Recapping The World Indoor Tour

Young Ukrainian star Yaroslav Makhuchikh put her name in the World Junior recordbooks 3 times. (JIRO MOCHUZIKI/IMAGE OF SPORT)

THIS YEAR’S EDITION of the World Indoor Tour kicked off in late January in Boston, which we reported in the January edition. From there, WA’s prime undercover series embarked on a 6-city European sequence which was highlighted by the recordsetting antics of Mondo Duplantis, which are covered separately. But the young Swede was by no means the only performer operating at a high level in the series. Some additional highlights of the European WIT meets:

Karlsruhe: Mahuchikh Raises Her WJR

Karlsruhe, Germany, January 31—High jump phenom Yaroslava Mahuchikh had opened her season on the highest of notes, claiming a pair of World Junior (U20) Records. The 18-year-old Ukrainian, jumping in L’viv on January 18, had first scaled 6-6¼ (1.99) to equal the mark set by American Vashti Cunningham in ’16. That took Mahuchikh two tries, and the next height three, as she upped the standard to 6-7 (2.01).

In Karlsruhe she went herself one better, climbing over 6-7½ (2.02) on her first attempt. She finished her day with three misses at 6-8¼ (2.04), which would have equaled the absolute WJR she set outdoors last year. “I am very happy. I enjoyed the competition, there was a great atmosphere and I am very satisfied with 2.02m,” she said. “I’m in great shape and I knew I could jump that high. The 2.04m was close on the second attempt and even though I couldn’t do it today, next time I can do it.”


Men—800: 1. Mostafa Smaili (Mor) 1:46.38 (WL). 3000: 1. Bethwel Birgen (Ken) 7:38.50 (WL). PV: 1. Renaud Lavillenie (Fra) 18-8¼ (5.70). LJ: 1. Eusebio Cáceres (Spa) 26-2¾ (7.99).

Women—60: 1. Shania Collins (US) 7.20. 400: I–1. Ayomide Folorunso (Ita) 52.56 PR. II–1. Léa Sprunger (Swi) 52.56. 1500: 1. Axumawit Embaye (Eth) 4:07.94. 3000: 1. Taye Fantu (Eth) 8:37.58 PR (WL). 60H: 1. Tobi Amusan (Ngr) 7.84 (lo-alt WL). HJ: 1. Yaroslava Mahuchikh (Ukr) 6-7½ (2.02) WJR (old WJR 6-7/2.01 Mahuchikh ’20) (in-out: x, =2 WJ) (WL) (6-¾, 6-2¼, 6-4 [2], 6-5 [2], 6-6¼, 6-7½, 6-8¼ [xxx]) (1.85, 1.89, 1.93 [2], 1.96 [2], 1.99, 2.02, 2.04 [xxx]). LJ: 1. Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk (Ukr) 22-8½ (6.92) PR (WL).

Düsseldorf: 6 World Leaders

Düsseldorf, Germany, February 04—With Duplantis’s joining the 6-meter club at the PSD Bank meet, just about everything else got shunted to the background, although there were world-leading performances in 5 other events. An Ingebrigtsen repeated as men’s 1500 winner, as Filip—the only one of the three Norwegian brothers running this indoor season—lowered his PR to a world-leading 3:36.32. He just missed the family record of 3:36.02 set by Jakub in this meet last year.


Men—60: 1. CJ Ujah (GB) 6.53 =PR. 800: 1. Marc Reuther (Ger) 1:46.13. 1500: 1. Filip Ingebrigtsen (Nor) 3:36.32 PR (WL). 3000: 1. Selemon Barega (Eth) 7:35.71 PR (WL). 60H: 1. Yaqoub Al-Yoha (Kuw) 7.54 NR. PV: 1. Mondo Duplantis (Swe) 19-8¼ (6.00) NR (WL) (=6, x W). SP: 1. Filip Mihaljević (Cro) 70-7¼ (21.52) NR (WL).

Women—60: 1. Gina Bass (Gam) 7.16 PR. 400: 1. Lisanne de Witte (Hol) 52.30 PR. 1500: 1. Beatrice Chepkoech (Ken) 4:02.09 NR (WL). 60H: 1. Christina Clemons (US) 7.91. TJ: 1. Neele Eckhardt (Ger) 46-6 (14.17) PR (WL).

Toruń: Mondo, And A WJR For Hailu

Toruń, Poland, February 08—The Copernicus Cup proved to be yet another headline stealer for Duplantis, as the young Swede claimed his first World Record. But he wasn’t the night’s only recordsetter. The other came in the women’s 1500, where Gudaf Tsegay sped to a 4:00.09 victory to move to No. 7 on the all-time list. Fellow Ethiopian Lemlem Hailu briefly challenged her but ended up short at 4:01.79. Hailu, just 18, claimed the World Junior Record, breaking the 4:01.81 Tsegay had set 4 years ago.


Men—60: 1. Ján Volko (Svk) 6.58. 400: 1. Youssef Karam (Kuw) 46.26 NR. 800: 1. Collins Kipruto (Ken) 1:45.86 PR. 1500: 1. Ignacio Fontes (Spa) 3:38.57 PR. 60H: 1. Andy Pozzi (GB) 7.53. PV: 1. Duplantis 20-2¾ (6.17) indoor & absolute WR (old records 20-2½/6.16i Renaud Lavillenie [Fra] ’14) (18-1¼, 18-9¼, 19-5, 19-8½ NR [WL—6, x W], 20-2¾ [2]) (5.52, 5.72, 5.92, 6.01, 6.17 [2]). SP: 1. Tomáš Staněk (CzR) 71-8¾ (21.86).

Women—60: 1. Collins 7.24. 400: I–1. Justyna Święty-Ersetic (Pol) 51.37 NR (WL). 1500: 1. Gudaf Tsegay (Eth) 4:00.09 PR (WL) (6, x W); 2. Lemlem Hailu (Eth) 4:01.79 WJR (old WJR 4:01.81 Tsegay ’16) (in-out: 8, x WJ). 60H: 1. Alina Talay (Blr) 7.87. LJ: 1. Bekh-Romanchuk 22-10 (6.96) PR (WL).

Glasgow: Mondo Again, Local Faves Shine

Glasgow, Scotland, February 15—Duplantis made big headlines for the second Saturday in a row, raising his own WR. On the track, all eyes were on the popular Scots pair of Laura Muir and Jemma Reekie, each of whom scored a mid-distance win. Muir was targeting the 1000m WR, but came up shy at 2:33.47, which was nonetheless the yearly world leader. The 1500 went to Reekie in 4:04.07. Comebacking Ronnie Baker won the 60 in the year’s fastest low-altitude time, 6.50.


Men—60: 1. Ronnie Baker (US) 6.50 (=lo-alt WL, AL). 400: 1. Akeem Bloomfield (Jam) 46.20. 800: 1. Adam Kszczot (Pol) 1:46.34. 1500: 1. Birgen 3:36.22 (WL). 60H: 1. Pozzi 7.57. PV: 1. Duplantis 20-3¼ (6.18) indoor & absolute WR (old records 20-2¾/6.17i Duplantis ’20).

Women—60: 1. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (Jam) 7.16. 400: 1. Jessie Knight (GB) 51.57 PR. 1000: 1. Laura Muir (GB) 2:33.47 (WL). 1500: 1. Jemma Reekie (GB) 4:04.07. 60H: 1. Alina Talay (Blr) 8.03. HJ: 1. Mahuchikh 6-4 (1.93). LJ: 1. Bekh-Romanchuk 22-7¾ (6.90).

Liévin: Dueling WR Attempts

Liévin, France, February 19—Mondo came up short, barely, in his attempt for a third straight WR. While he was setting up for his final attempt, there was exciting vault action on the other side of the infield, where Sandi Morris was going for a WR-equaling 16-6 (5.03). She too was unsuccesful, but Duplantis said, “This event is really special. Look left—a World Record attempt; look right—a World Record attempt. That’s really special. I don’t think sport will ever have such a situation again.”

Echoed the American, “It’s probably something I’ll never get to experience again. I don’t know that it has ever been done before where a man and a woman were making attempts on the World Record at the same time. I wish both of us had made it but I guess we’ll save that for another day!”

Ronnie Baker ran the year’s fastest low-altitude 60, missing his PR by just 0.04 with a 6.44, a time only 6 others have ever bettered. Tsegay (4:00.60) won another 1500, again dragging Hailu to a World Junior Record, her 4:01.57 taking 0.22 off her own mark.


Men—60: 1. Baker 6.44 (lo-alt WL, AL). 800: 1. Kipruto 1:46.34. 1000: 1. Pierre-Ambroise Bosse (Fra) 2:19.26. 1500: 1. Samuel Tefera (Eth) 3:35.54 (WL). 3000: 1. Getnet Wale (Eth) 7:32.80 PR (WL). 60H: 1. Pascal Martinot-Lagarde (Fra) 7.47. PV: 1. Duplantis 19-11 (6.07) (x, 12 W) (missed 20-3¾ WR/6.19 WR). TJ: 1. Hugues Fabrice Zango (B-F) 57-5½ (17.51).

Women—60: 1. Gina Bass (Gam) 7.11 PR (lo-alt WL). 800: 1. Reekie 2:00.34. 1500: 1. Tsegay 4:00.60; 2. Hailu 4:01.57 WJR (old WJR 4:01.79 Hailu ’20) (in/out: 7, x WJ). 60H: 1. Nia Ali (US) 7.92. PV: 1. Sandi Morris (US) 15-10 (4.83) (missed16-6/5.03 =WR). LJ: 1. Bekh-Romanchuk 22-7¾ (6.90).

Madrid: Rojas Breaks Triple Jump WR

2-time reigning indoor and outdoor world TJ champ Yulimar Rojas can now also claim the undercover WR. (KIRBY LEE/IMAGE OF SPORT)

Madrid, Spain, February 21—In early February, in Metz, France, Yulimar Rojas became member No. 8 of the indoor 15-meter club (see sidebar) with her PR 49-3¾ (15.03). So when she came to the Spanish capital for the final WIT meet of the year, the Meeting Villa de Madrid, World Record buzz was in the air. The 24-year-old Venezuelan didn’t disappoint, reaching 50-7½ (15.43) to eclipse the 50-4¾ (15.36) standard set by Russia’s Tatyana Lebedeva in ’04.

“I’m over the moon; I can’t believe I’m the World Record-holder,” said the 2-time reigning world champ. “I want to get home and cry. I need to cry to release the adrenaline I have right now.”

The record came on her final try of the day. She had sandwiched a second-round 48-¾ (14.65) with a pair of fouls before scaring the WR with a 50-2 (15.29) bounce in round 4. “When I managed 15.29 so easily in the fourth round, I thought the record was definitely in my legs,” she said. The record jump was an absolute PR by 2cm and left her just shy of the absolute WR of 50-10¼ (15.50) set by Ukraine’s Inessa Kravets in ’95.


Men—60*: 1. Baker 6.44 (=lo-alt WL, AL). 400: 1. Samuel García (Spa) 46.39. 800*: 1. Kipruto 1:46.09. 3000*: 1. Wale 7:39.96. 60H: 1. Damian Czykier (Pol) 7.48 NR. PV*: 1. Konstadínos Filippídis (Gre) 18-4½ (5.60). LJ: 1. Juan Miguel Echevarría (Cub) 27-7¼ (8.41) (WL) (27-4 [WL], 27-3¼, p, f, p, 27-7¼) (8.33, 8.31, p, f, p, 8.41). TJ: 1. Hugues Fabrice Zango (BF) 56-9½ (17.31) (f, f, 56-1, 56-6, f, 56-9½) (f, f, 17.09, 17.22, f, 17.31. SP*: 1. Filip Mihaljević (Cro) 71-4 (21.74) NR (67-9, 70-1¾, f, 70-¼, 70-3, 71-4) (20.65, 21.38, f, 21.34, 21.41, 21.74).

Women—400*: 1. Święty-Ersetic 51.93. 1500*: 1. Tsegay 4:04.66. 60H*: 1. Clemons 7.82. TJ: 1. Yulimar Rojas (Ven) 50-7½ (15.43) WR (old WR 50-4¾/15.36 Tatyana Lebedeva [Rus] ’04) (in-out: 2, 2 W ) (f, 48-¾, f, 50-2 [WL—2, 2 W], f, 50-7½) (f, 14.65, f, 15.29, f, 15.43).

Overall Tour Winners

The winners of each of the 11 WIT events (6 men, 5 women) at each meet received $3000. The overall winners got $20,000 bonuses. Although it was initially presumed the overall winners would not get Wild Cards for the World Indoor Championships, postponed a year to March ’21, the IAAF later announced winners did earn Nanjing qualification. The overall winners:
Men: 60—Ronnie Baker (US); 800—Collins Kipruto (Kenya); 3000—Getnet Wale (Ethiopia); PV—Mondo Duplantis (Sweden); TJ—Hugues Fabrice Zango (Burkina Faso); SP—Filip Mihaljević (Croatia).
Women: 400— Justyna Święty-Ersetic (Poland); 1500—Gudaf Tsegay (Ethiopia); 60H—Christina Clemons (US); HJ—Yaroslava Mahuchikh (Ukraine); LJ—Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk (Ukraine).

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