70th edition of the ISTAF excites 51.812 spectators
The 70th International Stadium Festival (ISTAF) on September 11, 2011 was worthy of an anniversary event: 51.812 spectators at the Olympiastadion Berlin enjoyed great weather and exciting competition as many medalists from the World Championships in Daegu faced off at the Olympiastadion Berlin. Four competition records and three German wins resulted from 10 World Champions and four World Record holders competing.
Two-time World Champion Yohan Blake (100m and 4x100m relay) sprinted to a new ISTAF Record in spectacular 9.82 seconds. The previous record was held by Maurice Greene (2000) and Asafa Powell (2006) with a time of 9.86. „This was my first competition in Berlin and it was great. The spectators supported me real well. I knew I was fit to run fast”, the Jamaican sprinter said.
The German World Championship contenders had reason to celebrate. Discus World Champion Robert Harting stayed undefeated for the 19th time in a row, throwing his discus for 67.22 meters as he outpaced Olympic Champion Gerd Kanter from Estonia and Virgilijus Alekna from Latvia. „I have a lot of pain in my knee, but there’s only a couple of days left this season – I’ll make it through. That only works though because I don’t train anymore, I am competing in meets only“, said Harting.
Hammer throw World Record holder Betty Heidler showed that she is the “true” World Champion as she tossed her hammer for a new ISTAF record of 77.40 meters. World Champion Tatjana Lysenko from Russia (74.67m) came in second place. „This is a little bit of redemption. I am very happy with this win although I have not quite but the defeat of Daegu behind me”, said Betty Heidler.
The third German win of the day was captured in the women’s pole vault, where Silke Spiegelburg won. She jumped over 4.71m and subsequently failed to cross 4.81m which would have meant a new German record. She still won the competition ahead of Cuban Yarisley Silva (4.66m).
In addition to Blake and Heidler, American shot put athlete Ryan Whiting produced another highlight: He improved upon the old ISTAF record by Ralf Reichenbach by ten centimeters as he reached 21.61m. The previous record had stood for 31 years. World Champion David Storl came in fifth place with a length of 20.64m.
Last but certainly not least, Paul Kipsiele Koech from Kenia set another ISTAF Record. He needed just 8:04.48 minutes to reach the finish line of the 3000m steeplechase and thus improved upon the 12-year-old record by Moroccan Ali Ezzene (8:06.70) by more than two seconds.