Mondo Duplantis, made PV on Sunday, photo by European Athletics
Oscar Husillos takes the 400m! photo by European Athletics
Femke Bol takes the 400m! photo by European Athletics
What an incredible Saturday! The 2021 EA Indoor Champs has had amazing distribution on the medals, with 14 counties now represented!
This is story 1 in six today by Stuart Weir, and he begins with an excellent one!
Saturday in ToruÅ„
It was another full, varied, and exciting day in the aptly named city of Torun. The morning saw three episodes in the two-day heptathlon and a range of prelims. We saw Tiffany Porter, a pharmacist by trade, running in her mask and progressing to the semi-finals of the hurdles. Mondo Duplantis made his first appearance, easing into Sunday’s pole vault final.
The evening brought us more of the heptathlon, semi-finals of the men’s and women’s 800m, and six finals.
The fastest man in town is Lamont Jacobs (Italy) whose 60m time of 6.47 was a world leader. If you’re wondering how an Italian comes to be called Lamont Jacobs, he is from Texas but has an American mother! The story gets better because he was a long jumper who had to give up the discipline because of injury and needing something to do, he took up sprinting!
I’m sure you would want to know that this is the 16th running of an eight-lane 60 m final at the European indoors but the first time there have been eight runners from eight different countries.
Femke Bol won the women’s 400m as expected, continuing her 100% winning streak this year. Her time of 50.63 was probably less expected, especially from someone who is really a hurdler and only runs indoor flat races as a distraction during the winter! She is also just 21 years, two weeks old! I rather think we’ll be hearing a lot more about her. It was a fabulous race with a highly talented, but difficult to spell, Justyna ÅšwiÄ™ty-Ersetic, second in 51.43.
The women’s 400m, photo by European Athletics
Jodie Williams from lane one with the notoriously tight bend came third in a PR of 51.73. That was a brilliant time but the “PR” makes me smile as Jodie has not run an indoor race for years and I believe that this week was her first indoor 400. She said afterward: “It’s crazy! I came here to do a job and it’s job done. Last time I came to European Indoors I got fourth so I had to upgrade that. I’m really happy. I got a bit boxed in, so I got a bit worried for a second. I knew I could do it. I just dug in and I’m really glad”.
In the men’s 400 Oscar Husillos held off three Dutch athletes to win. I understand that he gets a gold medal and as much gingerbread as he can eat. In case you didn’t know gingerbread has been produced since the Middle Ages in the city of ToruÅ„. The mascot is a gingerbread man called Katarzynka.
Katarzynka with Liemarvin Bonavacia, photo by European Athletics
The day would, of course, not complete without a disqualification and reinstatement followed by a counter-protest. I’ll keep that story for another post.
Elise Vanderelst wins the women’s 1,500m, photo by European Athletics
Belgium, thanks to Nafi Thiam and Elise Vanderelst, is top of the medal table with two golds. Britain has the most medals with five. 21 countries have gained at least one medal. There are 14 finals to be contested on Sunday.
Nafi Thiam, photo by European Athletics
400m Femke Bol (Netherlands) 50.63 EL
1500m Elise Vanderelst (Belgium) 4:18.44
Pole Vault Angelica Moser (Switzerland) 4.75 mPR
Long Jump Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk(Ukraine)6.92mWL
60m Lamont Jacobs (Italy) 6.47m WL
400m Oscar Husillos (Spain) 46.22
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