Special thanks to Stuart Weir, on this coverage of the 2020 ISTAF Berlin. The meet happened on 13 September. Stuart supplied that day, and I have just been behnd. My apologies to our kind readers.
There were several outstanding field events at the Istaf 2020 meet in Berlin.
Andrius Gudzius (Lithuania) was the surprise winner of the discus with 66.72 with Daniel Stahl (65.89) second. Stahl commented: “It was a bad day for me. I don’t know why. I cannot explain why. The atmosphere here was good, I have good memories, because I was second in the European Championships two years ago. The spectators are very nice, the organisation was perfect, but I just didn’t compete. Bad for me and good for Andrius. I will start in Zagreb in a few days and then the season will be over”.
Christian Taylor won the Triple Jump with 17.57m, a world lead, but only with his final jump. Taylor, who always seems to find the right words commented: “Istaf for me is a bucket list dream. Since 2009 I always said if I get the chance to compete here, it will be a dream come true. In 2018 I came to support my finance [ Beate Schrott in the European Championships]”, I cried because it meant so much to me. This is what we need to do – put on a show. We need to entertain. And in the end the crowd was really happy.
“The history, Jesse Owens is so special to me. Yesterday it was his birthday. The history and the city, the people know so much about athletics, they are so welcoming. I knew that a WL was possible today. I only needed competitions. I did not get the head-to-heads that I normally get”.
Mondo Duplantis – who else – won the men’s pole vault with 5.91m. From Piotr Lisek (5.82m). It was a disappointing day for Sam Kendricks with three failures at 5.72m. Duplantis commented afterwards:
“The spectators here were really loud today. It did not feel like there was a limited number of spectators. It felt like a packed house, the energy was great. It was fantastic. Berlin is a special place and I was really happy to be back. The crowd is amazing. I have not had this in a while. Things have to be really good when you jump 6.15m, the wind was there. So it was not good enough to take a jump at 6.15m. I did not want to take a risk today”. Finally he had a piece of advice for the meet organizers: “This stadium would be perfect for a world record with better winds. And please letÂ´s switch the pit”.
There was a major shock in the women’s long-jump with home favourite, Malaika Mihambo, beaten. The reigning World Champion who jumped 7.03m last week could only manage 6.77 for second place. The winner was Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk (Ukraine) with 6.87m. Britain’s Jazmin Sawyers had a consistent series of jumps (6.54m, twice, 6.64m and 6.67m) to take third place.
Johannes Vetter ensured a German victory in the javelin with 87.26m.