Halimah Nakaayi ran a world-leading national indoor record to win the women’s 800m, while Jarret Eaton triumphed in a competitive men’s 60m hurdles final at the Meeting de l’Eure – a World Athletics Indoor Tour Silver event – in Val-de-Reuil, France, on Monday.
After improving the Ugandan indoor record to 2:01.42 when winning in Lievin a week ago, Nakaayi dipped under two minutes for the first time, running 1:59.55 for a dominant victory in what was the sixth indoor race of her career.
The 2019 world champion was ahead at the bell and only increased her advantage over the final lap, striding down the back straight to eventually finish two seconds clear ahead of Ethiopia’s Tigist Girma and her Ugandan compatriot Winnie Nanyondo, who respectively ran 2:01.68 and 2:02.14.
It was a third win in as many races for Nakaayi this season, with the 27-year-old also having triumphed at the World Indoor Tour Gold meeting in Karlsruhe last month.
While Nakaayi was a clear winner, there was a great battle between USA’s Eaton and home favourite Pascal Martinot-Lagarde in the men’s 60m hurdles final.
France’s multiple world medallist Martinot-Lagarde had won his heat in 7.60 as Eaton placed second in his in 7.61, but the tables were turned in the final as world indoor silver medallist Eaton won by 0.01, dipping to cross the finish line in 7.50 – a season’s best and the joint third-quickest time in the world so far this season.
Brazil’s Rafael Pereira, who had won the second heat ahead of Eaton, was third in 7.58, equalling his own area indoor record.
The women’s 60m hurdles final was won by Spain’s Teresa Errandonea in 8.13 ahead of Poland’s Klaudia Wojtunik in 8.19.
Ethiopia’s Ayal Dagnachew made a successful indoor debut, winning the women’s 3000m in 8:41.32 to hold off Nadia Battocletti, who broke the almost 15-year-old Italian indoor record by running 8:41.72 to finish second.
Battocletti, who won the European U23 cross country title in December, kicked to move alongside Ethiopia’s Workua Getachew at the bell and was striding ahead, but Dagnachew – winner of the world U20 800m title in Nairobi last year – chased her down and moved past to claim victory, with Getachew finishing third in 8:41.95, also on her indoor debut. The top five went sub-8:45 and the top eight all dipped under 8:50.
Like Nakaayi, Britain’s Elliot Giles was another to claim a third win from three competitions so far in 2022, the world indoor 800m fourth-place finisher running a tactical race to easily take the men’s 1500m in 3:40.24, half a second ahead of Algeria’s Salim Keddar and France’s Jimmy Gressier.
Kenya’s Collins Kipruto broke the meeting record to win the men’s 800m, clocking 1:47.05 to hold off Morocco’s Mostafa Smaili and Kenya’s 17-year-old world U20 bronze medallist Noah Kibet, who both ran 1:47.27, with Smaili getting the nod for the runner-up spot.
On the day that he announced his retirement from competitive athletics, Poland’s world indoor 800m champion Adam Kszczot brought his career near to a close by racing the 1000m. He launched his attack at the bell, going wide and surging ahead, but he didn’t have quite enough to move past Morocco’s Abdelati El Guesse, who held on to win in 2:18.79 ahead of Kszczot’s 2:19.14. Morocco’s Oussama Nabil was third in 2:19.40.
Slovenia’s Tina Sutej matched the height she achieved to win her European indoor silver medal in Torun last year, soaring over 4.70m to win the pole vault competition from Iryna Zhuk of Belarus with the same height. Cuba’s 2015 world champion Yarisley Silva was third with a 4.65m clearance.
The women’s 60m final saw USA’s Kayla White blaze to a PB-equalling 7.13 to win ahead of Trinidad and Tobago’s Michelle-Lee Ahye with 7.19. USA’s Michael Rodgers won the men’s 60m final in a photo finish ahead of Kenya’s Ferdinand Omurwa, with both athletes recording 6.64.
High jump victory was claimed by Switzerland’s Loic Gasch, thanks to a 2.25m clearance, while Enzo Hodebar’s indoor PB leap of 16.68m secured him a triple jump win on home soil.