Athletics

Dina Asher-Smith scorches to 60m victory in Karlsruhe

Reigning world 200m champion equalled personal best 7.08s on first indoor appearance for three years, as Renaud Lavillenie rolled back the years in the pole vault.

By Rory Jiwani ·

Dina Asher-Smith was the star of the show at the first World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold meeting of 2021 in Karlsruhe on Friday (29 January).

Before tonight, the reigning world 200m champion had a personal best of 7.08s from Glasgow in 2018.

In her first indoor appearance for three years, the Briton looked ominously comfortable as she clocked 7.10s to win her heat after Swiss sprinter Ajla del Ponte took the first in 7.21s.

She was even quicker in the final, matching her lifetime best of 7.08s, to win from France's Orlann Ombissa-Dzangue with Del Ponte third.

Asher-Smith is fancied for medals at Tokyo 2020 having won 100m silver, behind Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce, and 200m gold at the 2019 World Championships in Doha.

On a good night for Britain, Elliot Giles was a surprisingly comfortable winner of the 800m.

The 26-year-old kicked clear before the home bend to win in 1:45.46 with Benjamin Robert beating his French compatriot, 2017 world champion Pierre-Ambroise Bosse, for second.

After an injury-hampered 2020, Olympic pole vault champion Renaud Lavillenie looks to be back on song.

Three first-time clearances, the last at 5.88m, was all the London 2012 gold medallist needed with American Matt Ludwig second on 5.80m.

Then the 34-year-old went even higher, going over 5.95m at the first attempt to break his own meeting record and register the best clearance of 2021 so far.

The Frenchman then had two failures at 6.00m before calling it a night, but he certainly looks capable of that later in the season.

Renaud Lavillenie: What makes my friendship with Mondo Duplantis so special

London 2012 Olympic champion Lavillenie may be approaching the autumn of hi...

Juan Miguel Echevarria's opening leap of 8.18m was enough to win the long jump, the Cuban finishing ahead of compatriot Maykel Masso who jumped a personal best 8.08m.

Reigning world 3000m steeplechase champion Beatrice Chepkoech cruised to victory on the flat in 8:41.98 ahead of Fantu Worku of Ethiopia.

Bethwel Birgen made it a Kenyan double, winning the men's in an effortless personal best of 7:34.12.

Nooralotta Neziri was a shock winner of the women's 60m hurdles, setting a Finnish record 7.92s to pip Nigeria's Tobi Amusan with Dutch Olympian Nadine Visser third.

In the men's event, France's Wilhem Belocian came out on top in 7.49s after running a personal best of 7.48s in the heats.

His compatriot, reigning European 110m hurdles champion Pascal Martinot-Lagarde, appear to suffer a hamstring injury in the closing metres of his heat and failed to make the final.

Auriol Dongmo was much the best in the women's shot put, throwing a Portuguese record 19.65m to win from Fanny Roos whose 18.64m was a new Swedish best.

Cameroon-born Dongmo won two African Games titles before switching allegiance to Portugal last year.

There was a home win in the women's 1500m as Katharina Trost surprised Uganda's world finalist Winnie Nanyondo with a late surge on the outside to cross the line first in 4:12.02.

Trost's fellow German Marvin Schlegel took the men's 400m, winning the first of two final heats in a personal best 46.61s.

Reigning three-time world indoor champion Pavel Maslak was in the second of two heats but the Czech seemed more concerned with crossing the line first, which he did, than the clock as he finished in 46.99s.

Cuba's Pan American Games bronze medallist Liadagmis Povea produced a personal best of 14.54m to win the triple jump.