NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 26 – Hellen Obiri’s 3000m victory highlighted the Czech Indoor Gala in Ostrava on Thursday.
Competing before a sell-out crowd of 1000 in Ostrava’s athletics hall, Obiri, the world 5000m champion, out-dueled compatriot Beatrice Chepkoech in a high calibre race, clocking 8:38.81.
Chepkoech, a steeplechase standout, was just a step behind in 8:39.15, just ahead of Taye Fantu of Ethiopia who clocked 8:39.55. Olympic steeplechase champion Ruth Jebet was further back, finishing fifth in 8:48.99.
The evening’s infield highlight came courtesy of Czech Tomas Stanek, who reached a 21.61m world-leading effort in the shot put, also an indoor personal best for the 26-year-old.
Mesud Pezer of Bosnia and Herzegovina was second with 20.68m, a national record, beating back Croatia’s world bronze medallist Stipe Zunic, who threw 20.54m. European indoor champion Konrad Bukowiecki was fourth with 20.29m.
Yunior Perez set a meeting record in the men’s 60m, edging Jamaica’s Everton Clarke by 0.02 in 6.53. Ewa Swoboda of Poland won the women’s race in 7.21.
Two-time world indoor 400m champion Pavel Maslak entered two 300m races and won them both, clocking 32.83 and 32.52. Petr Svoboda, another Czech, won the 60m hurdles in 7.61, edging Jerret Eaton. Svoboda was quicker in the heats, clocking 7.56.
Elsewhere, 18-year-old Emmanouil Karalis of Greece won the men’s pole vault with a 5.62m clearance.
Iryna Herashchenko of Ukraine won the high jump at 1.93m, topping Michaela Hruba on countback. Bahrain’s Mohammed Ayoub Tiouali won the men’s 3000m in 7:44.58 over Kenyan steeplechaser Benjamin Kigen who clocked 7:44.77.
Ostrava will host the IAAF Continental Cup on 8-9 September.