with 15.01m (0.3m/s) in the fourth round, though was disappointed with her three fouls.
It is the Olympic silver medallist’s best ever season opener, improving on the 15.06m she jumped to start her 2019 summer.
“I am happy with my result today but at the same time I am also disappointed about those fouls,” Rojas said. “I am going to go back home and work even harder to get ready for this season which is very important for me. The Olympic Games are just around the corner now.
“I am very happy to be back in Ibiza. Last year we couldn’t jump because the weather was so bad.”
The 2019 European indoor champion Ana Peleteiro jumped 14.31m (0.8m/s) to finish second.
The men’s world indoor record-holder Hugues Fabrice Zango was also opening his outdoor season on Saturday and he jumped a world-leading 17.40m (0.0m/s) in Montpellier.
Burkina Faso’s world bronze medallist, who leapt 18.07m indoors in January, also recorded marks of 17.29m and 16.75m before three fouls.
Andrejczyk throws 71.40m
Poland’s Olympic fourth-placer Maria Andrejczyk launched the javelin out to 71.40m on the second day of the European Throwing Cup in Split on Sunday (9) for a performance which moves her to third on the world all-time list behind only Barbora Spotakova with her 72.28m world record and Olisdeilys Menendez with 71.70m.
That throw – which improves Andrejczyk's previous Polish record of 67.11m set in 2016 – came in the first round of the competition as she made her season debut. The 2015 European U20 champion, who missed the 2017 season because of a shoulder injury and then had further surgery after being diagnosed with a form of bone cancer the following year, then chose to pass the next round before recording 65.24m in the third, 69.68m in the fourth and 59.73m in the sixth after a fifth-round foul.
Germany’s Christin Hussong finished second with a best of 66.44m.
There was further success for Poland on day two in the women’s hammer as Malwina Kopron led a one-two ahead of her teammate Anita Wlodarczyk, who continues her comeback.
The 2017 world bronze medallist Kopron threw 72.82m to win, with multiple global gold medallist Wlodarczyk, who underwent knee surgery in 2019 and competed for the first time in almost two years earlier this month, throwing 72.37m for second place. Alexandra Tavernier of France was third with 70.55m.
A close women’s discus final was won by Portugal’s Liliana Ca as she beat her teammate Irina Rodrigues by a single centimetre - 62.80m to 62.79m. The men’s results were led by Hungary’s Janos Huszak, who threw 65.35m.
After his 91.50m throw in Offenburg last month, Germany’s 2017 world javelin champion Johannes Vetter threw 91.12m for a dominant win on the first day of the event on Saturday (8).
Vetter, who moved to second on the world all-time list with 97.76m last year, also threw 90.43m, 89.63m, 88.34m, 88.23m and 84.20m, winning ahead of Andrian Mardare with a Moldovan record of 86.66m.
Germany’s Sara Gambetta won the women’s shot put with a 18.86m throw, while Romania's Andrei Toader threw 20.83m to win the men's event.
Turkey’s Esref Apak won the hammer with 75.99m ahead of Britain’s Chris Bennett with 75.36m.
Tsegay runs 29:39.42 10,000m debut
World 1500m bronze medallist Gudaf Tsegay blazed a 29:39.42 10,000m debut at the Fernanda Ribeiro Gold Gala in Portugal on Saturday (8).
The 24-year-old, who won the 5000m at the Ethiopian Championships in 14:49.7 last month, went through half way in around 14:55 and continued to pick up the pace.
It is the fastest ever women's 10,000m debut, improving Almaz Ayana's 30:07.00 from 2016, and puts Tsegay fifth on the world all-time list.
After her 1:57.52 800m indoors in February, which closely followed her world indoor 1500m record of 3:53.09, this latest performance means that Tsegay becomes the first woman in history to run sub-2:00 for 800m and sub-30:00 for 10,000m within the same calendar year.
Her 29:39.42 was not the only impressive debut performance, however, as Bahrain's Kalkidan Gezahegne, racing for the first time since 2018, ran 29:50.77 for second place, making it just the second 10,000m race in history in which two women have finished inside 30 minutes. Uganda's Doreen Chesang was third in 32:09.82.
The men's 10,000m was won by Kenya's world bronze medallist Rhonex Kipruto in 27:11.01 ahead of Shadrack Koech (27:59.19).
Crouser takes 22m-plus tally to 117
After opening his season with 21.93m at the Drake Relays, the USA’s Olympic shot put champion Ryan Crouser was back to throwing beyond 22 metres, not once but four times at the Arkansas Twilight meeting on Friday (7).
In wet conditions Crouser saved his best of 22.69m for the final round and also threw 22.53m, 22.42m and 22.37m to take his career tally of 22m-plus throws to 117. Second on that list is Ulf Timmermann, with 39.
Only eight men have ever achieved or bettered 22.69m but for Crouser it is just his 13th best ever throw.
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Daszay Freeman won the 100m hurdles, clocking 13.01 (1.1m/s) ahead of Sharika Nelvis with 13.08.
Over in Lausanne, Loic Gasch broke the long-standing Swiss high jump record, clearing 2.33m.
It adds 3cm to his own previous best set last year and 2cm to Roland Dalhauser’s national record, which had been set in 1981.
Voici le saut INCROYABLE de Loic Gasch à #Lausanne: 2m33, minima pour @Tokyo2020 et record 🇨🇭! @UBSathletics @PUMA @swissteam @srfsport @RTSsport @RSIsport @EuroAthletics @WorldAthletics pic.twitter.com/1JztIW9VVi— Swiss Athletics (@SwissAthletics) May 8, 2021
Arevalo among winners in Guayaquil
Hosts Ecuador claimed three titles, while Colombia’s 2017 world champion Eider Arevalo was also among the winners at the Pan American Race Walking Cup in Guayaquil on Friday (7).
Arevalo secured victory in a competitive men’s 20km race walk, gaining gold in 1:21:37 just five seconds ahead of Brazil’s 2017 world bronze medallist Caio Bonfim. Ecuador’s world U20 silver medallist David Hurtado was a further six seconds back as he led home his teammates Brian Daniel Pintado (1:21:59) and Jordy Rafael Jimenez Arrobo (1:22:29).
Ecuador’s two-time Pan American Games bronze medallist Paola Perez won the women’s event, clocking 1:30:38 ahead of her teammate Karla Jaramillo (1:31:54). Brazil’s Viviane Lyra was third in 1:34:57.
Ecuador’s two other wins came in the men’s 50km and women’s 35km events, with Jonathan Javier Amores Carua clocking 4:04:53 ahead of Mexico’s Ever Jair Palma Olivares (4:06:21) and Nathaly Leon crossing the finish line in 2:54:45.
Guatemala’s Bryan Alexander Matias Ortiz won the men’s under-20 10km race walk in 43:42, while Brazil’s Gabriela De Sousa won the women’s race in 47:50.
Jess Whittington for World Athletics