Ekaterini Stefanidi of Greece Dominant Champion in Belgrade

first_imgBELGRADE, Serbia – Olympic pole vault champion Ekaterini Stefanidi of Greece was another dominant champion at the European Indoor Championship in Belgrade at the women’s pole-vault final on Saturday, while triple-jump champion Voula Papachristou landed bronze.Stefanidi passed at 4.70 and 4.75, and her first-time clearance of 4.80 swept her past her nearest challenger, Lisa Ryzih of Germany. Stefanidi won with 4.85.The 27-year-old was 10 centimeters above her closest rival, to add the European Indoor gold to the Outdoor gold of last year and the Olympic gold in August.Greece’s Ekaterini Stefanidi makes an attempt in the women’s pole vault final during the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Belgrade, Serbia, Saturday, March 4, 2017. (AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic)Greece’s Ekaterini Stefanidi celebrates after winning the gold medal. (AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic)Earlier in the evening Papachristou could do no better than third in the triple-jump final, with her best effort measuring 14.24 meters. That was her best jump for this season.Izmir Smajlaj produced Albania’s first European indoors medal when he won the long jump in an upset.Michel Torneus of Sweden was set to repeat as champion with a leap of 8.08 meters, but Smajlaj, with his last jump, matched Torneus and broke his national record by 10 centimeters, and received the gold medal on a countback of fouls. Torneus had three, and Smajlaj two.Airine Palsyte beat Olympic high jump champion Ruth Beitia to earn Lithuania’s first ever gold medal at the European indoor championships on Saturday.Beitia couldn’t pass 1.94 meters. Meanwhile, Palsyte cleared 1.96 and a final 2.01, improving her national record by a centimeter.Beitia was left with her sixth silver medal since 2005 at the European indoors.Czech sprinter Pavel Maslak became the first man to win the 400 meters three times. Maslak, also the two-time world indoor champion, led after the first lap and held off Rafal Omelko of Poland to win by 0.31 seconds, followed by Liemarvin Bonevacia of the Netherlands.Laura Muir of Britain won the women’s 1,500 in style. She broke the 32-year-old championship record by 0.15 of a second, and 15 meters clear of the runner-up. She also showed a nifty sidestep around a track official, who tried to prevent her doing a lap of honor for her first senior title.Muir races in the 3,000 on Sunday.Teammate Richard Kilty retained the men’s 60 title with ease. Meanwhile, British No. 1 Andrew Robertson was disqualified for a false start.TweetPinShare77 Shareslast_img read more