Report30 Apr 2023

Tilga breaks Multistars record with 8482 in Desenzano del Garda


Karel Tilga in the decathlon long jump at GardaStars by Multistars (© Daniele Morandi for organisers)

Estonia’s Karel Tilga set a meeting record of 8482 to win the decathlon at Multistars, while USA’s Taliyah Brooks set a PB of 6330 to take the heptathlon at the World Athletics Combined Events Tour Gold meeting in Desenzano del Garda on Sunday (30).

Tilga, who won NCAA outdoor and indoor titles in 2021, opened his account with an 11.16 clocking in the 100m – his fastest time in two years. Switzerland’s Nino Portmann ran the fastest time in the opening discipline, clocking 10.75 to put him ahead of Brazil’s Felipe Dos Santos (10.82) and USA’s Devon Williams (10.97).

Tilga shot up the leaderboard after the long jump, thanks to his 7.66m leap – the best mark of the day – which put him in second place overall, just 12 points behind Williams, who jumped 7.54m.

Germany’s Nils Laserich produced the best throw in the shot put, setting a PB of 16.26m to move up into second place, while Tilga improved his PB to 16.19m to take the overall lead – a position he did not relinquish for the remainder of the competition. Williams also set a PB of 14.52m to hold on to his podium position ahead of 2016 European champion Thomas van der Plaetsen, who also threw a PB of 14.72m.

Tilga extended his lead in the high jump, thanks to a 2.07m clearance, once again making him the top performer of the day. He ended the first day with a 400m PB of 48.71, giving him a half-way score of 4402 and a lead of more than 200 points over Laserich, who ran 48.44 in the one-lap sprint.

The overall leader continued his strong form on day two, setting a PB of 14.85 – his first sub-15-second clocking – in the 110m hurdles. Brazil’s Jose Fernando Ferreira Santana was fastest in that discipline, clocking 14.00 to finish 0.11 ahead of Williams.

The 2.01m tall Tilga put his wing span to good use in the discus, posting the best throw of the day with 45.46m to extend his lead over Williams, who threw 44.95m.

Sweden’s Fredrik Samuelsson, back in form after a long period of battling back to full health, was the top performer in the pole vault, along with Italy’s Lorenzo Naidon, both men clearing 4.95m. It moved Samuelsson into third place overall, just five points behind Williams, who cleared 4.45m. Tilga, meanwhile, held on to his comfortable lead after vaulting an outdoor PB of 4.75m.

A mighty throw of 64.05m in the javelin extended Tilga’s lead to more than 300 points over Samuelsson, who threw 60.73m to move pas Williams (57.19m) into second place. With victory essentially guaranteed, Tilga’s focus in the final discipline was to run faster than 4:35.60 to break Andrei Krauchanka’s meeting record of 8390.

Tilga went above and beyond, smashing his 1500m PB by five seconds (4:21.91) to finish with a winning score of 8482.

“It was my first competition of the year, so I didn’t really know what to expect,” said Tilga, who became just the second Estonian decathlete to win at Multistars, after Ingeorg Kaseorg, who won in 1995 and 2001. “Apart from the 100m, the running events were generally good. The pole vault was held in hard windy conditions.”

Samuelsson finished second with 8070 – his best score since 2018 – and Williams was third with 7956.

Brooks breaks through with lifetime best

USA’s Taliyah Brooks achieved her first ever victory on the World Combined Events Tour, doing so with a heptathlon PB of 6330.

The 28-year-old, who is a world-class hurdler in her own right, was pushed by US compatriot Chari Hawkins in the 100m hurdles, Hawkins getting the verdict in the opening discipline, 13.19 to Brooks’ 13.23.

The US duo then both cleared 1.77m in the high jump, as did Britain’s Commonwealth bronze medallist Jade O’Dowda, which put them all into the top three overall. Hawkins extended her lead in the shot put, thanks to her 13.35m throw, while Brooks remained in second place overall after throwing 13.01m and O’Dowda stayed in third (13.19m).

But the positions changed after the final event of the first day, with Brooks clocking 24.06 in the 200m, giving her a six-point lead over Hawkins (24.43). with O’Dowda remaining in third (24.87).

Brooks held on to her lead throughout the second day, helped in no small part by her 6.65m leap in the long jump. O’Dowda’s 6.33m effort was enough to move her above Hawkins in the overall standings.

Brooks’ 39.00m throw in the javelin may have only ranked her ninth in the field, but significantly it was a PB for the US all-rounder, keeping her on track for a lifetime best score. Hawkins (42.10m) made up a bit of ground and overtook O’Dowda, who threw 40.51m, but Brooks had a lead of almost 200 points going into the final discipline, the 800m.

Poland’s Edyta Byelska ran a gun-to-tape race to cross the line first in the 800m in 2:08.62. Brooks, meanwhile, improved her PB to 2:15.02 to secure victory and win with 6330, a PB by 78 points.

“I’m happy with my performance this weekend,” said Brooks, who will return to the US for two weeks before turning her attention to the Hypo Meeting in Gotzis. “Usually I wasn’t consistent on the second day, but here I performed better in the events where I worked harder.”

O’Dowda regained second place in the overall standings after finishing more than 10 seconds ahead of Hawkins in the 800m, 2:12.07 to 2:22.51. O’Dowda finished with 6178 and Hawkins scored 6036.

Diego Sampaolo for World Athletics

Leading results

1 Taliyah Brooks (USA) 6330
2 Jade O’Dowda (GBR) 6178
3 Chari Hawkins (USA) 6036
4 Sarah Lagger (AUT) 6010
5 Celine Albisser (SUI) 5858

1 Karel Tilga (EST) 8482
2 Fredrik Samuelsson (SWE) 8070
3 Devon Williams (USA) 7956
4 Nils Laserich (GER) 7918
5 Tim Nowak (GER) 7889

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