Brianne Theisen Eaton at the 2014 Hypo Meeting in Gotzis (© PHOTO PLOHE)
Germany’s Kai Kazmirek and Canada’s defending Gotzis champion Brianne Theisen-Eaton led overnight at the famous Hypo Meeting, the third leg of this year’s IAAF Combined Events Challenge, on Saturday (31).
Kazmirek, 23 and sixth in the 2014 World Indoor Championships heptathlon, leads the decathlon with an outstanding score of 4478 and a gap of 117 over the USA’s 2009 and 2011 world champion Trey Hardee and 218 over Cuba’s Yordani Garcia.
Theisen Eaton, the world silver medallist, leads after day one of the heptathlon with 3938 but an advantage of just 15 points over Great Britain’s 21-year-old Katarina Johnson-Thompson, who finished three places behind her in Moscow. Belgian teenager Nafissatou Thiam, who set three personal bests, was third overnight with 3920.
Hardee edged Germany’s Rico Freimuth by 0.02 to win the fastest heat of the 100m in 10.50. Brazil’s Felipe Dos Santos finished third in a personal best of 10.63. In the third of four heats, Kazmirek started his campaign well when he improved his 100m personal best by 0.05 with 10.76.
Hardee then maintained his lead after leaping to 7.49m in the long jump to stay in pole position with 1907 points after two events, 39 more than local favourite Dominik Distelberger who jumped 7.57m. However, the best long jump was achieved by Belgium’s World University Games champion Thomas Van den Plaetsen who reached 7.68m while Kazmirek continued his solid start with a jump of 7.45m for a total score of 1837.
Hardee stayed in the lead after his shot put of 15.15m, moving his total along to 2706 points ahead of Dos Santos in second with 2600 points after his 14.00m effort. Kazmirek set another personal best in this event with 14.20m as the Germans impressed in the shot put with European champion Pascal Behrenbruch first with 16.04m and Matthias Prey second with 15.44m.
However, a change in the lead came about after the high jump when Kazmirek set his third personal best of the day, clearing 2.15m to add two centimetres to his best and move up into the overall lead after four events with 3522 points.
Hardee, not the best of high jumpers relative to his rivals, jumped 1.97m and moved down to second place with 3482 for second place.
Kazmirek then crowned his outstanding first day with another lifetime best to win the 400m, clocking 47.04 to put together a score of 4478 after the first five events and extend his lead over Hardee who ran 48.63.
“The European Championships in Zurich are my goal but the competition to make the German team will be very strong," said Kazmirek. "I hope to continue doing well tomorrow. I think that scoring 8500 is a possible goal."
Schippers sizzles on the track, Theisen-Eaton super-consistent
The Netherlands’ world bronze medallist Dafne Schippers set the pace in the heptathlon, setting a 100m hurdles career best of 13.13 into a headwind of -1.2m/s to score 1105 points. A notable scalp was Germany’s world indoor 60m hurdles finalist Cindy Roldeder, a 12.91 performer at her best, who was 0.02 behind the flying Dutchwoman on this occasion.
Theisen-Eaton finished third in the quickest heat in 13.18 while Johnson-Thompson clocked 13.47, just 0.03 outside her PB.
World indoor champion Nadine Broersen improved her 100m hurdles best to 13.39 when finishing second in another heat behind Ukraine’s Anastasiya Mokhinyuk who ran 13.24.
The high jump was an outstanding competition with six women able to clear at least 1.87m.
European junior champion Thiam, still only 19, won an outstanding head-to-head contest with Johnson-Thompson, going over 1.93m with her first attempt, just one centimetre short of her best, to move up to third with 2150 points.
The Briton cleared 1.90m at the second time of asking before narrowly missing her third attempt at 1.93m to move up to second place with 2161 points, just three points from Theisen-Eaton who took the overall lead with 2164 after jumping 1.87m.
Thiam then produced her best ever shot put with 15.03m on her first attempt to move into lead with 3013 points, 102 ahead of Theisen Eaton who put 13.29m.
Only Germany’s Julia Machtig did better in the shot than Thiam with 15.52m while Broersen improved her overall position from fourth to third with 2906 points after her 13.72m.
Johnson-Thompson, not a strong thrower, dropped to sixth with 2833 after her best put of only 12.17m. Her younger teammate Morgan Lake, who won in Florence earlier this month, smashed her PB with 14.85m; a mark which puts her third on this year's world youth lists in the event.
Schippers then showed her track talent again and broke the 200m meeting record and the Dutch record with a stunningly impressive 22.35, helped by a 1.5m/s breeze, to end her the day in fourth place with 3865, the third-fastest time in the world over the distance this year. Only US legend Jackie Joyner Kersee has run a faster 200m in a heptathlon.
Theisen-Eaton capped her consistent first day with a 200m personal best of 23.52, having been close to her bests in the high jump and 100m hurdles, while Johnson-Thompson bounced back from her modest shot put performance and took almost half a second off her 200m best with 22.89, the best mark apart from Schippers, to move back into second place at the end of the first day.
Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF