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World Athletics Indoor Championships Belgrade22

Report08 Mar 2014

Report: men’s heptathlon pole vault – Sopot 2014


Ashton Eaton in the heptathlon pole vault at the 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot (© Getty Images)

Ashton Eaton leads the heptathlon with 5699 after six events, the highest score ever at this stage.

The US all-rounder looked promising in the early heights of the pole vault and easily went over 5.00m. He then passed 5.10m, going straight to 5.20m, but the first two attempts were not very good; a third failure would have meant no world indoor heptathlon record.

But the 26-year-old flew over the bar to clear 5.20m, exactly the same height he cleared in Istanbul during his 6645 world indoor record series. Eaton now needs to run 2:33.54 in the 1000m to break his fourth world indoor record in four straight competitions.

Andrei Krauchanka had another successful event, clearing 5.00m with his first try and has collected 5450 points after six events. The Belarusian has a great chance of winning another World Indoor Championships silver, six years after his first.

The 28-year-old also has a good chance of breaking his own national indoor record of 6282, which he set when winning the 2011 European Indoor title. He needs 2:43.72 in the 1000m for the record, which is four seconds slower than his PB.

As anticipated, Thomas Van Der Plaetsen passed two athletes after the pole vault and is now firmly in third place with 5391. The Belgian record-holder’s 5.20m clearance in the pole vault has given him an excellent chance to win bronze.

Eelco Sintnicolaas is now in fourth place after topping the pole vault with 5.40m, bringing his score to 5313. Van Der Plaetsen, who has a 1000m best of 2:42.80 from 2011, would have to beat Krauchanka by at least 5.3 seconds in the last event to steal the silver. He has to run 2:46.97 to beat his own national indoor record 6188 from this season.

Sintnicolaas, who has a 1000m PB of 2:37.42, is 7.3 seconds from the Belgian and a medal and has run 2:42.21. He is a bit better than Van Der Plaetsen in the last event and still has a slight chance to win the bronze here.

Oleksiy Kasyanov did not match the performances of the other favourites and dropped back to fifth place with 5296 after managing just 4.50m in the pole vault. The Ukrainian is theoretically only 1.6 seconds behind Sintnicolaas, but the 8.9 seconds to the bronze is just too much.

Kai Kazmirek, who is only two points behind Kasyanov in sixth place, will surely look to overtake him. The German added 20 centimetres to his indoor pole vault PB with 5.20m, bringing it level with his outdoor best.  He is only 0.25 seconds off Kasyanov and has run his personal best 2:43.12 in February this year.

One of the pre-competition medal favourites, Damian Warner, is in seventh place with 5233. A 4.60m clearance in the pole vault has dropped him back too far and despite being a decent 1500m runner (has never run the 1000m), he will not catch Kazmirek in front of him.

Pascal Behrenbruch is still in eighth place with 4983 points after a 4.80m pole vault performance.

Mirko Jalava for the IAAF