Previews21 Sep 2023

Victor and Oosterwegel to defend Decastar titles in Talence


Lindon Victor in the decathlon discus at the Decastar meeting in Talence (© Michel Fisquet)

Global bronze medallists Lindon Victor and Emma Oosterwegel return to defend their titles at the Decastar meeting, this season’s final World Athletics Combined Events Tour Gold event, in Talence this weekend (23-24).

Victor broke his own Grenadian record with 8550 points to win the Decastar decathlon last year and improved again – to 8756 – to claim world bronze in Budapest last month. Olympic bronze medallist Oosterwegel, meanwhile, tied with Ivona Dadic in Talence, as they both scored 6233 points to top the heptathlon.

Now Victor and Oosterwegel seek further strong performances as they look to move up the World Athletics Combined Events Tour standings, currently led by Karel Tilga and Sophie Weissenberg, and as athletes aim to make a mark as the Olympic year approaches.

A total of 10 athletes who have surpassed 8200 points in the decathlon and 10 heptathletes with 6200-point-plus PBs will compete at the Stade Pierre Paul Bernard, where Kevin Mayer set his world decathlon record of 9126 in 2018.

Victor moved up to 15th place on that world all-time list topped by Mayer with his performance in Budapest, where he stepped on to a global podium for the first time and finished third behind Canadian duo Pierce LePage and Damian Warner. Such was the standard, Victor’s 8756 there was the best mark for third place in any decathlon.

As part of his series, Victor – the two-time Commonwealth Games champion – achieved a decathlon championship best of 54.97m in the discus and set PBs in the long jump, 400m and 1500m.

He will be joined in Talence by athletes including Germany’s Manuel Eitel, Belgium’s Thomas Van der Plaetsen, USA’s Devon Williams and Poland’s Pawel Wiesiolek.

Like Victor, Eitel was also in action in Budapest where he placed 11th, after scoring a PB of 8351 to finish fifth in Gotzis in May. Van der Plaetsen, who set his 8430 PB when finishing third in Gotzis in 2021, finished fourth in Ratingen in June with 8233 points.

The field also features athletes including French champion Makenson Gletty, Estonia’s Risto Lillemets and Belgium’s world U20 heptathlon record-holder Jente Hauttekeete.

In the heptathlon, Hungary’s Xenia Krizsan, Netherlands’ Oosterwegel and Germany’s Weissenberg compete again, one month on from their respective fourth, fifth and seventh place finishes at the World Championships.

On home soil in Budapest, Krizsan scored 6479 for her third best heptathlon behind the 6651 national record she set to win in Gotzis in 2021. Her World Championships performance left her just 22 points off the bronze medal mark.

Oosterwegel achieved 6464 points in Budapest – the second best score of her career behind the 6590 PB she set for Olympic bronze in Tokyo – and Talence offers her a third heptathlon of the year after she also placed third in Ratingen in June.

Weissenberg finished one place ahead of Oosterwegel in Ratingen and then set a PB of 6438 for seventh in Budapest.

Annie Kunz leads the field when it comes to PBs thanks to the 6703 points she set to win the US title in 2021 before finishing sixth at the Tokyo Olympics. Her compatriots Michelle Atherley and Taliyah Brooks also compete, with Brooks having set a PB of 6330 to win the Multistars heptathlon in Desenzano del Garda in April.

The entry list also stars Austria’s 2019 world bronze medallist Verena Mayr, Switzerland’s Annik Kalin and Spain’s Claudia Conte, who competes for the first time since last year's European Championships following injury.

Pages related to this article