Hurdlers Robles and Kallur light up Stuttgart meet
STUTTGART: Dayron Robles of Cuba and Swede Suzanna Kallur became the second-fastest of all time with victories in their respective 60m hurdles races to light up the Sparkassen Cup indoor meeting on Saturday.
The 21-year-old Robles blazed to victory in 7.36 seconds to equal Americans Greg Foster and Allen Johnson as the second fastest in history. Only Briton Colin Jackson, with a world record of 7.30 in 1994 in nearby Sindelfingen, has run faster.
Robles, who took the silver medal at the World Indoor Championships two years ago, left the field in tatters, winning by a comfortable 0.18 seconds. German Thomas Blaschek was second in 7.54, edging Johnson who reached the line in 7.55.
“As I get older, I’m getting stronger,” Robles said.
Kallur dominated the field after an unsteady start, clocking 7.72 seconds. Only world record Ludmila Engquist, who produced her 7.69 record for the Soviet Union in 1990, has run faster.
“I haven’t been injured this year,” said Kallur, 26, the European champion indoors and outdoors. “So I’ve been able to work on the hurdles a lot more this year.”
They chalked up two of eight world-leading performances set before a capacity crowd at the meet’s 22nd edition.
Olympic 5000m champion Meseret Defar won the 3,000m in 8:27.95, shy of her 8:23.72 world record at this meet a year ago but nonetheless the third fastest in history.
“I’m a little disappointed because I came her for the record,” said Defar, last year’s IAAF Athlete of the Year.
“I felt fine during the race, but maybe I’m a little tired after my race in Boston last week.”
At the Boston Indoor Games a week ago, Defar produced the fastest-ever indoor performance for two miles, clocking 9:10.50.
Other world-leading performances on Saturday included Briton Chris Tomlinson’s win in the long jump with 8.18m while Tariku Bekele of Ethiopia produced a fine performance to win the men’s 3,000m, clocking 7:31.09.