Day one decathlon leader Makenson Gletty in 100m action in Talence (© Michel Fisquet - TeamPhoto)
Olympic bronze medallist Emma Oosterwegel successfully defended her heptathlon title at the Decastar meeting in Talence while Makenson Gletty smashed his PB to win the decathlon at the final World Athletics Combined Events Tour Gold event of the year on Sunday (24).
Dutch heptathlete Oosterwegel ended her 2023 campaign on a high, scoring a season’s best of 6495 to move to fourth on this year’s world list behind the three world medallists. French all-rounder Gletty, meanwhile, added 164 points to his PB to take the decathlon with 8443.
USA’s Taliyah Brooks, winner of Multistars earlier this year, got off to the strongest start in the heptathlon as she clocked 12.91 to take the lead after the first event, the 100m hurdles. A 1.75m clearance in the high jump kept Brooks at the top of the leaderboard ahead of Switzerland’s Annik Kalin, who clocked 13.21 and cleared 1.75m, and Germany’s Sophie Weissenberg, who topped the high jump with a 1.81m clearance after clocking 13.72 in the hurdles.
Oosterwegel, meanwhile, was in fifth after her 13.46 run in the hurdles and 1.75m leap in the high jump. But a 13.80m throw in the shot put moved her up to third overall. Weissenberg took the lead after throwing 13.67m, while Brooks (12.93m) slipped to second.
The margins tightened after the 200m as Brooks closed the gap to just a single point, clocking 24.02 to Weissenberg’s 24.05 in the 200m. Oosterwegel ran 24.48 to hold on to third place ahead of Kalin and Marijke Esselink of the Netherlands.
Kalin catapulted herself to the top of the leaderboard after the first event of day two, leaping 6.67m in the long jump to move 36 points clear of Brooks, who jumped 6.24m. A 6.18m jump from Oosterwegel kept her in third place overall.
Oosterwegel then produced one of the stand-out performances of the day, throwing a javelin PB of 56.66m – almost 10 metres farther than the next-best heptathlete – to move into the overall lead with one event remaining. Kalin threw 46.05m, while Brooks managed 37.41m.
Oosterwegel rounded out her weekend with a solid 2:13.62 clocking in the 800m, bringing her tally to 6495 – the second-best score of her career after the 6590 PB she set when earning Olympic bronze in Tokyo.
Kalin was second with 6390 and Brooks held on to third place with 6181. Oosterwegel’s victory moved her into the overall lead in the Combined Events Tour standings.
Redemption for Gletty
Gletty, who narrowly missed out on qualifying for the World Championships, went into Decastar fired up and ready to end his season on a high.
He got off to a strong start, clocking 10.78 in the 100m and leaping 7.34m in the long jump, then moved into the lead thanks to a 16.46m heave in the shot put, a PB by 10cm. Once he made it to the top of the leaderboard, he did not relinquish that position for the rest of the competition.
Germany’s Manuel Eitel provided strong opposition, though. He was the early leader after clocking 10.64 in the 100m, then Switzerland’s Finley Gaio went to the top of the standings after leaping 7.54m in the long jump.
Belgium’s world U20 heptathlon record-holder Jente Hauttekeete moved from ninth to fifth – behind Gletty, Eitel, Gaio and Victor – thanks to his 2.08m clearance in the high jump, the best of the day by nine centimetres. Gletty, Eitel and world bronze medallist Lindon Victor each managed 1.96m, while Gaio cleared 1.93m.
The top of the standings remained the same following the day’s final event, the 400m. Gaio clocked 48.30 and Gletty a PB of 48.38 to finish day one in the lead ahead of Eitel, who ran 48.75.
Gletty’s second day started well as he produced the fastest time in the 110m hurdles, 14.01, extending his lead over Eitel and Gaio. Victor made up ground in the discus, throwing 48.74m to move into third overall behind Eitel, but Gletty maintained the lead with his 41.67m throw.
From thereon in, the positions of the top three remained the same. A 17-centimetre improvement on his PB in the pole vault, 5.07m, gave Getty a comfortable lead of more than 200 points over Eitel (4.67m) and Victor (4.77m).
The gaps closed slightly after the javelin, Eitel throwing 63.68m to Victor’s 62.95m and Gletty’s 59.77m. But Gletty could not be caught in the final event, the 1500m, and he ended his series with a solid 4:27.46 clocking. That gave the 24-year-old a winning score of 8443, moving him to sixth on the French all-time list and 14th on this year’s world list.
Eitel was second with 8193 and Victor held on to third with 7980.