Britain's Elliot Giles ran the second-fastest indoor 800m time ever at the Torun meeting ©Getty Images

Britain’s Elliot Giles produced one of the outstanding performances of the 2021 indoor athletics season in winning the 800 metres at Polish venue Torun in 1min 43.63sec, putting him second on the all-time list.

Only Wilson Kipketer, who clocked 1:42.67 in winning the world indoor title in Paris in 1997, has ever run faster indoors, and the 26-year-old from Birmingham has now bettered the British record of 1:44.91 set back in 1983 at Cosford by Sebastian Coe.

Giles, whose outdoor best, set in September last year, is 1:44.68, had indicated his ability to achieve such a time by winning the 800m at the opening World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold meeting in Karlsruhe in January, and at the Gold meeting in Liévin on February 9, when he clocked 1:45.49.

But Giles knocked almost two seconds off that time after taking over the lead once the final pacer pulled away and driving for home to finish 15m clear of his British colleague Jamie Webb, whose dogged pursuit earned a personal best of 1:44.54 - also inside Coe's mark.

There was a personal best too in this Copernicus Cup event that formed the fifth Gold meeting of this indoor season for the third-placed runner, Sweden’s Andreas Kramer, who recorded 1:45.09.

Giles - who missed two years of racing after being badly crushed in a motorbike accident in 2014 -  eclipsed the earlier track effort of Ethiopia’s 19-year-old Lemlem Hailu, who won the women’s 3,000m in a huge personal best of 8:31.24, which tops the 2021 world rankings.

Hailu had served notice of intent by her surprise win over the same distance in Liévin ahead of two world champions and record holders in Sifan Hassan of The Netherlands and Beatrice Chepkoech of Kenya.

Hailu’s compatriot, world 5,000m silver medallist Selemon Barega, replicated her lone, teeth-gritting arrival in the home straight as he finished 20m clear in the 1500m in 3:32.97, the third-quickest time in the world this year.

Behind him, five athletes were dragged to indoor personal bests, with second place going to home runner Marcin Lewandowski, the European indoor champion, who clocked 3:35.71 ahead of Britain’s Neil Gourley, who was third in 3:35.79.

Grant Holloway’s chances of bettering Colin Jackson’s 1994 world record of 7.30sec in the 60m hurdles were diminished by three false starts, although the American world 110m hurdles champion, who clocked the second-fastest time ever of 7.32 in Liévin, seemed pleased enough with victory in 7.38.

Holloway, who had qualified in a meeting record of 7.41, was the last to slow after the first late recall, making his way to the fifth row of hurdles before turning back.

Two other smart starts were also in vain before the field finally got away. 

The United States' Javianne Oliver also set a world-leading time in the women's 60m ©Getty Images
The United States' Javianne Oliver also set a world-leading time in the women's 60m ©Getty Images

The men’s high jump and pole vault competitions both turned into mighty contest.

Maksim Nedasekau of Belarus pulled clear in the high jump with a clearance of 2.34 metres, the best seen so far this year, after passing at 2.31m after one failure.

Both Andrei Protsenko of Ukraine and Italy’s European indoor champion Gianmarco Tamberi cleared 2.31m, and both rose to the challenge of 2.34m with their third and final attempts.

Three men setting a 2021 world best, and up went the bar to 2.36m.

Protsenko retired at that point, leaving the field to his two rivals.

The Belarus athlete won on countback as both he and Tamberi failed to progress further, with Protsenko second and the Italian third.

A first-time clearance of 5.80m appeared enough to earn world pole vault champion Sam Kendricks of the United States victory - but although he remained ahead on countback, home vaulter Piotr Lisek and Ernest Obiena of The Philippines also cleared on their third and final efforts to keep the contest alive.           

Greece’s European triple jump champion Paraskevi Papachristou moved top of this year’s rankings with a fifth-round winning effort of 14.60m - the best seen so far this year.

Her closest rival was Viyaleta Skvartsova of Belarus, who managed a personal best of 14.39m.

Also taking her place at the top of the 2021 rankings was Christina Clemons of the United States, who won the women’s 60 metres hurdles in 7.81sec.

The men’s shot put featured the three top-ranked European throwers.

Poland’s European champion Michal Haratyk won with a fifth-round best of 21.47 metres, with Czech record holder Tomas Stanek taking second place with 21.20m.

Germany’s 30-year-old double world champion David Storl was third with 20.59m.

The final race - the women’s 60 metres - was won by Javianne Oliver of the US in 7.08sec, equalling the fastest 2021 time registered so far this season by Britain’s world 200m champion Dina Asher-Smith in the opening Gold meeting at Karlsruhe.