There have been a few interesting performances by British athletes halfway through a week leading up to the traditional formal premiere of the indoor season, the AVIVA International Match in Glasgow.

Steve Lewis opened up with a 5.50m showing for an eventual seventh at the Springer Meeting in Cottbus, Germany, operating still off a 16-stride run-up to the bar. The twice world finalist vaulter looked pleased with his season debut and will be eyeing more representing Britain in the arena of Kelvin Hall on Saturday.

Topping the order was Greek Kostas Filippidis who equalled his own national indoor record of 5.72m for a second time on the trot, the first at Villeurbanne last Saturday, ahead of local favourite and former World U20 champion Raphael Holzdeppe who could muster 5.66m on the day.

Last way down the results list figured former world champion Giuseppe Gibilisco (ITA) at just 5.30m.

There was no pole vault but high jump instead on the women’s side as Svetlana Shkolina edged out her compatriot Irina Gordeeva on countback at a SB of 1.96m for both.


Also in Germany, U23 Chris Baker ended up fifth at 2.14m in the high jump at the Kolner Hochsprung Meeting in Cologne, which was 6cm short of his recent PB of 2.20m in Birmingham behind Robbie Grabarz.

On the domestic stage, UK Trials runner-up Gianni Frankis sped to a big PB of 6.85 secs over the flat 60m to knock a full tenth off his previous best, which (6.95) he had set no less than three times this winter, at the NEB Indoor Series at Newham to indicate that he is gearing up to a big leap on the international ladder.

The 23-year-old, coached by hurdles icon Tony Jarrett, had never run under 7 secs prior to this winter but now has recorded a good seven marks, including a further 6.97 secs in the first round yesterday, in this region packed into the last three weeks alone to demonstrate substantial headway in this department.

As regards the race, he came second on a photofinish decision to Femi Owolade in an identical time, also a big PB for the latter.

U23 Corinne Humphries cut an interesting figure in the women’s dashes by means of a brace of 7.51 and 7.53 secs runs, her fastest two in her career.


Lee Emanuel shows a gradual return to form after a stuttering last summer as he got off to a solid start of a 3:59.69 for fourth in the Cooks Classice Mile at Cooks Garden, New Zealand, speciallymarking the 50th anniversary of the world record over the distance by legendary Kiwi miler Peter Snell.

That made the fourth Brit to run under the ‘magical’ benchmark of four minutes in the distance in less than a week, U23 Rich Peters narrowly wide as well, and there could be a fifth in Kris Gauson, who is racing later tonight, towards a further boost to an encouraging early season.

The Kiwis occupied two places in the top three in the race headed by their star Nick Willis but it was American Will Lear that somewhat spoilt the home party as he held off the Olympic silver medallist to victory in 3:58.49 to 3:58.81.


Allan Scott could not make he final cut of the men’s 60m hurdles as he turned up short in just 7.98 secs for fifth in his heat in Chemnitz, Germany, following a considerably faster comeback of 7.85 secs out of retirement in Glasgow last weekend – but it was always going to prove a demanding task getting  back on track after a lengthy absence from the game.

German Helge Schwarger was a convincing winner in 7.64 secs (SB) from Hungary’s Baji Balazs who set 7.72 secs (SB) in second.

Reese Hoffa (USA) turned in the undisputed highlight of the meeting as he hurled a huge world-leading 21.87m in the men’s shot to turn round last week’s defeat and dominate young German world champion David Storl, who could manage 20.75m on the day. Portoguese record holder Marco Fortes was third at a national indoor mark of 20.57m.

Moroccan Abdalaati Iguider caught the eye as he stormed to a huge global header of 3:37.40 over Kenyan Bethwel Birgen in 3:38.01 and Ethiopian Jana Soresa Fida in 3:39.74, making up the top three spots in the world charts.

Malte Mohr vaulted a SB of 5.72m to sneak win on countback from young compatriot Raphael Holzdeppe, who levelled his own SB, in the men’s pole vault while former Brit Tim Abbeyie, now representing Ghana, was runner-up in the 60m in an equal PB of 6.64 secs behind German Julian Reus (6.59).