2019 IAAF World Indoor Tour: Highlights from PSD Bank Meeting Dusseldorf!

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The PSD Bank Meeting Dusseldorf was a fine ending to the season. The IAAF World Indoor Circuit had six stops in 2019, beginning with Boston on January 26, Karlsruhe on Feb. 2, Torun on Feb.6, Madrid on Feb.8, Birmingham on Feb. 16, and now, Dusseldorf on Feb.20. Each meet got better, and so did the athletes.

IMG_6962.JPG2019 PSD Bank Meeting, 20 Feb 2019, photo by Larry Eder

The Dusseldorf meeting was excellent. Eleven finals, plus some local events, and an enthusiastic crowd! Each final had something of interest to fans. The site was intimate, exciting and well organized. And we have had rave reviews of the streaming video.

To check out the complete streaming program, please go here: https://www.runblogrun.com/2019/02/iaaf-world-indoor-tour-2019-dusseldorf-livestream.html

Here's my quick tour of the Sporthalle Dusseldorf :

Here's my 11 Moments at the PSD Bank Meeting Dusseldorf:

1. Women's 400 meters: Lena Nauman won here in 54.61. Not a fast time, with Djamila Bohn, also of Germany, in 55.17. In third was Astrid Mangen Ingerbritsen, wife of an Ingebritsen brother, who ran 55.35.

2. Womens shot put-Christina Schwanitz kept her cold in control, and won here in 19.14 meters, taking the win and $20k US. Fanny Roos, Sweden was second in 18.47m, and in third, Anita Marton, Hungarry, in 18.34m . Briton Sophie McKinna took fourth in 17.94m, one of her best throws of the year. Rather low key, as athletes are getting readry for Glasgow and the US champs are on Friday.

3. Women's Triple Jump-Yulimar Rojas won here in a lackluster 14.46m, but she looks to have won the TJ WIT Tour. Patricia Mamona took second in 14.22m as the newly minted Portugese record holder looks ready for Glasgow. Dusseldorrf was a let down after the drama in Madrid.

4. Men's 60m hurdles-This was a totally mismanaged.

In heat 1, Jarret Eaton false started, and the reaction time was .071. He protested and was shut down. Jarret showed class in a poorly managed situation. The starter claimed to have seen him false start. This is where Management should be gotten involved. Then, the heat 1 is rerun, and Freddie Crittenden won in 7.66, with no Jarret Eaton. I was annoyed.

In heat 2, Wow! Orlando Ortega was false starterd, with a reaction time of .077. He protested and was allowed to compete. He wins in 7.58 in heat 2.

Protests ensue, and the final is delayed. In final, Orlando Ortega won in 7.52. Milan Trajkovic in 7.52, and Freddie Crittenden in 7.60. The event was poorly handled and managers and coaches could be heard as unhappy. Each round of men's 60m hurdles had false start. Something was amiss. And I almost forgot to say nice comeback by Andrew Pozzir, World Indoor and Euro Indoor Champion at 60m hurdles, who went 7.70 for 2nd in heat 1, and took 5th in 7.67 in the final.

5. Men's 400m-Strothers over Pavlak

This was a race that I had anticipated all season. Nathan Strothers opened in Boston in 46.97 PB and dominated the race. Maslak ran 46.78 in Karlsruhe. Strothers runs 46.34 PB in heat 1 of Torun. In heat 2 in Torun, Pavel Maslak runs 46.12. In Madrid, Strothers ran 46.21 PB. Nathan Strothers runs 46.45 in Birmingham, while Maslak catches a cold.

In Dusseldorf, Oscar Husillos runs 46.96 in heat 1. But, the fire is in heat 2. The race got off well, as Maslak cut well, and hit 200m in 22.18, with Strothers on his shoulder, in lane 2. Nathan's move scared this viewer a bit, but Nathan looks so efficient, like David Rudisha and Jeremy Warner having a love child, that you say to yourself, "Nathan, you go". At about the 300m, Nathan Strothers took the lead from Pavel Maslak, the man who owns the 400m at Euro and World indoors, with no protest. Nathan Strothers took the race home, with Pavel Maslak in second. Nathan's time was 46.48, and Pavel Maslak, 46.73.

After the race, Nathan told me he just has not been able to run fast indoors this season, but he was happy with the win. Pavel spoke about how he would evaluate if he could compete in Glasgow, considering his illness.

6. Men's 60 meters-Bingtian Su just does it!

The Chinese sprinter, Bingtian Su, is a rock star in China. Coached by Randy Huntington for the past year (Randy coached MIke Powell and was an ambassador for Keiser Sports Equipment years ago), Bingtian Su has run well this season. He began in Ireland just last week, on Wednesday, Feb. 13, winning the 60m and running 6.53. In Birmingham, he ran 6.47, taking the 60m final.

No heats here, just straight final. Bingtian Su go out of the blocks well, followed by Bryce Robinson and Mike Rodgers. Bingtian Su won in 6.49 with Bryce Robinson, SB in 6.57 and Mike Rodgers, in last race of his European tour, in 6.57.

In China, Bingtian Su is a true celebrity. I was with Bingtian Su as he arrived in Dusseldorf, with a team of six to eight. One of the true stories of global sport, China's rise to a track power since the 1970s is totally under respected. In May 1975, the U.S. State Department supported a meet in Beijing (and few other spots in China), where, while the Chinese fielded a team, they were just not that good. Today, in the sprints, relays, jumps and throws, China's athletics might is respected.

7. Men's 800m-no records-Arriba and Kramer

In Birmingham, Joseph Deng of Australia set a NR of 1:47.27, after keeping on his feet in a mid-race collision. Both Joe Deng and fellow Aussie Peter Bol, were hoping to both break the NR, ten minutes apart, in differrent heats.

In heat 1, the pace went out at 25.31 for 200m, 51.98 forr 400m, 1:19.85 for 600m, and Peter Bol seemed to bump into the pacer before leading a bit, and falling back. Alvara De Arriba, Espana, took the lead and won in 1:46.63. Balacz Vindics of Hungary, took second in 1:47.87, and Aarron Botterman went by Peter Bol for third in 1:47.94. Peter Bol finished fourth in 1:48.51.

In heat 2, the pace was just a bit slower. 25.3 at 200m, 52.19 at 400m, 1:20.26. Joe Deng looked solid, but Andreas Kramer, the Swedish NR holder, went by Joe Deng, who suddenly just looked tired. Kramerr won in 1:48.19. Joe Deng was second in 1:48.35.

8. Women's PV: Siderova wins

Katerina Stefanidi has been on a global pv circuit, starting in Reno, Nevada in January. She met a young athlete with cold and soon, the gold medalist at Olympics, Worlds and Europeans was reminded that yes, she is human. Competing a half dozen times with a cold, Stefanidi did not feel good until she woke up in Birmingham. She was fourth there. In Dusseldorf, she was third, in 4.62m with Alysha Newman at 4th. In second, was Nikoletta Kiriakopoulou, who cleared 4.67. Anzelhika Siderova showed her fitness, clearing 4.77m.

9. Women's 800m: Habitam Alemu

In the women's 800m, Habitam Alemu has been the big performer in Europe (Ajee' Wilson has been doing some serious running in the U.S. setting AR of 1:58.60).

Habitam Alemu knows how to stay out of trouble. She stayed up front, with Shelayn Oksan Clarke in tow, Lydnsey Sharp, and field. The 200m was passed in 29.08, the 400m in 59.16 and the 600m in 1:30.25. This was not a fast race, but a big kick would be needed. Alemu needed a 29 second high last 200 meters, and Alemu took the 800m in 2:00.70. Two seconds back, Shelaye Oksan Clark held on for 2nd in 2:02.25. Liga Velvere of Latvia was third in 2:02.28. Poland's Sofia Ennoui was fourth in 2:02.39. In fifth, Sanne Verstegan-Walters, NED, ran 2:03.04. In sixth. Lynsey Sharp, faltering after six hundred meters, took sixth in 2:03.07.

10. Big Battle in Men's High Jump: Tobe and Wang in 2.34m!

The high jump started out quiet, but fun. 2007 World Champ Donald Thomas was out at 2.20m. Falk Wendrich of Germany was also out at 2.20m. Mexico's Edgar Rivera and and Mateusz Przybylko entertained as they went to 2.25 meters. Luis Joel Castro of Portugal also ended his HJ battle at 2.25m.

And then, there were two.

Yu Wang was second in the big Karlsruhe jump, hitting 2.31m and equallying his NR. Naoto Tobe had jumped out of his mind, and cleared 2.35m, setting 3 NRs, MRs and WLs. In Birmingham, last Saturday, Tobe cleared 2.29m.

Yu Wang and Tobe kept the crowd excited with the high jump. At 2.34m, Naota Tobe cleared on his first attempt. Yu Wang cleared. 2.34m on his second attempt and the Chinese coaching staff around us erupted in applause. Wang had set an NR at 2.34m! Both attempted 2.36m, but neither were very close, as they had seriously had a long night of jumping.

11.Marie Jose Ta Lou shocks herself with her 7.02 WL!

This was the 4th race for Marie Jose Ta Lou this season. She opened in Torun and looked fantastic! But Ewa Swoboda has been hot all season and Swoboda's starts have been sublime. Let's face it, in the 60m, without a good start, the party is over!

In the final, Marie Jose Ta Lou had the best start of the season as did Swoboda. Ta Lou took command at 30 meters, and by then, Marie Jose Ta Lou was unstoppable, hitting 7.02 WL to win and Ewa Swoboda held on for a fine 7.10. Swoboda won the Tour, but Ta Lou won the race. Marie Jose Ta Lou was ecstatic! "No words to express my happiness!" noted the fine sprinter from the Cote' D'Ivoire.

12. Jakub Ingebrigtsen is suprmeme, U20 WR, NR, 3:36.02!

On Feb. 16, 2019, in Birmingham, England, most fans thought Yomif Kejelcha was there to win and challenge the WR. Pacemaker Bram Som took Kejelcha and a following Samuel Tefara through 55.9, 1:52.7 and 2:49.25. With 100 meters to go, 19 year old Samuel Tefara took over and sprinted by Tefara, taking the win and the WR, with his 3:31.04, breaking the 22 year old record of one Hicham El Guerrouj.

in Dusseldorf, the pace, again by Bram Som, was slower, as Samuel Tefara followed closely and Jakub Ingebrigtsen was menacingly close, followed by Filip Ingebrigtsen. The Hunter was now the Hunted. While the pace was slower, it was swift enough.

Watching Jakub Ingebrigtsen stalk someone is fascinating. Tall, muscled, and alpha, Jakub is focused, and his presence is obvious. Filip Ingebrigtsen, touring right behind, is also in the hunt.

When Jakub Ingebrigtsen went by Samuel Tefera, it was, ironically near the exact time that Tefera had went by Kejelcha, but, Ingebrigtsen did it with complete forethought, the change in pace was exact, and fierce. Nothing was lost in translation.

Jakub Ingebrigtsen did the passing precisely and Samuel Tefera, tired from the weekend past, and also, perhaps, not having been overcome like that before, had no response.

Jakub Ingebrigtsen went by, taking the win in 3:36.02, a new U20 World record, and a Norwegian NR. Samuel Tefera, the new WR holder and focus of so much speed, took second, in 3:36.34. Filip Ingebrigtsen took third in 3:38.34, his indoor PB.

When asked if he could have run faster, Jakub Ingebrigtsen noted, " a couple of seconds, but that was not the goal. I am focused on Glasgow." When asked if he would double in Glasgow, Jakub looked at me, smiled, and noted, " I will most probably double in Glasgow."

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Jakub Ingebrigtsen is for real. In 1,500m and 3,000m, those races will be his to loose.

Just to remind you, watch his quick interview with me:

The @runblogrun tour of the IAAF World Indoor Tour, aka Le Tour de Larry, is sponsored by USATF and Nike, reminding you that the 2019 USATF Indoor Championships are February 22, 23, and 24 at the Ocean Breeze AC, on Staten Island. To purchase tickets, please use this link:

http://www.usatf.org/Events---Calendar/2019/USATF-Indoor-Track---Field-Championships.aspx

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