As the countdown continues for the World Championships in Doha at the end of September, the 78th edition of ISTAF, the world’s oldest track and field meeting, has outstanding talent on display as the organizers announced the competitors so far confirmed for Berlin’s Olympic stadium on Sunday, September 1. The ISTAF is an IAAF World Challenge Meeting.
Vivid memories of last year’s European Championships in Berlin should be revived in the men’s pole vault. Armand Duplantis of Sweden, now 19, cleared 6.05m to break the world junior record and the Championship record. Returning to the fray will be Piotr Lisek, having improved the Polish national record to 6.02m this season, eager to improve on his fourth place at those European Championships. Two more athletes who have cleared six metres will compete in what could be a fascinating dress rehearsal for the World Championships: Sam Kendricks, the reigning world champion and US record holder with a current world lead of 6.06m, and Timur Morgunov (Russia/Authorised Neutral Athlete). He took silver in the European Championships last year with a PB of 6.00m. The German challenge in the vault includes Torben Blech, this year’s World Student Games silver medallist and the 2013 World champion Raphael Holzdeppe.