Mägi warms up for World Championships with win in 300 meters at Pärnu

Estonian athletics championships held at the Kadriorg stadium, June 25 2022.
Estonian athletics championships held at the Kadriorg stadium, June 25 2022. Source: Priit Mürk / ERR

At yesterday's athletics evening in Pärnu, the main focus was on the sprinting events. Estonia's Rasmus Mägi took first place in the 300 meters, with a time of 33.02 seconds.

In addition to Estonian athletes, competitors from Latvia, Lithuania and Ukraine were also on show in the events at Pärnu Beach Stadium.

Karl Erik Nazarov won the men's 100 meters sprint in 10.61 seconds, just 27 hundredths of a second slower than the personal best he set earlier in the summer.

"I've already competed quite a bit and today I was more focused on running a good leg in the relay," Nazarov told ERR. "I did as much as I needed to win, there were no big goals in the hundred today."

Indeed, Nazarov did run a fast second leg in the men's 4 x 100m relay, after receiving the baton from Henri Sai. However, after Nazarov's successful handover to Lukas Lessel, it all went wrong for the Estonian team. An error on the final exchange between Lessel and Reimo Sepp, forced them to drop out of the race, leaving the Latvian team to take the victory in 39.97 seconds.

"The Latvians ran a pretty good time and we were a bit ahead of them. It was pretty painful. We still have one more chance in Jyväskylä on July 26," said Nazarov.

In the women's 4 X 100 meters relay, the Estonian team were also unable to achieve victory.

However, there was cause for optimism in the women's 100 meters sprint, where Õilme Võro finished second, recording a season's best time of 11.65 seconds, just one hundredth of a second short of her personal best.

"Until May, I was not 100 percent sure if I would be able to compete this year," said Võro. "I've had a year and a half off with injury and haven't quite got (back to) 100 per cent, but I seem to be alive and running."

In the men's 110m hurdles, it was Pärnu local Keiso Pedriks, Estonia's fastest hurdler in recent years, who took first place. Pedriks matched his season's best of 13.91 seconds, a time he also recorded at this year's Estonian Championships.

"I am slowly trying to regain my self-confidence and feel, because I am still heading for the European Championships, so I want to do my best there," Pedriks said.

In the women's 300 meters, a rare event on athletics programs, Marielle Kleemeier finished second. Kleemeier, who recently earned a Master's degree in Physical Education from the University of Tartu, beat her own Estonian national record by one hundredth of a second, with a time of 37.78 seconds.  

"I am very happy. The crowd was great! It's always good to run in front of them and, in the end, there was also a competitor. It was great to run!"

Rasmus Mägi capped off the event, winning the men's 300 meters in 33.02 seconds, 19 hundredths of a second off his own record, with the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon now awaiting him.

"The last two weeks have been pretty busy and I think I've achieved my goals pretty well," said Mägi. "Now we can prepare for the (World Championships in the) USA with a bit more of a calm heart. There won't be any more really hard training. It's more important to be fresh."


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Editor: Michael Cole

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