The ISTAF Indoor Meeting Berlin will be the largest indoor meeting around the world in 2023, with the exception, I believe, of Birmingham WIT. The meet always has a great crowd and finer performers. Here’s Stuart Weir’s feature on the ISTAF Berlin Indoor, which was held on February 10, 2023.
The two stand-out performances in the ISTAF INDOOR in Berlin last weekend were from Mondo Duplantis and Malaika Mihambo. When you are running an event, what you really want is a home athlete to perform. Well didn’t Malaika deliver, winning in 6.81m. Then there was Mondo clearing 6 meters for fun.
Malaika Mihambo, photo by ISTAF Berlin Indoor
Malaika, who has won two European Championships in Germany (2018 and 2022), loves competing at home. She told me competing in Germany gives me “an insight into how Usain Bolt must have felt during his entire career. On the evening of my final in 2018, there always seemed to be a camera pointing at me. It was so intense that at first, I found that difficult. I’m really pleased with the interest and support from the German public”.
Of the ISTAF 2023 competition she said: “My ISTAF INDOOR moment was jumping my indoor PB of 7.07m. I have great memories of each and every ISTAF I have been to. The atmosphere is always incredible. Today’s competition felt good, although I hurt my knee in the third attempt, needed to get treated by physiotherapists, and then find my focus again. I don’t think I severely hurt my knee, I just need to get a little treatment and then it should be fine. I’m happy with 6.81m, although I would have wanted to jump further”.
Mondo Duplantis goes 6.06m at ISTAF Berlin, photo by ISTAF Berlin Indoor
Duplantis added ISTAF 2023 to the long list of places where he has cleared 6m, this time 6.06. He commented: “Why I chose 6.06m? I don’t know, it was just a feeling. I wanted something between 6m and 6.22m. My attempts at 6.22m felt good, I was closer than I was last week, and that is a good thing. I would say it was more the distance than the height. But that is part of the game. For 6.22m you have to get everything really perfect. I have to be perfect and I felt really good today. But I was not good enough for that. I really felt the crowd pushing me during the competition, especially when it got over 6.06m. The energy intensified, it was great fun and I hope to be back next year. I always like to beat Bubka’s records, so that is good [he broke the overall ISTAF record today held by Bubka before]”.
Mondo has fans, photo by ISTAF Berlin Indoor
There was a German 1-2 in the women’s discus with Shanice Craft winning with 65.23 from Kristin Prudenz with 63.24m, with both ladies achieving a PR.
There is something in the atmosphere in Berlin that is unmatched. So many athletes commented on it:
Mondo Duplantis, Leichtathletik Berlin 04.02.2022
Saison 2021 / 2022
Foto: Lukas Schulze/camera4
Mondo: “I do not know if I have ever experienced an atmosphere like here at the ISTAF INDOOR, 11.000 spectators, that’s amazing. A lot of my best competitions have been in Germany and especially in Berlin. I definitely love the energy and good vibes here. This energy can help me get the extra boost”.
Reece Prescod: “It is the music, it is the crowd, everything. I really wanted to run here. They really put on a great show”.
Reece Prescod runs big 60m in Berlin, photo by ISTAF Berlin Indoor
Gina Luckenkemper: “The atmosphere was amazing. Especially when I was introduced before the first heat the spectators were screaming. Same for the final. It shows how enthusiastic the fans are and how much they enjoy the ISTAF INDOOR”.
Britney Anderson: “t is a fantastic show here at the ISTAF INDOOR in Berlin. It is my first time being here and I definitely hope I will get a chance to come back. 11.000 spectators is amazing”.
Lisa Mayer: “The atmosphere at the ISTAF INDOOR is always fantastic. The fans are so close, the light show is great and the other girls are so fast. It was a lot of fun”.
Indoor athletics at its best.
The 2023 ISTAF Berlin Indoor track, photo by ISTAF