Reigning world and European long jump champion Malaika Mihambo provided a crowd-pleasing highlight to the Anhalt meeting in Dessau, Germany when she flew out to a world-leading 7.03m on Tuesday night (8).
Mihambo was clearly having problems with her run up in the early rounds and after four attempts lay third behind Nastassia Mironchyk-Ivanova from Belarus, leading with 6.72m, and Ukraine’s 2019 world championships silver medallist Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk.
However, it all come right on her fifth attempt and the German gave a shriek of delight, clenched her fists and embarked on a dance out of the pit, knowing that she’d taken the lead by a margin.
Moments later it was confirmed that she was the first women this summer to go over seven metres.
Bekh-Romanchuk responded with 6.85m in the same round to push Mironchyk-Ivanova back to third and neither woman could improve in the last round, leaving the delighted German to pass her last attempt and take the congratulations of a packed crowd in the main stand.
A few minutes later, 2017 European Athlete of the Year Johannes Vetter brought the curtain down on the meeting with a winning effort of 86.17m in the javelin.
He wasn’t within 10 metres of his massive throw of 97.76m in Chorzow, Poland two days ago and was nearly delivered a surprise loss by Moldova’s Adrian Mardare but showed his competitive instincts by pulling out his best throw when it mattered.
Vetter looked to be cruising to a comfortable win in front of an enthusiastic home crowd thanks to his second round 84.16m and he followed that with two further throws over 80 metres.
Mardare was the only other man to go over 80 metres and reached a season’s best of 82.34m in the third round but two fouls with his next two attempts gave the impression that he was unlikely to go any further in Dessau, until he unleashed an excellent effort of 84.41m with his last throw.
Seeing the lead taken away from him, Vetter gritted his teeth and produced his best throw of the night, the very last athlete in action as darkness fell on Dessau.
The pole vault promised much with a top quality field but in the end only two men went over 5.70m and Piotr Lisek clinched the contest by slithering over 5.80m on his second attempt, after earlier needing three tries to negotiate 5.70m before booming clear.
Poland’s 2017 European indoor champion then had three attempts at 5.95m but, in truth, none were close.
Earlier in the evening, Ukraine’s Yulia Levchenko evened up the score this summer against her compatriot and rival Yaroslava Mahuchikh and the pair now stand at 2-2 outdoors this year.
Both women comfortably cleared 1.96m at the first time of asking and it looked likely that at least one of them might go higher but it was not to be as both jumpers brought the bar down three times at 1.99m and victory went to the 2017 World Athletics Championships silver medallist who had fewer failures earlier in the competition.
Reigning European 100m hurdles champion Elvira Herman, from Belarus overcame a sluggish start to record 12.85 for her second straight victory over the barriers after also winning in Chorzow on Sunday.
Rebekka Haase ran 11.26 to win the 100m, having also run the same time in her heat earlier in the evening, but was pressed all the way to the line by her fellow German Lisa Nippgen who was second in 11.32.
Laviai Nielsen, who won the British 400m title in on Saturday, found an outing of 52.40 was enough to win by almost a second as temperatures cooled and Germany’s Christina Hering took the 800m in 2:02.26.