French heptathlete Antoinette Nana Djimou (© Getty Images)
European heptathlon champion Antoinette Nana Djimou and European decathlon silver medallist Kevin Mayer will head to the Decastar meeting in Talence, France, with high hopes of securing the host nation’s first double win since 1977 at the IAAF Combined Events Challenge meeting on 20-21 September.
More importantly, it will be one of the last opportunities for athletes to bag points in the IAAF Combined Events Challenge, and if Mayer scores 8138 or higher, then he will take the overall victory in the series.
Mayer has competed in Talence just once before, finishing fifth in 2012. But this year he leads the entries in the decathlon after posting a personal best of 8521 at the European Championships.
He will be up against European indoor champion Eelco Sintnicolaas, Cuba’s Yordani Garcia, two-time Decastar winner Hans van Alphen, former world indoor silver medallist Oleksiy Kasyanov and 2012 European champion Pascal Behrenbruch.
Nana Djimou will be looking to regain the Decastar title she won in 2012, having returned to top form when successfully defending her European title in Zurich with 6551, the second-best score of her career.
But the two-time European indoor champion won’t have it easy as she will be up against the likes of world champion Hanna Melnychenko, in-form German Carolin Schafer, 2012 European silver medallist Laura Ikauniece, former world junior champion Yorgelis Rodriguez, 2012 world junior silver medallist Xenia Krizsan and Poland’s Karolina Tyminska.
Jon Mulkeen and organisers for the IAAF