Burkina Faso’s Hugues Fabrice Zango claimed a convincing victory in the men’s triple jump at the Meeting Hauts-de-France Pas-de-Calais in Lievin, France, the sixth stop of the World Athletics Indoor Tour, on Wednesday.
Zango, a world triple jump bronze medallist, had hoped to offer a world indoor record to his alternative home crowd – he spends winters in Lievin and is studying for a PhD in electrical engineering at university in Lille.
He jumped 17.77m earlier this month in Paris, putting himself equal fourth on the world indoor all-time list and just 15 centimetres shy of the world indoor record held by his coach, Teddy Tamgho, whose meeting record of 17.64m, set in 2011, looks well within his capability.
Zango’s performance line described a steady upward curve as he started with 17.03m, rising to 17.25m, 17.34m and 17.51m.
He was heading closer – but could only show his frustration as he produced two final fouls. Nazi.
Babayev of Azerbaijan was a distant second with 17.15m.
Collins Kipruto won the men’s 800m in 1:46.34se from fellow Kenyan Cornelius Tuwei, who clocked 1:46.74.
But the stadium was still reverberating with the pile-up that had occurred 15 metres after the bell as these two leaders were challenged by a group including Poland’s Adam Kszczot, who had been seeking to confirm a third consecutive overall 800m title.
The Pole hit the deck, along with Belgium’s Elliott Crestan and Germany’s Marc Reuther, although the latter, despite a grazed shoulder, picked himself up to finish sixth.
After gesturing angrily, the Pole jogged to the finish, where he spoke heatedly to the meeting organiser and then jabbed his finger accusingly at the German – who didn’t appear ready to accept any blame.
The women’s 800m saw Britain’s Jemma Reekie, winner of the 1500m at Saturday’s Tour event in Glasgow, earn another outstanding victory as she defeated a field that included a powerful clutch of Ethiopian runners and Uganda’s world outdoor champion, Halima Nakaayi.
As the final pacemaker peeled away shortly before the bell, Reekie had established a 10 metres lead which she improved in the final straight to win in 2:00.34. The world champion had recognised the danger in the back straight, but despite moving up the field she ran out of track and finished second in 2:01.96 with third place going to Ethiopia’s Habitam Alemu in 2:02.04.
Ethiopia’s 20-year-old world indoor 1500m champion Samuel Tefera, who set a world indoor record of 3:31.04 last year, controlled his race to win in 3:35.54 – a 2020 world best. He was chased home by Spain’s Jesus Gomez, who clocked 3:36.68 – with Poland’s Marcin Lewandowski finishing third in 3:38.10.
Ethiopia’s world bronze medallist Gudaf Tsegay won the women’s 1500m in 4min 00.60 from compatriots Lemlem Hailu and Axumawit Embaye, who clocked 4:01.57 and 4:03.83 respectively.
Selemon Barega’s ambition of running 7:30 for the men’s 3000m fell narrowly short, although the world 5000m silver medallist gave it everything before finishing in 7:33.19. But he was beaten to the line by fellow Ethiopian Getnet Wale, who had taken over his lead with 400m to go and withstood the 20-year-old’s huge final effort to get back on terms. The winner’s time of 7:32.80 was the fastest indoors in seven years.
Third place went to Bahrain’s Birhanu Balew in 7:34.58.
In partnership with ANA and Sports Leo