Damian Warner on the way to another Canadian decathlon record in Gotzis (© Jean Pierre Durand)
Damian Warner will look to make history at the Hypo Meeting in Götzis by becoming the first six-time winner at the World Athletics Challenge – Combined Events meeting on 29-30 May.
But the Canadian decathlete, who set a national record of 8795 in the Austrian town in 2018, won’t have it all his own way in Götzis as he’ll be up against world champion Niklas Kaul of Germany.
Warner first won in Götzis in 2013, then he went on to win four times in a row between 2016 and 2019. Since his first Hypo Meeting victory, he has earned a collection of major championship medals, including world silver in 2015 and bronze in 2013 and 2019, world indoor silver in 2018, and Olympic bronze in 2016.
Kaul is set to make his third Hypo Meeting appearance, following a sixth-place finish in 2018 and a fourth-place finish in 2019. His last decathlon was at the World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 where the then 21-year-old struck gold with a lifetime best of 8691.
World silver medallist Maicel Uibo of Estonia is also set to compete in Götzis, meaning all of the podium finishers from Doha will be reunited later this month.
Rising Swiss star Simon Ehammer and compatriot Finley Gaio are also on the entry list.
Germany’s Carolin Schäfer will return to Götzis for what will be her eighth appearance at the Hypo Meeting.
Following runner-up finishes in 2015 and 2017, and a third-place finish in 2016, the 2017 world silver medallist will be keen to achieve her first Götzis victory.
Latvia’s Laura Ikauniece, who set her lifetime best of 6815 when finishing a close third behind Schäfer’s 6836 in Götzis in 2017, is also set to return.
Leading US duo Erica Bougard and Kendell Williams are also on the entry list, as are Hungary’s Xenia Kriszan and Switzerland’s Geraldine Ruckstuhl and Annik Kalin.
Last year’s Hypo Meeting was unable to go ahead because of the Covid-19 pandemic, but this year organisers hope to be in a position to welcome 500 spectators to the Mösle Stadium.
Carolin Schäfer (GER) 6836
Laura Ikauniece (LAT) 6815
Erica Bougard (USA) 6725
Xenia Krizsan (HUN) 6619
Kendell Williams (USA) 6610
Geraldine Ruckstuhl (SUI) 6391
Annik Kalin (SUI) 6170
Damian Warner (CAN) 8795
Niklas Kaul (GER) 8691
Maicel Uibo (EST) 8604
Simon Ehammer (SUI) 8231
Finley Gaio (SUI) 7668