Competing in front of 2500 spectators in a hall that is usually used for ice hockey, there was some great vaulting. Otto, Germany’s current top vaulter, was pushed all the way by Kostas Filippidis, who last week upped his own Greek record to 5.83m.
In Pardubice, Filippidis went over 5.78m and tried at a would-be lifetime best of 5.88m, but it was not to be. Otto – who recently set a world age-35 best of 5.90m – cleared 5.83m on his second attempt to take the win before having a decent attempt at 5.93m; a height that would have been a world-leading mark and an indoor PB.
Czech vaulter Jan Kudlicka finished third with 5.65m, taking some notable scalps in the form of Maksym Mazuryk (fourth, 5.55m), Olympic bronze medallist Raphael Holzdeppe (equal fifth, 5.55m) and 2010 World indoor silver medallist Malte Mohr (equal fifth, 5.55m).
In the women’s competition Cuban record-holder Silva was a clear winner, clearing 4.71m on her third attempt – her second-best indoor mark to date. She then raised the bar to 4.81m – six centimetres above her outdoor Cuban record and a would-be world-leading height – but she only took one attempt before retiring from the competition.
Russian Olympian Anastasiya Savchenko finished second with an outright personal best of 4.61m to beat compatriot Anzhelika Sidorova (4.50m). European champion and home favourite Jirina Svobodova had been the poster girl of the event, but had a bad day and no-heighted at 4.35m.
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF
1 Bjorn Otto (GER) 5.83m
2 Kostas Filippidis (GRE) 5.78m
3 Jan Kudlicka (CZE) 5.65m
4 Maksym Mazuryk (UKR) 5.55m
5 Steven Lewis (GBR) 5.55m
5 Malte Mohr (GER) 5.55m
5 Raphael Holzdeppe (GER) 5.55m
8 Giuseppe Gibilisco (ITA) 5.55m
1 Yarisley Silva (CUB) 4.71m
2 Anastasiya Savchenko (RUS) 4.61m
3 Anzelika Sidorova (RUS) 4.50m
4 Nikolia Kiriakopoulou (GRE) 4.35m
5 Stella-Iro Ledaki (GRE) 4.35m
6 Romana Malacova (CZE) 4.35m
7 Aleksandra Kiryashova (RUS) 4.20m
8 Natalia Mazuryk (UKR) 4.20m