Eliska Klucinova at the 2014 TNT Express meeting in Kladno, Czech Republic (© Jan Kucharcik)
Ukraine’s Oleksiy Kasyanov and local Czech star Eliska Klucinova maintained their overnight leads to emerge as the winners at the eighth edition of the TNT Express meeting, part of the IAAF Combined Events Challenge, on Sunday (15).
The European silver medallist finished his first decathlon since Talence 2012 with 8083 while Klucinova added an impressive 128 points to her national heptathlon record, most recently set at the 2013 IAAF World Championships last summer, with a tally of 6460 points.
Kasyanov quickly increased his lead at the beginning of the second day. After a great start, he clocked the fastest 110m hurdles time of the day with 14.03, only 0.02 behind his personal best. Brazil’s Felipe dos Santos, second after day one, continued on a high note as well as he improved his best over the barriers to 14.22.
In the seventh event, Belarusian Eduard Mikhan set his career best of 49.88m and won the discus. Kasyanov can throw beyond 50 metres at his best but only had one valid throw. At 45.15m it was enough to comfortably stay in the lead.
Dos Santos, still only 19, put behind him the nightmare of Gotzis two weeks ago where he failed to register a valid throw with a personal best of 47.18m.
In the pole vault, Kasyanov jumped 4.75m as Mikhan added another personal best when vaulting 4.85m and he was only behind Estonia’s Mikk Pahapill, who came out on top with 4.95m.
Mikhan aslo took over second place overall as dos Santos could only manage 4.25m and, with two events remaining, Kasyanov had a lead of 150 points over the Belarusian.
It was also the point at which Kazakhstan’s 2004 Olympic bronze medallist Dmitriy Karpov, the winner in Kladno two years ago and last year's runner-up, withdrew from competition after modest 4.65m.
Second place changed around again after the javelin. Mikhan threw 53.33m but was overtaken by Czech Republic’s Adam Sebastian Helcelet, who threw 61.55m. Norway’s Lars Vikan Rise was almost six metres better than anyone else with 68.03m as Kasyanov threw a modest 49.50m to see his lead whittled down to 35 points.
However, Kasyanov is a strong 1500m runner and it showed as he won the final event in 4:34.28 and repeated his win from 2010.
“I am satisfied with the win, but not with my result. I am happy that I am able to compete with all those guys again and I am healthy. I hope I will do better at the European Championship in Zürich,” reflected Kasyanov.
No other decathlete managed to go score more than 8000 points with Helcelet staying in second place with 7989, only two points in front of Mikhan.
Klucinova achieves her third win in Kladno
After two personal bests in the first two events on Saturday, Klucinova had a great start on the second day.
She added 11cm to her previous long jump best with 6.41m on her first attempt and improved by two more centimetres with her second effort.
Barring an accident, the rest of the field was now fighting only for second place as Klucinova had huge 478-point advantage. Slovak Lucia Mokrasova moved up to second place after jumping 5.91m after two fouls.
Belarusian Katsiaryna Netsviatayeva returned to the second place after 40.49m in the javelin as Klucinova continued on her way to another national record with 45.53m. She has a personal best of 50.75m but, after shoulder problems in recent years, she is not able to practice this event much.
The vocal crowd's support certainly lifted Klucinova in the last event. Exhausted but happy, the 26-year-old finished second in the 800m behind Netsviatayeva in 2:16.47.
“I must say that I am surprised by this huge improvement. I planned to attack my national record, but I didn´t expect such a nice result,” said Klucinova, but she admitted there is still some room for improvement.
“I could have done better in the shot put, and in the 800m, but it's June and I have still some time before the European Championships in Zurich,” she added.
Klucinova's overall result is the third best in meeting's history behind Russia’s Tatyana Chernova (6618) and Poland’s Karolina Tyminska (6516) in 2010.
Netsviatayeva maintained her second place with 5891, 44 points behind her result in Gotzis two weeks ago.
Michal Osoba for the IAAF