US decathlete Trey Hardee (© Getty Images)
Two-time world champion Trey Hardee and world indoor champion Nadine Broersen have been added to the line-up for this year’s Hypo-Meeting, the 40th edition of the IAAF Combined Events Challenge meeting in Gotzis, which this year will be held between 31 May and 1 June.
It will be Hardee’s fourth appearance in Gotzis. The 30-year-old finished second in the Austrian city in 2009, just three months before winning his first world title. After failing to finish in Gotzis in 2010, he returned in 2011 to win with 8689, the second-best score of his life.
But since taking the silver medal at the Olympics two years ago, Hardee has been hampered with niggling injury problems and failed to finish his two decathlons last year, at the US Championships and the IAAF World Championships.
With no major championships to seek qualification for this season, and with the worst of his injuries now behind him, Hardee can focus on trying to win the overall title in the IAAF Combined Events Challenge.
Another former Gotzis winner, Belgium’s Hans van Alphen, is also set to compete. The 32-year-old set a national record of 8519 when winning in Gotzis in 2012 and then went on to finish fourth at the Olympic Games later that year.
With defending champion Damian Warner also in the field, it means the past three winners of the decathlon at the Hypo-Meeting will clash in Gotzis.
Van Alphen’s team-mate Thomas Van der Plaetsen will also be in Gotzis. The 23-year-old is the World University Games champion and recently took the bronze medal at the World Indoor Championships with a national record of 6259.
European indoor champion Eelco Sintnicolaas, who went to the top of the 2014 IAAF Combined Events Challenge standings with his 8161 victory in Florence last weekend, will also be in Gotzis, along with team-mates Pieter Braun, who smashed his PB in Florence with 7773, and Ingmar Vos.
Nadine Broersen surprised many with her world-leading national record score of 4830 to win the world indoor title earlier this year. The 24-year-old, who finished second in Gotzis last year with a PB of 6345, will now look to translate her stunning indoor form to a big score in the heptathlon this summer.
Her compatriot and namesake, Nadine Visser, will be making her Hypo-Meeting debut. The 19-year-old impressed during the indoor season with a 4268 score in the pentathlon, indicating that her 5774 heptathlon PB could be in for revision as she builds towards this year’s IAAF World Junior Championships in Eugene.
Another Dutchwoman, Anouk Vetter, will also be in the field. The 21-year-old was the surprise winner of the IAAF Combined Events Challenge meeting in Florence last year, scoring a PB of 5872.
Like fellow 19-year-old Visser, European junior champion Nafissatou Thiam will also be competing in Gotzis for the first time. The Belgian teenager set a senior record of 6298 last year while still a junior and looks set to improve on that mark this summer, having set indoor PBs this year in the 60m hurdles, high jump, long jump and shot.
Thiam’s team-mate Marjolein Lindemans, who took the European junior bronze medal behind Thiam last year, is also on the start-list, along with USA’s Kiani Profit, winner of the 2013 Thorpe Cup with a PB of 6133.
Jon Mulkeen and organisers for the IAAF