Carolin Schäfer in the heptathlon javelin at the Decastar meeting in Talence (© Jean-Pierre Durand)
For the third year in a row, a German duo has topped the end-of-year standings in the IAAF Combined Events Challenge.
Carolin Schäfer won the women’s series for the third year in succession while compatriot Arthur Abele won the men’s title, following in the footsteps of compatriots Rico Freimuth and Kai Kazmirek, the 2017 and 2016 winners respectively.
The scoring system takes each athlete’s three best marks from the series and combines the points into an overall score. Prize money is awarded to the top eight finishers at the end of the challenge. The athlete with the highest score wins US$30,000.
1 Arthur Abele (GER) 25,222
2 Pieter Braun (NED) 24,412
3 Martin Roe (NOR) 24,376
4 Marcus Nilsson (SWE) 23,566
5 Vitaliy Zhuk (BLR) 23,470
1 Carolin Schäfer (GER) 19,608
2 Erica Bougard (USA) 19,399
3 Katerina Cachova (CZE) 19,025
4 Verena Preiner (AUT) 18,778
5 Esther Turpin (FRA) 18,221
Abele, the freshly-minted European champion, started his season with victory in Ratingen, scoring 8481. He won the European title two months later with 8431 before ending his season with a runner-up finish in Talence with 8310 behind Kevin Mayer’s 9126 world record performance.
Pieter Braun of the Netherlands placed second overall, just 36 points ahead of Norway’s Martin Roe.
As Mayer completed just one decathlon in 2018, he isn’t eligible to make it on to the end-of-year Combined Events Challenge standings.
Schäfer failed to finish the heptathlon in Götzis at the start of the season, but rebounded in Ratingen to win with 6549. She took the bronze medal at the European Championships with a season’s best of 6602 and last weekend won in Talence with 6457.
USA’s Erica Bougard, the winner in Florence at the start of the season, finished second overall with Katerina Cachova of the Czech Republic placing third.