Belgium’s Noor Vidts finished 2020 at the top of the world indoor pentathlon list and the 24-year-old has put herself in a very strong position to qualify for the Torun 2021 European Athletics Indoor Championships which begins on 4 March.
Vidts set an early season world leading mark and lifetime best of 4665 points at the X-Athletics Meeting in Aubiere on Sunday (24), winning by over 200 points from Benin’s Odile Ahouanwanou (4461 points) and Poland’s Paulina Ligarska (4405 points).
Vidts concluded her competition with individual indoor lifetime bests with 6.42m in the long jump and 2:14.30 in the 800m which took her overall tally beyond her previous lifetime best of 4629 points.
“I am really happy with the result. I didn’t expect it at all,” said Vidts.
Based on this result, Vidts will almost certainly join her compatriot Nafissatou Thiam in Torun this March. The top six athletes on the 2021 European pentathlon list will all secure their tickets to compete in the Arena Torun.
In the heptathlon, Rik Taam from the Netherlands also set an early season world lead of 6001 points.
Swiss combined eventers also showed good early season form in individual events in St. Gallen on Sunday. The multi-talented European U20 decathlon champion Simon Ehammer clocked 7.84 in the 60m hurdles to eclipse the qualifying standard for Torun and also reached out to 7.63m in the long jump.
His teammate Annik Kalin, the European U20 heptathlon bronze medallist, also followed suit with 8.19 in the women’s 60m hurdles.
Schwanitz returns with 19.11m world lead
Competing for the first time since the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha, Christina Schwanitz didn’t elicit any signs of lacking in form and sharpness on her return to the ring in Chemnitz on Sunday.
Now 35, Schwanitz pushed out to a world leading mark of 19.11m with her sixth attempt to comfortably exceed the qualifying standard for Torun 2021.
Her compatriots Sara Gambetta and Katharina Maisch also surpassed the 18 metre-line with 18.18m and 18.12m respectively.
German sprinters also showed good early season form across the weekend. Competing in Chemnitz at a separate meeting on Friday (22) evening, German relay stalwart Rebekka Haase clocked 7.26 and 7.27 in two 60m races and 23.09 in the 200m and Corinna Schwab clocked a European leading 52.27 in the 400m.
There was also fast sprinting the following day in Leverkusen (23) where Tatjana Pinto and Jennifer Montag clocked 7.18 and 7.24 respectively in separate 60m races.
Elsewhere around Europe…
Olympic champion Ryan Crouser captured the headlines by smashing the world indoor record with 22.82m in Fayetteville on Sunday (24) but one of Europe’s leading exponents also made an auspicious season’s opener at the Czech Indoor League in Prague on Saturday.
Tomas Stanek produced his second best ever season’s opener with 21.48m in the shot put while three-time world and European indoor 400m champion Pavel Maslak dropped down in distance to win the 200m in 21.02.
At the Quality Hotel Games in Vaxjo, Sweden Thobias Montler went over the eight metre-line in his first long jump competition of the year with 8.06m and youngster Carl Bengtstrom improved to 46.35 in the 400m.
European U23 1500m champion Ignacio Fontes from Spain won a very competitive domestic 3000m in Valencia on Saturday (23) in a world-leading time of 7:50.33 just ahead of Jesus Gomez (7:50.38), Fernando Carro (7:50.54) and Daniel Arce (7:50.64), all of whom were under the previous world lead of 7:51.64.
Ersu Sasma broke the outright Turkish pole vault record in Istanbul on Saturday. The 21-year-old cleared 5.71m on his second attempt to eclipse the long-standing record by just one centimetre.
This was an especially poignant moment for Sasma whose coach Halil Ibrahim Comlekci tragically died of a heart attack only five days before the competition.