2019 IAAF World Indoor Tour Recap

In the WIT kickoff meet, Sydney McLaughlin ran her only indoor race of the year, winning the 500. (KEVIN MORRIS)

SEASON NO. 4 of the IAAF’s World Indoor Tour played itself out with 6 meets in 26 days, highlighted by Samuel Tefera’s World Record in the 1500. The tour was composed of 11 disciplines: 5 men (400, 1500, 60H, HJ, LJ) & 6 women (60, 800, 3000/5000, PV, TJ, SP), although each was not contested in each meet. The overall winner of each event received $20,000 and—perhaps more importantly—Wild Card status for the ’20 World Indoor. The 6 meets:

Boston: Kejelcha Miles 3:51.70

The U.S. stop on the WIT, featuring a fast men’s mile, has its own coverage in the U.S. news section.

Boston Men’s Winners
New Balance GP; Roxbury Crossing, Massachusetts, January 26 (200 banked)—
300: 1. Rai Benjamin (US) 32.55 PR. 400: 1. Nathan Strother (US) 46.97. 800: 1. Donavan Brazier (US) 1:45.91; 2. Clayton Murphy (US) 1:45.94 PR (10, x A). Mile: 1. Yomif Kejelcha (Eth) 3:51.70 NR (WL) (12, 20 W) (3:36.43 PR [WL]). 3000: 1. Hagos Gebrhiwet (Eth) 7:37.41 (WL). 60H: 1. Jarret Eaton (US) 7.64.
Boston Women
60: 1. Michelle-Lee Ahye (Tri) 7.21. 300: 1. Kendall Ellis (US) 36.97 PR. 500: 1. Sydney McLaughlin (US) 1:09.46 PR (WL, AL) (9, x A). 600: 1. Raevyn Rogers (US) 1:27.31. Mile: 1. Gabriela DeBues-Stafford (Can) 4:24.80 NR (25, x W) (4:08.36 PR [WL]); 2. Elinor Purrier (US) 4:24.88 PR (=8, x A) (4:08.50 PR). 5000: 1. Konstanze Klosterhalfen (Ger) 15:15.80 PR. PV: 1. Katie Nageotte (US) 15-11¼ (4.86) (WL, AL). SP: 1. Maggie Ewen (US) 63-3¼ (19.28) PR (WL, AL) (6, x A).

Karlsruhe: Montler Upsets Echevarría

No. 1 World Ranker Juan Miguel Echevarría took a surprising loss in the long jump as Thomas Montler of Sweden leaped the same 26‑6¼ (8.08) as the Cuban, but had the better second jump. In the high jump, Naoto Tobe cleared a world leader and Japanese Record 7-8½ (2.35). “My goal this season was get the national record but now I’ve already done that,” he said. Three tied for the win in the women’s vault, with Alysha Newman, Anzhelika Sidorova and Katerína Stefanídi all clearing 15-5½ (4.71), Newman claiming a Canadian Record. Katie Nageotte took 4th with a 15-2¼ (4.63).

Karlsruhe Men’s Winners
Karlsruhe, Germany, February 02 (200 banked)—
400: 1. Pavel Maslák (CzR) 46.78. 800: 1. Andreas Kramer (Swe) 1:46.52 PR. 1500: 1. Vincent Kibet (Ken) 3:38.23. HJ: 1. Naoto Tobe (Jpn) 7-8½ (2.35) NR (WL). LJ: 1. Thobias Nilsson Montler (Swe) 26‑6¼ (8.08) PR.
Karlsruhe Women
60: 1. Ewa Swoboda (Pol) 7.10 (7.08h WL). 3000: 1. Melissa Courtney (GB) 8:43.36 PR (WL). 60H: 1. Nadine Visser (Hol) 7.97. PV: 1. tie, Alysha Newman (Can), Anzhelika Sidorova (Rus) & Ekateríni Stefanídi (Gre) 15-5½ (4.71). TJ: 1. Ana Peleteiro (Spa) 47-7¼ (14.51) PR.

Toruń: Tefera Lowers PR To 3:35.57

Ethiopia’s Samuel Tefera, the World Indoor champion who is still only 19, produced a 3:35.57 world leader over 1500 to beat the 3:36.50 Polish Record by Marcin Lewandowski. Frustrated by the pace of his rabbit, Aman Wote, Tefera said later that he could have done better. “The opening was a little slow. I was expecting faster,” he said.

Sam Kendricks captured the vault with a second-attempt clearance at 18-11½ (5.78) and then took three attempts at 19-5 (5.92). Ewa Swoboda of Poland topped Marie-Josée Ta Lou in the women’s dash, sprinting 7.15 to the World Indoor runner-up’s 7.16. An exciting women’s 800 finish saw Ethiopia’s Habitam Alemu outlean Laura Muir at the finish, 1:59.49–1:59.50.

Toruń Men’s Winners
Copernicus Cup; Toruń, Poland, February 06 (200 banked)—
400: 1. Pavel Maslák (CzR) 46.19. 800: 1. Erik Sowinski (US) 1:47.49. 1500: 1. Samuel Tefera (Eth) 3:35.57 PR (WL). 60H: 1. Orlando Ortega (Spa) 7.49 (=WL). HJ: 1. Ilya Ivanyuk (Rus) 7-4½ (2.25). PV: 1. Sam Kendricks (US) 18‑11½ (5.78). LJ: 1. Juan Miguel Echevarría (Cub) 26-7¾ (8.12).
Toruń Women
60: 1. Ewa Swoboda (Pol) 7.15. 400: 1. Iga Baumgart-Witan (Pol) 51.91 PR. 800: 1. Habitam Alemu (Eth) 1:59.49 PR. 60H: 1. Pamela Dutkiewicz (Ger) 7.95. SP: 1. Christina Schwanitz (Ger) 62-3 (18.97).

Madrid: Tori Franklin Triples AR 47-9¾ (14.57)

She may have lost the triple jump in her Spanish appearance, but Tori Franklin captured the indoor American Record to go alongside the outdoor best in her collection. With Venezuela’s Yulimar Rojas already in the lead with her booming first-round 48-11½ (14.92) that moved her to No. 12 on the all-time list, Franklin opened up at 46-½ (14.03), then bounded the record 47-9¾ (14.57) on her second try to take down Keturah Orji’s national standard of 47-8 (14.53) from last season. In/out, Franklin’s jump ties the No. 7 performance in U.S. history. She finished off with a solid series: 47-2½ (14.39), foul, 47-6¼ (14.48), 46-9 (14.25).

For Rojas, whose mark was the farthest indoor TJ in the world since ’10, it was the sign that she had successfully rehabilitated after injuries hampered her ’18 campaign. “I feel great happiness as all the hard work I have done with my team has paid off today,” she said.

Russia’s Anzhelika Sidorova produced a world-leading 16-1¼ (4.91) in the vault to move to =4 on the all-time list. She handily topped Greece’s Nikoléta Kiriakopoúlou (15‑6½/4.74).

Madrid Men’s Winners
Madrid, Spain, February 08 (200 banked; altitude 696m)—
60: 1. Mike Rodgers (US) 6.57. 400: 1. Nathan Strother (US) 46.21. 800: 1. Cornelius Tuwei (Ken) 1:47.76 PR. 1500: 1. Bethwel Birgen (Ken) 3:40.17. 60H: 1. Jarret Eaton (US) 7.56. LJ: 1. Miltiádis Tentóglou (Gre) 27-0 (8.23) NR. SP: 1. David Storl (Ger) 68-11¼ (21.01).
Madrid Women
60: 1. Ewa Swoboda (Pol) 7.11. 800: 1. Adriana Cagigas (Spa) 2:03.94 PR. 1500: 1. Sofia Ennaoui (Pol) 4:08.31.
3000: 1. Alemaz Teshale (Eth) 8:43.76 PR. PV: 1. Anzhelika Sidorova (Rus) 16-1¼ (4.91) PR (WL) (=4, =12 W; in/out: =5, x W). TJ: 1. Yulimar Rojas (Ven) 48-11½ (14.92) NR (WL) (12, x W); 2. Tori Franklin (US) 47-9¾ (14.57) AR (old AR 47‑8/14.53 Keturah Orji [Ga] ’18) (in/out: x =7 A) (46‑½, 47‑9¾, 47-2½ [x, =3 A], f, 47-6¼ [x, 3 A], 46-9) (14.03, 14.57, 14.39, f, 14.48, 14.25).

Laura Muir thrilled the Birmingham crowd by running the third-fastest indoor mile ever. (MARK SHEARMAN)

Birmingham: Muir Miles 4:18.75

Samuel Tefera lit up the Müller GP in Birmingham with his metric mile record, but just about as popular was the women’s equivalent, run at a real mile. Laura Muir thrilled the home crowd with her national record 4:18.75, the No. 3 performance ever, trailing just Genzebe Dibaba (4:13.31) and Doina Melinte (4:17.14) on the all-time list. The 25-year-old Scot also claimed the national 1500 record en route with her 4:01.84. “I just wanted to run a similar distance to 1500m because I have not raced over 1500m since the end of last season,” she said. “It was the perfect way to prepare for the European Indoor Championships in Glasgow.”

The meet also crowned the first two WIT champions of the year, Cuba’s Juan Miguel Echevarría claiming the men’s LJ title and Ethiopian’s Alemaz Teshale the women’s 3000.

Birmingham Men’s Winners
Müller GP; Birmingham, England, February 16 (200 banked)—
60: 1. Bingtian Su (Chn) 6.47 (WL). 400: 1. Nathan Strother (US) 46.45. 800: 1. Joseph Deng (Aus) 1:47.27 NR. 1500: 1. Samuel Tefera (Eth) 3:31.04 WR (old WR 3:31.18 Hicham El Guerrouj [Mor] ’97) (56.3, 56.8 [1:53.1], 56.4 [2:49.5], 41.5) (13.9, 27.4, 55.4); 2. Yomif Kejelcha (Eth) 3:31.58 PR (3, 3 W) (14.4, 28.2, 56.1). 60H: 1. Jarret Eaton (US) 7.51. HJ: 1. Naoto Tobe (Jpn) 7-6 (2.29). LJ: 1. Juan Miguel Echevarría (Cub) 26‑11¼ (8.21) (wins WIT).
Birmingham Women
60: 1. Elaine Thompson (Jam) 7.13. 400: 1. Stephenie Ann McPherson (Jam) 52.24. 800: 1. Shelayna Oskan-Clarke (GB) 2:01.16. Mile: 1. Laura Muir (GB) 4:18.75 NR (WL) (3, 3 W) (4:01.84 NR [16, x W]). 3000: 1. Alemaz Teshale (Eth) 8:54.60 (wins WIT). 60H: 1. Evonne Britton (US) 7.91 PR. PV: 1. Holly Bradshaw (GB) 15-9¼ (4.81). LJ: 1. Ivana Španović (Ser) 22-3 (6.78).

Düsseldorf: Ingebrigtsen Takes Down Tefera

Jakob Ingebrigtsen was chasing Samuel Tefera twice over in Düsseldorf, as the PSD Bank Meeting wrapped up this year’s World Indoor tour. In a battle of teenage stars, the 18-year-old Norwegian was not only looking for a win but also trying to take down the 19-year-old Ethiopian’s claim to the fastest indoor 1500 ever by a Junior. He was successful on both counts.

Rabbits Bram Som (56.14) and Adam Czerwinski (1:54.44) did the early dirty work and when the Pole pulled off the track with about 2 laps to go, with new WR holder Tefera on his shoulder, Ingebrigtsen quickly halved his margin behind the Ethiopian. He patiently stayed a stride or so behind until the middle of the final curve, where he began his surge and pulled away down the homestretch to win 3:36.02–3:36.34.

“I felt good,” said the winner. “You always have some negative thoughts, going from zero at the start to that kind of pace. But through the race I started feeling better. From there on the goal was just to beat Tefera.” He also beat Tefera’s 3:36.05 of last year as the fastest U20 time ever indoors. That mark wasn’t ratified by the IAAF because of a lack of testing.

Tefera did win one of the 9 overall WIT titles handed out during the meet. So did Marie-Josée Ta Lou, whose 7.02 in the 60 claimed the yearly world lead.

Düsseldorf Men’s Winners
PSD Bank Meeting; Düsseldorf, Germany, February 20 (200 banked)—
60: 1. Bingtian Su (Chn) 6.49. 400: 1. Nathan Strother (US) 46.48 (wins WIT). 800: 1. Álvaro de Arriba (Spa) 1:46.63. 1500: 1. Jakob Ingebrigtsen (Nor) 3:36.02 WJR (old WJR 3:36.21 Ingebrigtsen ’19); 2. Samuel Tefera (Eth) 3:36.34 (wins WIT). 60H: 1. Orlando Ortega (Spa) 7.52 (Jarret Eaton [US] false start in heat, but wins WIT). HJ: 1. Naoto Tobe (Jpn) 7-8 (2.34) (wins WIT).
Düsseldorf Women
60: 1. Marie-Josée Ta Lou (CI) 7.02 (WL); 2. Ewa Swoboda (Pol) 7.10 (wins WIT). 800: 1. Habitam Alemu (Eth) 2:00.70 (wins WIT). PV: 1. Anzhelika Sidorova (Rus) 15-7¾ (4.77) (wins WIT). TJ: 1. Yulimar Rojas (Ven) 47-5¼ (14.46) (wins WIT). SP: 1. Christina Schwanitz (Ger) 62-9½ (19.14) (wins WIT). □

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