European Indoors a Great Success

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Darya Klishina cleared the 7m barrier in GothenburgThe indoor season can often be so much of an anti-climax with many of the top stars choosing to wait until May to get their campaign started. Even when the best do compete indoors, there can sometimes be a generally weaker set of results as athletes are yet to peak and get to the height of their abilities. Thankfully neither scenario was played out at Gothenburg at the start of March as the championships produced a number of stunning performances and world-leading marks to show the global athletics community that Europe boasts some of the finest track and field competitors on the planet.

Renaud Lavillenie epitomised the spirit in the Swedish city as he cleared a stunning 6.01m then went on to only fail 6.07m after a freak incident saw the bar bounce up to another part of the apparatus and stay there - quite a bizarre way to end the competition but what an incredible series from the Olympic champion. Not one but two men went under 6.50 in the 60m to both set a world-leading mark of 6.48. Indeed young sprinters Jimmy Vicaut and James Dasaolu look set for a great rivalry as the season progresses and both should feature at the top of the European rankings for many years to come.

Briton Perri Shakes-Drayton looked superb and very classy as she took two golds in the 400m and 4x400m - maybe she could achieve greater success over the 400m flat as the Hurdles looks extremely competitive at the moment... only time will tell. The two Russian Long Jumpers Aleksandr Menkov and Darya Klishina - both 22, could well dominate the event for the next decade and their respective world-leading marks of 8.31m and 7.01m only emphasise that they will be two of the star attractions at the Summer's forthcoming World Athletics Championships in Moscow, where they will benefit from the substantial home support. Sergey Shubenkov is another Russian who is rapidly improving and he could challenge the world's top hurdlers in 2013 after his 7.49 WL in the 60m Hurdles.

It was so exciting to see Daniele Greco (24) bound out to a spectacular 17.70m in the Triple Jump to smash his PB and move up to =11th on the all-time indoor lists - two years after compatriot Fabrizio Donato jumped 17.73m in Paris, which was the furthest distance ever to come 2nd indoors.

There's no doubt that the outdoor season will provide its fair share of thrills and spills but the European challenge - particularly from the Russians, could be extremely strong in Moscow during the Worlds in August. We'll see some dramatic action and maybe even a World Record to boot, although it's anyone's guess where it will come from....!

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