Kladno, Czech Republic - Strong headwind on Saturday and constant downpours on Sunday didn’t stop Eliška Klucinová on her way to the new Czech record of 6283 points at the TNT Fortuna Meeting in Kladno, the Czech stop of the IAAF Combined Events Challenge.
Men’s decathlon overnight leader Dmitry Karpov managed to keep his position after the second day and and tallied 8173 points, with second place going to home hero Roman Šebrle with 8097 points.
Heptathlon: Strong comeback for local star
In her second Heptathlon after foot surgery and a one year break, Klucinová improved her score from last month’s competition in Götzis by more than 400 points. "I was not so tired during second day this time, even though I couldn’t fall asleep on Saturdays night. But the fantastic home crowd helped me a lot, "said Klucinová, who still has a small screw in her foot as a reminder of last year’s surgery.
The European junior silver medallist from 2007 achieved 15 points more than two years ago at this same meeting where she equalled Zuzana Lajbnerová’s 22-year-old national record of 6268 points. "I am sorry for Zuzana, but it´s much better to be the only record holder," the 24-year-old Klucinová said with a smile.
Klucinová, who grew up in Kladno, improved her PBs on Saturday in the 100m Hurdles and 200m and she did better than in 2010 in all events, except last two.
She started her second day with 6.25m in the Long Jump, only five centimetres behind her PB. In the Javelin she threw 46.33m and she needed to run under 2:17 in the 800m to improve her lifetime best.
"I wasn’t focused on the national record at all, my goal was time under 2:26 and Olympic A standard," Klucinová admitted. Despite her doubts and heavy rain she clocked 2:16.28 and could celebrate not only Olympic A standard, but also national record.
Overnight leader and second overall Katarina Johnson-Thompson also smashed the British national junior record with 6248 points. The talented teenager won a bottle of wine as a present for the winner of each event with 6.41m in Long Jump, improved her PB in Javelin to 38.69m and was third fastest in 800m with 2:14.56.
The 19-year-old improved her PB from Desenzano by a huge 241 points and reached her goal of fulfilling the Olympic standard. "I was very happy especially with my result in Javelin, because it´s not my favorite event and I was a bit afraid of it," she said.
Yana Maksimava from Belarus scored a lifetime best of 6103 points for third, improving to 6.02m in the Long Jump in the process. Swede Ellionore Hallin, who finished fifth, was totally exhausted after the 800m but happy with a new 5801 PB.
Only 15 out of 28 heptathletes managed to finish all seven events. Some athletes decided to withdraw and concentrate on next leg of Combined Events Challenge in Ratingen on Thursday and Friday.
Decathlon: Finally a win for Karpov
Karpov competed in Kladno in four out of the five previous editions, but he never took victory. This year his first position was never in danger throughout the second day. He ran 14.26 in the 110m Hurdles, and then showed his strength in the Discus Throw as the only competitor over 50 metres (51.58m). The 31-years old survived a scary moment in the Pole Vault, where he cleared 4.57m on his third attempt, but then later cleared 4.77m.
The Javelin Throw is one of Karpov´s weaker events, but after a 50.45m throw he had a comfortable lead before the 1500m. In the final event he clocked 4:45.52 and tallied 8173 points.
"At the pre-event press conference I said I wanted to do better than in Desenzano and Roman Šebrle, who was sitting next to me, said I would score at least one more point. He was exactly right," Karpov said after improving his season best by the smallest margin possible.
"I enjoyed competing here and I hope for a bigger improvement in London. Bad weather was same for everyone, but in some events I wanted to do better, namely in Pole Vault. Karpov will be heading to his third Olympics.
Šebrle is aiming for his fourth straight Olympics, but he will know for sure only after European Championships in Helsinki. Only one athlete from the Czech Republic with entry standard will go to London and young Adam Sebastian Helcelet is ready to challenge his 37-year-old countryman.
The World record holder produced a solid performance when scoring more than 8000 points for the 48th time in his career. "I hoped for A Olympics Standard, but weather conditions on Sunday were one of the worst I’ve ever experienced," said Šebrle, who was best in Javelin with great 66.93m.
Šebrle is going to work on his speed with his new coach Jana Jilkova from Monday. "There is not much time left before European Championships, but at least I hope weather in Helsinki will be much friendlier. If so, I can improve by 100 points or more."
Third in Kladno was Pelle Rietveld, who improved his PB by 178 points to 8073, and with that score also qualified for the European Championships. The 27-year-old Dutchman set three personal bests on Sunday: in 110m Hurdles (14.09), Discus Throw (41.51m) and Pole Vault (4.97m).
Also Helcelet, who is coached by three time Decathlon World champion Tomáš Dvorák, was delighted with his first time ever score over 8000 points (8044) after finishing fourth.
There was a huge improvement also for Einar Larusson, who came to Kladno with 7587 PB and tallied 7898 points in fifth place. The Icelandic decathlete bettered his personal bests in all technical events except Pole Vault. William Coertzen from South Africa, who had third highest overall personal best from all competitors, decided to withdraw after the Discus Throw.