Katarina Johnson Thompson in the 2012 Multistars in Desenzano del Garda (Daniele Morandi) © Copyright
Report Desenzano del Garda, Italy

Karpov and Thompson lead overnight in Desenzano del Garda - IAAF Combined Events Challenge

Kazakhstan’s former Olympic and World bronze medallist Dmitry Karpov and British 2009 World Youth champion Katarina Johnson Thompson finished the first day of the Multistars in Desenzano del Garda, a IAAF Combined Events Challenge meeting, as the overnight leaders.

Karpov totalled 4253 points to finish the first day in the lead over last year’s winner Luis Alberto De Araujo by 26 points. Thompson Johnson capped an outstanding first day with a new 200 metres PB of 23.78 to finish the first day in first position with 3662 points.

Men’s Decathlon

Brazilian Luiz Alberto De Araujo, winner at the 2011 Multistars, got off to a flying start with a win in the 100 metres in 10.83 beating former World and Olympic bronze medallist Dimitry Karpov from Kazakhstan (11.04) in the first heat. Briton John Lane won the second heat in his PB of 10.93, the second fastest time of the three heats.

De Araujo’s good day continued in the Long Jump where he took the win with 7.40 (910 points) and backed up his leading position in the overall standing after two events with 1807 points. Cedric Nolf from Belgium, fifth after the 100 metres with 11.10, took second place in the overall standing with 1729 points after jumping 7.32 (891 points). Karpov, who started his international career in 2003 with a win in Desenzano in 2003, leapt to 7.26m and kept his third place after the first two events with 1728 points.

Karpov took the Shot Put with 16.22 (865 points) and this enabled him to take the lead win in the overall standing in the overall standing with 2593 points, 12 more than De Araujo who produced a best throw of 14.74 (774 points). Brian Newdick from New Zealand, fifth after the 100 metres and the Long Jump, moved up to third place with 2488 points in the overall standing after 14.85 in the Shot Put (780 points).

In the High Jump held in rainy conditions Karpov cleared 2.01 (813 points) to increase his gap to 40 points over De Araujo in the overall ranking, Iceland’s Einar Larusson and Great Britain’s Martin Brockmann all jumped 1.98. Newdick cleared 1.92 and kept his third place with 3219 points with a gap of 19 points over Italian Wiliam Frullani who is aiming at the qualifying standard for the European Championships in Helsinki (7800 points).

It started raining cats and dogs after the High Jump. The 400 metres were held in better conditions after the brief heavy downpour. De Araujo edged Karpov in the 400 metres with 49.00 to 49.30 but the Khazak managed to defend his leading overnight position by 26 points (4253 to 4227 points) over De Araujo. John Lane finished the first day in third place with 4034 points after his 48.44 in the one-lap event.

"My first day was fine despite difficult weather conditions. Rain caused me some problems. I won two events in the Shot Put and the High Jump", said Karpov.

Women’s Heptathlon

Ghana’s Margaret Simpson, 2005 World bronze medallist and three-time winner of the Multistars, was forced to pull out of the meeting due to a knee injury. Louise Wood from Britain ran the fastest time in the first of the five 100 metres Hurdles with her PB of 13.24 (1089 points) beating Brazilian Lucimara Da Silva (13.69). The most outstanding improvement was produced by 2009 World Youth champion Katharina Johnson Thompson who smashed her PB from 14.01 to 13.68 (1024 points) to win the third race with the second fastest time overall.

Da Silva won the High Jump with 1.84 (1029 points) on count-back over France’s Blandine Maisonnier and moved to the lead with 2052 points. Eighteen-year-old Katarina Johnson Thompson, the youngest athlete in the field, cleared 1.81 to take third place in the high jump and kept second overall position with 2015 points, 12 points more than Maisonnier.

The Brazilian managed to defend her leading position after her 12.13 m. release in the Shot Put but Maisonnier reduced her gap to 19 points thanks to her 12.59 m. The French athlete overhauled Johnson Thompson who improved her shot put PB to 11.75 in her weakest event and was ranked third with 2660 points.

Yasmina Omrani from Algeria produced a solid first day setting PBs in the first three events (13.87 in the 100 metres Hurdles, 1.78 in the High Jump and 12.51 in the Shot Put) and was in fourth place before the 200 metres with 2645 points. Former Olympic and World bronze medallist Kelly Sotherton, who competed in the Heptathlon for the first time since 2008, had a shaky start in the 100 metres Hurdles (13.98), in the High Jump (1.72) and in the Shot Put (12.98) and was in fifth place after three events with 2589 points.

Thompson capped an impressive first day with a new PB of 23.78 in the 200 metres (1002 points) to take the overnight lead with 3662 points with a gap of 66 points over Da Silva who clocked 25.14 (874 points). Maisonnier finished the first day in third place with 3575 points after running the half-lap event in 25.16. Sotherton dropped out of the competition before the 200 metres.

"Clocking 23"78 was a big shock for me. The high jump was a bit disappointment. I am aiming at the Olympic qualifier for London (6150 points). I am looking forward to the Long Jump which is my favourite event. I used to be a high jumper but I started with combined events in 2007. Italy is my favourite country. I won the World Youth title in Bressanone in 2009 and I enjoy competing here. I also played football as a goalkeeper and I am a keen fan of Liverpool football team", said Thompson.

Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF