American Ashton Eaton set a new world record in winning the men’s heptathlon title at the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul, but the home nation celebrated the loudest with two medals today.
Eaton improved his own record by 77 points over the two days of competition, finishing a massive 574 points ahead of Ukraine’s Oleksiy Kasyanov, with Russian Artem Lukyanenko in third.
“It feels good,” Eaton said. “I knew I could break the world record. Everything was good, I didn’t have any bad event. It’s a good beginning to the season and I will now be preparing for the Olympic trials, which are very competitive in the US.”
Turkey’s medals both came in the 1,500 metres, with Ilham Tanui Ozbilen claiming silver in the men’s race behind Morocco’s Abdalaati Iguider and Asli Cakir Alptekin taking bronze in the women’s race won by Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia.
Alptekin said: “I am very delighted since this is a historical win for Turkey. My target was to be in the final and winning a medal is a big surprise.
“I felt the energy and the power from the crowd. It made me believe that I could have a medal.”
Elsewhere, Britain’s Yamile Aldama won the triple jump title at the age of 39 with a leap of 14.82m, while New Zealand’s Valerie Adams won the women’s shot with 20.54m in the final round and France’s Renaud won the pole vault with a world-leading clearance of 5.95m.
American Chaunte Lowe won a hard-fought high jump final as the only woman to clear 1.98m, with five women clearing 1.95m. Russia’s Anna Chicherova took silver on countback ahead of Italy’s Antonietta Di Martino.
Australia’s Sally Pearson added the indoor world title to her outdoor crown with a dominant win in the 60m hurdles, making the most of a stunning start to win in 7.73s ahead of Britain’s Tiffany Porter.
But there was a surprise in the men’s 400m where world outdoor champion Kirani James of Grenada could only finish sixth in a final won by Nery Brenes of Costa Rica.
The men’s 60m final completed the second day’s action as American Justin Gatlin stormed to victory in 6.46s ahead of Jamaica’s Nesta Carter, with Britain’s defending champion Dwain Chambers taking third by the narrowest of margins ahead of American Trell Kimmons, with both athletes given a time of 6.60s.
“I came here dominating and I wanted to follow up,” said Gatlin, who served a lengthy drugs ban from the sport. “I won the 2003 championships in Birmingham with exactly the same time and it feels great to be back.”