For several weeks, Canadians Melissa Bishop and Shawn Barber were touted as potential stars of the AIT International Grand Prix, and in front of a capacity crowd in Athlone last night, the pair duly delivered.
Bishop moved to the front at the start of the women’s 800m and the world silver medallist looked effortless throughout as she eased away from her rivals, coming home a facile winner in a Canadian indoor record of 2:00.60.
Her countryman Shawn Barber was equally dominant in the men’s pole vault, the reigning world champion soaring over a stadium record of 5.79m to take victory ahead of Sam Kendricks.
Brian Gregan got his 2016 campaign underway in the men’s 400m, but the Clonliffe Harrier was outclassed from the start by world indoor champion Pavel Maslak of the Czech Republic, who equalled Gregan’s stadium record of 46.07. Gregan was second in 47.62. Another Irish athlete to mix it with the international stars was Kildare’s Rose-Anne Galligan, who was third in the women’s 1500m in 4:11.07, which qualifies her to run at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Portland, Oregon next month.
Another to impress was City of Lisburn’s Amy Foster, who produced a season’s best when finishing third in the women’s 60m in 7.33 seconds, but was just outside the qualifying standard for the World Indoor Championships (7.32).
In the men’s mile, Kilkenny’s Eoin Everard proved a victim of his own ambition, fading on the final lap to finish fourth in 4:03.16 after making a bold bid to break the four-minute barrier. The race was won by Ethiopia’s Dawit Wolde, who blitzed the field over the final three laps to set an Irish all-comers record of 3:54.02.
The women’s 60m hurdles produced the best contest of the night, with American Kristi Castlin edging last year’s champion Sharika Nelvis, 7.92 to 7.93. The night was rounded off with a stadium record in the men’s 60m by D’Angelo Cherry, who ran 6.58.
Meanwhile at the Globen Galen meeting in Stockholm last night, Mark English proved his versatility by dropping down in distance and scoring a convincing win over 500m. His winning time of 60.93 moved him to number six on the all-time European list.
Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba broke the women’s world indoor mile record with a time of 4:13.31 while Djibouti’s Ayanleh Souleiman set a men’s world indoor record for 1000m, clocking 2:14.20.
1 Barbara Pierre 7.12, 2 Olesya Pvkh 7.23, 3 Amy Foster 7.33
1 Kristi Castlin 7.92, 2 Sharika Nelvis 7.93, 3 Hanna Platitsyna 8.10
1 Melissa Bishop 2:00.60, 2 Adelle Tracey 2:02.34, 3 Anastasiya Tkachuk 2:02.44
1 Nancy Chepkwemoi 4:08.46, 2. Gesa Krause 4:09.49, 3. Rose-Anne Galligan 4:11.07
1 D’Angelo Cherry 6.58, 2 Diondre Batson 6.62, 3 Ramon Gittens 6.65
1 Pavel Maslak 46.07, 2 Brian Gregan 47.62, 3 Bjorn Blauwhof 47.75
1 Chris Brown 46.96, Luka Janezic 47.44, Clayton Parros 47.62
1 Patrick Feeney 47.00 2 Dane Hyatt 47.20, 3 Alphas Leken Kishoyian 48.15.
1. Michael Rimmer 1:48.13, 2.Guy Learmouth 1:48.20, 3. Jamie Webb 1:48.30
1. Dawit Wolde 3:54.02, 2. Filip Sasinek 4:00.07, 3. Lewis Moses 4:02.40
1. Shawn Barber 5.77m, 2. Sam Kendricks 5.71m, 3. Max Eaves 5.45m
1. Fabian Florent 16.34m, 2. Karol Hoffman 16.32m, 3. Viktor Iastrebov 15.89m
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