After dominating the women’s 60m dash at the 2021 European Indoor Championships on Sunday, rising Swiss star Ajla Del Ponte made a big leap into the European all-time rankings for the short sprint event.
Del Ponte Continues Rise In Sprints
Del Ponte, who continued her steady climb in the sprints, dominated her rivals to set a new personal best, Swiss record matching and world-leading time of 7.03 seconds to win the 60m dash.
The 24-year-old entered the European Indoor Championships with a personal best of 7.14, which was not even ranked in the Top-50 in Europe.
However, after impressively navigating her way through the first round and the semi-final, Del Ponte let loose in the final to shatter her previous lifetime best and move all the way up to No. 5 all-time among Europeans.
“I knew I could run 7.03 all season, I had it in the legs,” said Del Ponte, who moved away from the rest of the field mid-way through the race with her superior top-end speed. “To do it with this margin with so many fast girls is great.”
She added: “It is my first title. I felt that I was going strong. I heard all the Swiss Team cheering for me and just told myself run, run, run.
“The last years were tough, so now it is really a good feeling to win this title.”
Del Ponte Matches Kambundji NR
Del Ponte’s time equaled the Swiss record of Mujinga Kambundji, who posted her time in 2018.
Her performance on Sunday also bettered the previous European 2021 best of 7.08 seconds set by Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith, who withdrew from the European Indoor Championships to focus on her preparations for the outdoor campaign.
Only Russian legendary and world record holder Irina Privalova (6.92), Greece’s Ekateríni Thánou (6.96), and the Netherlands pair Nelli Cooman (7.00), and Dafne Schippers (7.00) have gone faster than Del Ponte among Europeans all-time.