Recently crowned NCAA indoor heptathlon champion Karel Tilga from Estonia converted this fine form onto the outdoor stage with a near 400 point-improvement on his decathlon lifetime best at the Specs Town Invitational in Athens, Georgia on Saturday (10).
Tilga scored a lifetime best and world leading total of 8484 points which also far exceeds the Olympic qualifying standard of 8350 points for Tokyo later this summer. He also moves to fifth on the Estonian all-time list which is still headed by Erki Nool’s venerable score of 8815 points from the 2001 World Championships.
After nine events, Tilga trailed Garrett Scatling from the United States by 177 points but the 23-year-old from Tartu, who stands at just over two metres tall, reeled in the leader with an impressive 4:26.95 clocking in the 1500m, one of four individual set across the two days, to win by eight points from Scatling.
Tilga also set outdoor lifetime bests in the three jumping events with 7.69m in the long jump and 2.10m in the high jump on the first day and 4.92m in the pole vault on the second day.
After missing the majority of the indoor season due to a leg injury, his teammate Maicel Uibo also competed in selected events across the two days. His individual performances included 2.10m in the high jump and 5.12m in the pole vault.
European indoor silver and bronze medallists Cindy Sember and Tiffany Ofili finished in the same order in the 100m hurdles at the Miramar Invitational in Florida on Saturday (10) afternoon, a World Athletics Continental Tour Silver meeting.
Cresting a tailwind of 2.7 m/s, the American-born British sisters clocked 12.55 and 12.57 respectively in the final in a race won by world record-holder Kendra Harrison in 12.38.
Their teammate and fellow European indoor medallist Jodie Williams, who won bronze in the 400m as well as silver in the 4x400m relay, was also in good early season form in Lubbock, Texas with marginally wind-aided times of 11.23 (2.3) in the 100m and 22.81 (2.1) in the 200m.
Germany’s Rebekka Haase also broke the 11 second-barrier in the 100m in Las Palmas, Spain albeit with a generous 3.6 m/s tailwind. Haase stopped the clock at 10.99 while her teammate Corinna Schwab clocked 22.99 (3.1) in the 200m and 36.43 in the 300m.
Ringer improves best marathon time to 2:08:49 in Siena
Germany’s Richard Ringer put himself in a strong position to claim a spot on his country’s marathon team for the Tokyo Olympics this year with a big lifetime best of 2:08:49 in a special elite-only race in Siena on Sunday (11).
Ringer was outside sub-2:10 pace through halfway in 65:16 but the German picked up the pace significantly in the latter stages. He covered the 10 kilometre split between 30 and 40 kilometres in 29:45 and improved his position from 34th at the 30 kilometre checkpoint to 17th at the finish.
“I overtook quite a few runners there, that was fun. In the end, I was even able to sprint the last 300 metres,” said Ringer who covered the second half in 63:33.
Khalid Choukoud from the Netherlands and Estonia’s Roman Fosti also achieved the Olympic qualifying times with 2:09:55 and 2:10:46 respectively but Italy’s Stefano La Rosa agonisingly missed out on the qualifying time of 2:11:30 by 12 seconds.
Former world and European marathon silver medallist Valeria Straneo, 45, also narrowly missed out on making her third Olympic marathon team. In a race won by Kenya’s Angela Tanui in an Italian all-comers’ record of 2:20:08, Straneo fell just over one minute adrift of the qualifying standard of 2:29:30 in 20th with 2:30:33.
At the German Race Walking Championships in Frankfurt on Saturday (10), Jonathan Hilbert led three race walkers under the Olympic qualifying mark of 3:50:00 in the 50km race walk. Hilbert clocked a since-improved world lead of 3:43:33 to win by exactly five minutes from Nathaniel Seiler (3:48:44) and Carl Dohmann (3:48:54).
Juan Antonio Perez took a dominant win at the Spanish 10,000m Championships in Torrevieja on Saturday (10) in 27:59.45. Maitane Melero won the women's title in 33:07.96.
At the Portuguese 10,000m Championships in Coimbra on Saturday (10), Samuel Barata and Carla Salome Rocha came away with the titles in 28:03.94 and 33:18.73 respectively.
Danijel Furtula improved his Montenigrin discus record to 65.59m in Bar, Montenegro on Saturday and the precocious Andrea Vilagos, 17, from Serbia surpassed the 60 metre-line in the javelin for the first time in her career with 60.46m in Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia on Sunday (11).