Verena Preiner (right) and Noor Vidts in the heptathlon 100m hurdles at the IAAF Combined Events Challenge meeting in Arona (© JJ Vico)
Despite starting day two in second place, Austria’s Verena Preiner and Norway’s Martin Roe ultimately emerged victorious at the IAAF Combined Events Challenge meeting in Arona on Sunday (9).
Belgium’s Noor Vidts had won all four heptathlon events on the first day, but the pendulum swung in Preiner’s favour on day two as she topped the long jump with a leap of 6.34m, surpassing Vidts’s best mark by six centimetres and narrowing the overall gap to 73 points. Brazil’s Vanessa Spinola Chefer leapt 6.18m to consolidate her third place but was some way behind the top two.
The penultimate event, the javelin, proved decisive as Preiner was an overwhelming winner with 48.76m, while Vidts managed just 35.80m to surrender the lead she had held since the first event. With just one event to go, Preiner had turned her 73-point deficit into a 176-point advantage over the Belgian.
Going into the 800m, both women were on schedule to set career bests. The Austrian took charge of the race and came close to her PB with 2:08.83, bringing her overall score to 6472. Her winning mark added 135 points to her previous best and puts her third on this season’s world list.
Vidts was timed at 2:15.88 for an overall score of 6194, adding 170 points to her previous best from 2017 after setting five PBs throughout the weekend. Spinola confirmed her third place with a season’s best of 5955.
Roe’s throws the key to success
Cuba’s Abdel Kader Larrinaga was a clear winner of the first decathlon event of the second day, clocking 14.32 in the 110m hurdles. In the clash between Roe and overnight leader Kristjan Rosenberg, the Estonian prevailed, 14.84 to 15.03, to increase his overall lead to 90 points with Larrinaga sandwiched between them, 24 points ahead of the Norwegian.
Roe regained the top spot after the discus – an event won by USA’s Daniel Golubovic (48.79m) – with an opening round throw of 46.27m. Rosenberg and Larrinaga both dropped down the leaderboard after managing respective releases of 39.52m and 38.58m. Spain’s Pablo Tréscoli moved up to third overall after throwing 43.56m.
Rosenberg bounced back in the pole vault with a first-time clearance at 4.90m, putting him 13 points ahead of Roe, who vaulted 4.70m. Tréscoli cleared 4.60m to hold on to third place but Estonia’s Risto Lillements, who cleared 4.70m, was close behind. Meanwhile, Larrinaga lost any hopes of a podium finish as he could go no higher than 3.90m.
With eight events down and four changes in the lead, Roe appeared to have the upper hand as he is stronger than Rosenberg in the javelin but similar in ability in the 1500m. There were no surprises in the final two events as the Norwegian record-holder increased his lead to 163 points after the javelin when he unleashed a throw of 62.08m. Rosenberg, meanwhile, had to settle for 50.29m while his fellow Estonian Lillements produced a big 61.72m PB, moving him to within 24 points of Rosenberg.
Although the 1500m was close with just one-and-a-half seconds separating the top five, it didn’t change any of the top eight positions overall. Roe, completing his third decathlon of the year already, clocked 4:31.96 to bring his winning tally to a season’s best of 8037.
Rosenberg finished the 1500m in 4:31.36 to score 7878, just 25 points ahead of Lillements who set a lifetime best of 7853.
Emeterio Valiente for the IAAF