#TrueAthletes Classics Leverkusen 2023 – Field Events

World class athletics in walking distance to my home? The #TrueAthletes Classics in Leverkusen has been on my bucket list for a couple of years already. In 2023, I finally made and visited the stadium on 29th July 2023. The World Athletics Continental Tour Bronze Meeting was also the last opportunity for some German athletes to quality for the Budapest World Championships. Thus, you could expect some really good performances and stories in Leverkusen-Manfort.

This posting comes with 441 major size pictures in the sports gallery.


Fritz-Jacobi-Anlage – The Venue

The athletics meeting took place at the Manforter Stadion at the Fritz-Jacobi-Anlage. The stadium has a capacity of 5,000 and is thus the second largest stadium in Leverkusen (it is even larger than the stadium the Leverkusen women soccer team is playing in). It is part of the training ground of the athletics department of Bayer Leverkusen, which also hosting the Bundesleistungszentrum (National Competitive Training Center). The stadium is quite hidden in the borough of Manfort, you hardly see it when you drive by by car or train. The Leverkusen-Manfort train station is just a few steps away. Furthermore, there are various public transport connections. In contrast, the parking situation is a bit limited.


#TrueAthletes Classics 2023 – Field Events

There were some sort of warm-up competitions on the running track before right at 16:00, national TV joined the coverage from Leverkusen and the main events of the day started. Unfortunately, it was almost at the same time when it started to rain. However, very heavy rain had been predicted at the morning of the event, so that overall the organizers had been very lucky with the weather. The rain stopped and there were at most light showers over the whole curse of the competition.


Dominance at the Women Discus Throw

The first event on the field was the Women’s Discus Throw. You could expect a rather close battle of several athletes before the meeting, but finally it was Claudine Vita, who by far managed to handle the difficult conditions best. The SC Neubrandenburg athlete had a distance longer than 60 meters five times on this Leverkusen afternoon. As she was the only athlete to break this barrier at all, she dominated this opener (best attempt: 64.05m). Local Marike Steinacker ended up second, but trailed by almost six meters.

Almost parallely, the Men’s Pole Vault started on the opposite side of the stadium. The competition was rather close, with four athletes making it passed the 5.65m, but failed thereafter. Finally, Turkish Ersu Sasma and ASV Landau’s Oleg Zernickel tied for the first place. However, being roughly half a meter behind the world season’s best by Swedish Armand Duplantis (6.12m) illustrates that any of the competitors has to improve for the Budapest World Champions two weeks after the Leverkusen event.

The Women’s Shot Put was the third field discipline on the meeting’s schedule, starting at 17:10. Germany’s Sara Gambetta struggled with the conditions at Stadion Manfort, starting with two invalid attempts at the beginning of her series and four overall. Nonetheless, her 18.38m fourth attempt was sufficient to win in Leverkusen, beating LV Erzgebirge’s Katharina Maisch and TV Watenscheid’s Julia Ritter, who both threw 17.93m.


Jumping High and Wide

After that, it was time for more jumping disciplines. The first jump events for the ladies was the Women’s Triple Jump, which had been the following event on the field. Jamaica’s Shanieka Ricketts was the queen of the sand pit this afternoon. Any of her four valid attempts would have been sufficient to beat second placed German Maria Purtsa, who had some trouble this afternoon in Leverkusen. Finally, the winning distance was 14.52m

The Men’s High Jump finally turned out to become one of the most interesting events of the TrueAthletes. Three athletes crossed the bar at a height of 2.24m with Tobias Potye (LG Stadtwerke Munich), who was also that convincingly strong at the Kassel German Nationals two weeks before, being the athlete with the best seriesof attempts. Tihomir Ivanov (Bulgaria) and Joel Baden (Australia) became second and third.


The Julian Weber Show

What would an athletics meeting in Germany currently be like without a Men’s Javelin Throw competition? Julian Weber (USC Mainz) is just so dominant in Germany and also plays a strong role in the world so that this discipline is simply very popular in the country right now. Weber was part of the Leverkusen meeting as well. His third attempt of 83.96m sealed the victory, beating his national team teammate Johannes Vetter by some three meters.



#TrueAthletes Classics 2023 – Field Events Gallery

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