Ekaterini Stefanidi produced her 19th successive win in the pole vault at the Muller Indoor Grand Prix Glasgow but she had to overcome a cold - and her compatriot - to keep hold of her win streak at the Emirates Arena on Sunday (25) afternoon.
Stefanidi was lying in second on countback to Nikoleta Kiriakopoulou who cleared a season’s best of 4.65m on her first attempt but the reigning Olympic, European and world champion produced an under-pressure third time clearance at 4.75m to add another competition to her unbeaten run which dates back to February 2017.
After setting a stadium record, Stefanidi then had three attempts at a season’s best height of 4.84m. The 28-year-old couldn’t improve on this mark but despite not being at full health, Stefanidi was pleased with her performance from a physical standpoint.
“I knew I was running much better today; we got to go on much bigger poles that I haven’t been on since the outdoor season. Physically I’m right there where I need to be for the World Indoor Championships but mentally I wasn’t quite ready,” said Stefanidi, who will be looking for her fifth successive major title in Birmingham on Saturday.
“Coming into the indoor season, I really thought I would start with a big, big jump but after my first meet, I had a bit of a pain and I think it affected me more mentally than physically. Today I was pain free - it was the first meet I was pain free.”
Stefanidi still has some way to go before she matches Mariya Lasitskene who won her 37th successive competition in the high jump. The reigning two-time world outdoor champion cleared 1.95m on her first attempt before just missing out on 2.00m.
Sagnia equals Swedish long jump record
Khaddi Sagnia’s best placing in a major competition thus far is a sixth-place finish at the 2016 European Championships in Amsterdam but the 23-year-old will be a contender for global honours at the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham.
Sagnia momentarily held the world lead last weekend with a 6.85m performance at the Swedish Indoor Championships but she moved back up the world lists in Glasgow, equalling Carolina Kluft’s 14-year-old national record of 6.92m to move within one centimetre of Ivana Spanovic’s world-leading mark.
“I couldn’t believe it,” said Sagnia. “I haven’t been jumping that good except for last week when I did 6.85m and I didn’t think I would jump so far today because I’ve been a little ill.”
Spanovic opened her competition with 6.82m before retiring from the competition after three jumps, finishing third behind Sagnia and Germany’s Sosthene Moguenara with 6.83m.
Khaddi Sagnia set a new NR in the women's long jump earlier with a leap of 6.92m.— British Athletics (@BritAthletics) February 25, 2018
The Swede stopped to talk to @Sam_Kinghorn and was clearly delighted with her performance.#MullerIndoorGPGlasgow pic.twitter.com/nNTkt9Kvtj
Kszczot makes it six from six
Adam Kszczot made it six wins from as many races in the build-up to the World Indoor Championships, leading a Polish one-two in the men’s 800m.
Kszczot ran a typically well-paced race to claim the win in 1:47.15 with his domestic rival of many years Marcin Lewandowski second in 1:47.50. Jake Wightman was third in an indoor lifetime best of 1:47.69.
Liga Velvere won the women’s 800m in a Latvian record of 2:02.01, defeating Lynsey Sharp (2:02.39) in the last race on the programme.
There was an encouraging performance from reigning European 200m champion Dina Asher-Smith who finished second in the 60m final to double world silver medallist Marie-Josee Ta Lou from Ivory Coast, 7.07 to 7.09.
Asher-Smith, who equalled her lifetime best of 7.08 in the heats, also took two very notable scalps: Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson in third in 7.12 and two-time world 200m champion Dafne Schippers in fifth in 7.22.