Olympic bronze medallist Damian Warner and world bronze medallist Anouk Vetter lead after day one (16) of the Decastar in Talence, the final competition of the 2017 IAAF Combined Events Challenge.
As expected, world champion Kevin Mayer didn’t compete as he was feeling exhausted after winning the world title and the numerous media requests which duly followed. “I’ve done nothing for a month; I don’t want to hurt myself,” said the 24-year-old Frenchman who spent almost two hours signing autographs.
Warner took advantage of Mayer’s absence to dominate the first day’s competition, tallying 4329 points, ahead of Ukraine’s Oleksiy Kasyanov (4210) and Germany’s Manuel Eitel (4157).
Despite the rainy and chilly conditions, the Canadian got off to a solid start in the 100m, clocking 10.53 (-0.1m/s), the second-fastest time of the field and just 0.02 behind sprint specialist Eitel who subsequently took the early overall lead.
Kasyanov was the third fastest, winning his heat in 10.76 (-0.1m/s) as world bronze medallist Kai Kazmirek won the first heat in 10.96 (0.8m/s).
Warner then leaped to 7.60m in the long jump to wrestle the overall lead from Eitel, who reached 7.14m and drifted back to third. Warner, who was ill during the World Championships and finished fifth in London, built a 100-point lead over defending champion Kasyanov, whose 7.42m was the second-best mark and allowed him to moved up to second overall.
The Ukrainian reduced the gap to 68 points thanks a 14.59m toss in the shot put. Warner managed 14.07m, just two centimetres shy of his season’s best. Eitel held on to third overall after posting 13.18m, while Kazmirek fared slightly better with 13.89m. France’s Bastien Auzeil was the only one to throw beyond 15 metres, producing a best mark of 15.07m.
Warner bagged precious points thanks to a 2.02m clearance in the high jump and came close to clearing a would-be season’s best of 2.05m. Kasyanov cleared 1.99m to maintain his position in second place.
The leader got off to an impressive start in the 400m before fading in the closing meters and being passed by Kazmirek. The German won in 48.34 to Warner’s 48.53, but the latter still ended the day with a comfortable lead. His score of 4369 is 22 points higher than his day-one score from the World Championships.
Vetter gets the better of Rodriguez
Anouk Vetter took the early heptathlon lead after coming home fastest in the 100m hurdles, winning her heat in 13.60 (-0.5m/s), 0.07 ahead of two-time European champion Antoinette Nana Djimou. Xénia Krizsan of Hungary finished third in 13.76, with Yorgelis Rodriguez fourth in 13.86.
The Cuban, who was fourth at the World Championships last month, seized the lead after going over 1.85m in the high jump with the conditions having significantly improved. Györgyi Zsivoczky-Farkas of Hungary cleared the same height and moved up to second overall, while Vetter got over 1.73m, pushing her down to sixth overall.
But Vetter, who improved the Dutch record to 6636 at the World Championships, jumped into fourth place overall with a 14.86m effort in the shot, the best mark of the field.
Rodriguez reached 13.49m to remain in the lead, 16 points ahead of Krizsan, whose 13.60m toss moved her into second overall.
But the order changed again in the last event of the day, the 200m, as Vetter recorded a wind-assisted 24.21 (3.1m/s) to regain the overall lead with 3740 points. Rodriguez won the second heat in 24.95 and ends the first day 50 points behind Vetter.
Vetter finished one place ahead of the Cuban to take the world bronze medal last month, but she had trailed Rodriguez by 73 points at the half-way stage on that occasion.
Britain’s Jessica Jemmett was the fastest of the field in the 200m, clocking a wind-assisted 23.72 (3.1m/s) while Krizsan prevailed in the first heat in 25.01 to end the day in third position with 3669.
Quentin Guillon for the IAAF