Vienna Invitational, by Bob Ramsak

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The indoor season is moving into full speed. After last weekends' Reebok Boston Indoor Games, the story moves to the Vienna Invitational and some fast hurdling. This article is courtesy of Bob Ramsak.

TRACK PROFILE Report #720
30-Jan-2008

NOTABLE HURDLING HIGHLIGHTS VIENNA INTERNATIONAL

by Bob Ramsak
(c) 2008 TRACK PROFILE Report, all rights reserved


VIENNA -- Hurdling took center stage at the Vienna Indoor Classic on Tuesday (29-Jan) night at the Ferry-Dusika-Halle, venue for the 2002 European Indoor Championships.

American Kellie Wells, a sub 13-second performer outdoors last year, won a tight 60m Hurdles race over Candice Davis, 8.01 to 8.05. It was a PB for the 25-year-old Wells, whose previous best was 8.08 from 2006. Davis, last summer's NACAC champion and NCAA runner-up outdoors, was the fastest in the qualifying round, with an 8.02 personal best. Both will meet again in Linz on Thursday where they’ll start as favorites.

23-year-old Briton David Hughes, a former European Under 23 champion, won the men's contest in 7.74, also a notable improvement from his previous best of 7.83.

But the fastest performance of the day was turned in by 30-year-old Damjan Zlatnar, whose 7.64 in the qualifying round crushed his own Slovenian national record of 7.73 set nine years ago. After cramps emerged a few barriers into the final, Zlatnar wisely decided to put on the breaks. A semi-finalist at last year’s European Indoor Championships, Zlatner punched his ticket to Valencia for his second World Indoor Championships appearance.

Slovenian Sonja Roman made her quick hop across the border to the Austrian capital a worthwhile one, repeating her 2007 victory in the 1500m with a gun-to-tape 4:09.46 performance this time around, the fastest ever debut for the 28-year-old. Left in her wake was Briton Celia Brown (4:11.29, also a PB) and Swede Kajsa Haglund (4:14.90, indoor PB).

Frenchman Guillaume Eraud won a competitive men’s contest in 3:42.63, ahead of Italian duo Christian Neunhauserer (3:42.82) and Marco Salami (3:42.97).

After a 6.65 in the qualifying round, Briton Ryan Scott nearly duplicated that effort with a 6.66 in the 60m final, narrowly edging American Greg Bolden by a scant 0.01. It was the third victory in four starts for the 20-year-old, who has a 6.63 PB from last year. Both are set to face off again in Linz on Thursday.

Running in the fourth of eight heats, Czech Jakub Holusa, the European junior Steeplechase champion, produced his first sub-1:50 run in the 800m, winning in 1:47.37.

Pole Michal Rosiak, the 2007 European U-23 champion, produced the best performance on the infield, winning the Long Jump with a 7.92 leap. Dane Morten Jensen, an eight-metre man indoors and outdoors, was a distant second, with a 7.64 best.

Elsewhere, Iwona Brzezinska won the women's 60m in 7.37, with Bulgaria's Ivet Lalova a distant fourth (7.44). Bulgarian Tsvetelina Kirilova lowered her indoor best to 52.81 to win the 400m.

When he began organizing the meeting, Georg Franschitz said he wanted to produce a competition "for the athletes". More than 600 from 23 countries answered the call, making this one of the largest indoor meets in Europe.

ENDS

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For more on the Vienna Invitational, click: http://www.iaaf.org/WIC08/news/Kind=2/newsId=43067.html

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