Holly Mills in the heptathlon 100m hurdles at Multistars in Lana (© Daniele Morandi)
Britain’s Holly Mills and Norway’s Martin Roe are the overnight leaders at the Multistars in Lana, the first leg of the World Athletics Challenge – Combined Events.
Mills completed the first day in the lead after four events with 3838. She set three individual PBs in the 100m hurdles, high jump and shot put. Marthe Koala from Burkina Faso is ranked second with 3726 ahead of Kate O’Connor from Ireland (3666), Maria Vicente from Spain (3665) and Chari Hawkins (3638) in a close battle for the top three. Koala and O’Connor are on course to challenge their respective national records.
Roe, meanwhile, is aiming to score the second Multistars win of his career, ending the first day in pole position with 4153 ahead of European indoor silver medallist Jorge Urena (4110) and Italian decathlon champion Dario Dester (4054).
Mills, who turned 21 just last week, smashed her PB in the opening event, winning her 100m hurdles heat in 13.21 (-1.1m/s) from Spain’s Maria Vicente (13.62). Moments later, Koala equalled Mills’ time in the third heat.
Mills took sole ownership of the lead position after the high jump, setting another PB of 1.83m. Koala managed 1.77m, while O’Connor and Hawkins both cleared 1.80m.
Austria’s 2016 world U20 champion Sarah Lagger produced the best mark of the day in the shot put, throwing 14.74m to move into sixth overall. O’Connor improved to 14.23m, which elevated her to fourth in the standings. Mills, meanwhile, set an outdoor PB of 13.66m to extend her lead over Koala to 83 points.
Despite a strong headwind of -2.1m/s, Mills came within 0.11 of her PB in the 200m to win her heat in 24.24, bringing her day-one tally to 3838. Vicente was the only athlete to go faster, clocking 24.02 to move from seventh to fourth overall.
“I started the competition with three PBs, then I faced a crazy headwind in the 200m,” said Mills, who set a pentathlon PB of 4557 earlier this year before going on to finish fifth at the European Indoor Championships. “So far, it has been my best competition ever. Qualifying for the Olympics is one of my goals for this year.”
Roe leads from outset
Like Mills, Roe has held the lead in the decathlon since the first event.
The 2018 Multistars winner from Norway was the only man to break 11 seconds in the 100m, clocking 10.90. He then came out on top in the long jump, leaping 7.51m (1.1m/s) while Urena managed 7.45m to maintain his second place overall. Desta jumped 7.40m to move into third.
Roe and Urena maintained their overall positions in the shot put, Roe throwing 14.88m and Urena managing 14.16m. Sweden’s Marcus Nillson produced the best mark of the day with 15.79m, enough to move him into the top 10 in the standings.
Urena closed the gap on Roe in the last two disciplines of the day, leaping 1.98m and running 49.89 for 400m. Roe wasn’t far behind in either event, recording 1.95m and 50.48, but it meant his lead was reduced to 43 points by the end of the day.
Helcelet cleared 1.98m in the high jump but then dropped to fifth after the 400m (50.66). Dester, meanwhile, climbed back into the top three, thanks to a 49.10 run in the 400m. Belgium’s Benjamin Hougardy also jumped up the leaderboard after the 400m, clocking 49.07 to move into fourth place overall.
Diego Sampaolo for World Athletics