Malaika Mihambo lights up Düsseldorf with world lead

Germany’s Olympic Champion Malaika Mihambo produced another piece of last moment magic to take the Long Jump at the ISTAF INDOOR Düsseldorf with a world lead of 6.96 m. There were fast sprints in the PSD Bank Dome as well: Arthur Cissé of the Ivory Coast won in 6.56 while Poland’s Ewa Swoboda took the 60 m in 7.10 seconds. A limited number of spectators were allowed back to the ISTAF INDOOR Düsseldorf, which is a World Athletics Indoor Tour Silver Meeting, and they produced a fine atmosphere in the arena.


“Malaika always makes it exciting. Her final jump of 6.96 was amazing and it crowned a top notch ISTAF INDOOR Düsseldorf. The fans created an incredible atmosphere which pushed the athletes to top performances. I thank everyone who made this athletics festival possible,“ said Meeting Director Martin Seeber.


Women’s events: Nadine Visser returns winning

Having had to settle for third at the ISTAF INDOOR Berlin little over two weeks ago it looked like another miserable afternoon for Malaika Mihambo. Up to the sixth round of the long jump competition the Olympic Champion was in the runner-up position. Malaika Mihambo had started with 6.39 m but then could not build on that in the following four rounds. However, as she has done so often in the past, she did produce a huge jump in round six: With 6.96 she improved by more than half a metre and moved up to number one position in the world indoor season’s list. This was also a meeting record. Hungary’s Diana Lesti was second with a personal best of 6.53 and Filippa Fotopoulou of Cyprus, who had been in the lead before the final round, finished third with 6.42.


„Before my final jump I knew that 6.39 metres would not be my last word. Landing in the pit I had a really good feeling,“ said Malaika Mihambo, who intends to focus very much on the summer with the World Championships in Oregon and the European Championships in Munich. „At the national championships in Leipzig next week I want to run the 60 metres to get faster and win the Long Jump title. I will then end my indoor season.“


World Leader Ewa Swoboda, who clocked 7.00 earlier this month, was a convincing winner of the 60 m with a fine time of 7.10 seconds. She beat fellow-Pole Pia Skrzyszowska who ran a personal best of 7.22 for second. Germany’s Tatjana Pinto was close behind in third with a season’s best of 7.24. “The race went well and it is a good time,“ said Ewa Swoboda. “I will run in Torun next and then I have the national championships. At the moment I am not yet thinking about the World Championships in Belgrade, I just want to be healthy and fast.“


Nadine Visser returned with a solid performance in the 60 m hurdles. The Dutch European Indoor Champion competed for the first time this indoor season and clocked the fastest time in the heats with 8.02. She then went on to win the final in 7.93 with Finland’s Reetta Hurske in second with 8.01. Klaudia Siciarz of Poland was third in 8.06. „I was not planning to start the season so late, but I had injury problems and then I was ill. My race was really good and now I hope to get in better shape and be able to fight for a medal at the the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade,“ said Nadine Visser.


Men’s events: Home win for Bo Kanda Lita Baehre

Arthur Cissé ran his second fastest indoor time this season when he won the 60 m in 6.56 seconds. France’s Jimmy Vicaut, who had clocked 6.59 in the heat, was second with 6.62 and Kevin Kranz of Germany took third with 6.64. „I am very happy with the win because my legs were empty. My next goal are the World Championships and I am not planning any other competitions before Belgrade,“ said Arthur Cissé 


Coming through in the second half of the race Milan Trajkovic won the 60 m hurdles in 7.61 which is a season’s best for him. The European Indoor Champion from 2019 denied Germany’s Gregor Traber who crossed the line in 7.64. In a very tight race for third Australia’s Nicholas Andrews, who had clocked a personal best of 7.71 in the heat, was just ahead of Petr Svoboda of the Czech Republik. Both were given the same time of 7.74. „It was a good race for me and I am happy with the win. I am slowly progressing for the World Indoor Championships,“ said Milan Trajkovic.


There was a surprising home triumph for Germany’s Bo Kanda Lita Baehre, who comes from Düsseldorf. He took the Pole Vault with a personal indoor best of 5.81 m with which he also tied his overall record. He cleared this height at this second attempt and was the only one to do so in the PSD Bank Dome on Sunday. „My goal was to deliver a great show in my hometown. This is a step into the right direction. But of course I am aiming for more,“ said Bo Kanda Lita Baehre.