It was an impressive night for Australian athletes with four podium placings and a personal best. The victories to Howe in the pole vault combined with a bronze medal performance from Tamsyn Lewis, who again broke through the two-minute barrier.
Like Steffensen, Kym Howe’s world championships preparations received a confidence boost with her victory in the pole vault.
Howe opened her competition at 4.30m and cleared every height, including her winning leap of 4.62m, on her first attempt.
The win included some major scalps including 2003 world champion and Athens Olympic silver medallist Svetlana Feofanova of Russia, who also cleared 4.62m but missed an earlier attempt at 4.57m.
“It’s great to win and I’ll certainly saviour it, but is doesn’t change too much. The girls have all beaten me a few times this season, so I’ll just return to Perth, train up and get ready for the next fight, which will be in Osaka,” Howe said. The trip to Europe has delivered impressive results for Howe, led by her Madrid victory and her best ever height outdoors of 4.65 metres in Saulheim, Germany, in June. Tamsyn Lewis celebrated her 29th birthday on Friday with an impressive third placing to once again dip under the two-minute barrier. In perhaps her best international result, Lewis ran 1:59.80 with the indominatable Maria Mutola of Mozambique the winner in 1:58.80, Morocco’s world and Olympic silver medallist Hasna Benhassi finished second in 1:59.47.
To round out the Australian results, Bronwyn Thompson was 11th in the long jump with 6.36, behind Russian Tatyana Lebedeva who was leapt an impressive 7.15m. Alana Boyd’s struggles in the pole vault continued, with a no-height.
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