Bogdan Bondarenko in action in the high jump (© AFP / Getty Images)
Bogdan Bondarenko, the 2013 world high jump champion and a silver medallist in Beijing just over a week ago, provided the highlight of the famous Palio Città della Quercia meeting in Rovereto with a 2.31m clearance at Italy’s oldest meeting on Tuesday (8).
However, Bondarenko made the competition seem like hard work. He failed his first attempt at the opening height of 2.21m but then cleared at the second time of asking.
After passing at 2.25m, Bondarenko failed twice at 2.28m and then chose to make his final attempt at 2.31m.
The Ukrainian star then failed his three attempts at 2.36m, one centimetre higher than Troy Kemp’s 2.35m meeting and stadium record set in 1991.
“It was not bad but I would have been happier if I had cleared 2.36m," said Bondarenko. "I would have managed to jump this height if we had been at the start of the season. I am happy with my silver medal in Beijing but I hoped to win the gold. I enjoy competing in Italy, during the winter I train in Formia. I have one more competition in Warsaw."
After his dominant displays during the summer of 2014, his win in Rovereto was actually his first victory in almost three months.
Kemp’s Bahamian compatriot Donald Thomas – both men, like Bondarenko, former world champions – cleared 2.25m to finish second.
Qatar’s Asian champion Femi Ogunode improved the 100m meeting record to 10.00. The previous meeting and stadium record was held by Keston Bledman, who clocked 10.04 in 2013.
French sprinter Christophe Lemaitre edged out Jamaica’s Rasheed Dwyer by 0.02 in a close 200m race won in 20.31 into a -0.4m/s headwind.
Jamaica's world 4x400m champion and Commonwealth 400m champion Stephanie Ann McPherson got her second consecutive 400m win in Rovereto in 51.62.
Fiona Benson from Canada prevailed in the women’s 1500m in 4:05.62 over Ireland’s Clara Mageean, who was second in 4:06.54.
Shane Brathwaite from Barbados won the men’s 110m hurdles in 13.43 while Ukraine’s Hanna Platytsina took the honours in the women’s 100m hurdles in 13.13.
Russia’s promising 19-year-old Konstantin Tolokonnikov just had the edge over Morocco’s Amine El Manaoui in a close finish in the men’s 800m, with both men given the same time of 1:46.12. Turkey’s Ali Kaya won over his preferred distance of 5000m in 13:25.41.
Amber Campbell produced her best throw of 71.52m in the sixth round, the US thrower overtaking Moldova’s Zalina Marghieva who took the lead with 71.19m one round earlier.
Andrius Gudzius from Lithuania produced his best throw with his second attempt and reached 63.05m to win the men’s discus throw.
Belarus’ Natalya Mironchyk-Ivanova took the lead in the third round of the women’s long jump with 6.65m and held on to win from Great Britain’s Jazmin Sawyers, who was second with 6.49m.
Cuba’s Alexis Copello won the triple jump with 16.85m while Argentina’s German Chiaraviglio, a Beijing finallist, won the men’s pole vault on countback with 5.51m over Russia’s Ilya Mudrov.
Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF