Kevin Mayer wins the decathlon at the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 (© Getty Images)
As the year draws to a close, we look back at the key moments of 2022 in each area of the sport.
The series continues with a review of combined events and will be followed over the coming days by reviews of other event groups.
Season top list
|8867||Garrett Scantling 🇺🇸 USA||Fayetteville||7 May|
|8816||Kevin Mayer 🇫🇷 FRA||Eugene||24 July|
|8797||Damian Warner 🇨🇦 CAN||Gotzis||29 May|
|8720||Kyle Garland 🇺🇸 USA||Fayetteville||7 May|
|8701||Pierce LePage 🇨🇦 CAN||Eugene||24 July|
|🥇||Kevin Mayer 🇫🇷 FRA||8816|
|🥈||Pierce LePage 🇨🇦 CAN||8701|
|🥉||Zach Ziemek 🇺🇸 USA||8676|
World Championships: Kevin Mayer 🇫🇷 FRA 8816
World Indoor Championships: Damian Warner 🇨🇦 CAN 6489
World Combined Events Tour: Lindon Victor 🇬🇩 GRN 3608
African Championships: Larbi Bourrada 🇩🇿 ALG 7776
European Championships: Niklas Kaul 🇩🇪 GER 8545
Oceanian Championships: Max Attwell 🇦🇺 AUS 7635
Commonwealth Games: Lindon Victor 🇬🇩 GRN 8233
Season at a glance
The highly anticipated clash between Olympic champion Damian Warner and world record-holder Kevin Mayer may not have materialised this year, but both men still enjoyed major success in 2022.
Warner picked up where he left off last year, and produced a stunning series of marks – including a national indoor long jump record of 8.05m, and PBs of 6.68 for 60m and 7.61 for 60m hurdles – to win the world indoor heptathlon title in Belgrade with 6489, moving him to second on the world indoor all-time list.
His strong form continued outdoors as he won the Hypo Meeting in Götzis for a record-breaking seventh time, scoring a season’s best of 8797. He was tipped to add a third global title to his collection at the World Athletics Championships Oregon22, where he was lining up against Mayer. Things started off well for Warner in the first four disciplines, but he crashed out of the competition at the end of the first day when injury struck in the 400m.
Mayer was sad to see his friend and rival bow out of the championships in that fashion, especially as he himself had experienced a similar fate in 2019. But the French all-rounder held it together for the two days of competition and regained the world title he first won five years prior, taking gold with 8816.
Despite Warner’s absence, Canada still made it on to the podium thanks to Pierce LePage, who took silver with 8701. And there was cause for celebration for the home crowd as journeyman decathlete Zach Ziemek earned his first global medal, taking bronze with 8676.
Several other combined eventers excelled in 2022.
Switzerland’s Simon Ehammer continued his highly promising breakthrough by taking world indoor heptathlon silver with a national record of 6363. He went on to set three more national records outdoors in the decathlon (8354 in Ratingen, 8377 in Götzis, and 8468 to take silver at the European Championships).
But he also excelled in the long jump. He set a world decathlon best of 8.45m in that event in Götzis, which put him second on the world list this year, and he claimed bronze at the World Championships.
It was also a good year for 2019 world champion Niklas Kaul, who improved steadily throughout the season before peaking at the European Championships on home soil in Munich, where he took gold with 8545 – his highest score since winning the world title three years ago.
Lindon Victor also enjoyed a strong season. The Grenadian set a national indoor record of 6029 at the World Indoor Championships, then finished second in Götzis and fifth at the World Championships – his highest placing at a global championships. Just a few weeks later he successfully defended his Commonwealth title, then he capped his season by winning in Talence with a national record of 8550. His season-long consistency meant he topped the World Athletics Combined Events Tour standings.
Garrett Scantling set a world-leading score of 8867 to win the US title, but he was subsequently suspended for missing three out-of-competition drug tests. Compatriot Kyle Garland finished second at the US Championships with a huge PB of 8720. Puerto Rico’s Ayden Owens-Delerme also had a breakthrough season, finishing fourth at the World Championships with 8532.
There was record depth in the event this year with five men scoring 8700 or above for the first time ever. And nine men scored 8500 or higher – the first time that has happened since 2000.
Season top list
|6947||Nafissatou Thiam 🇧🇪 BEL||Eugene||18 July|
|6867||Anouk Vetter 🇳🇱 NED||Eugene||18 July|
|6755||Anna Hall 🇺🇸 USA||Eugene||18 July|
|6672||Adrianna Sulek 🇵🇱 POL||Eugene||18 July|
|6559||Noor Vidts 🇧🇪 BEL||Eugene||18 July|
|🥇||Nafissatou Thiam 🇧🇪 BEL||6947|
|🥈||Anouk Vetter 🇳🇱 NED||6867|
|🥉||Anna Hall 🇺🇸 USA||6755|
World Championships: Nafissatou Thiam 🇧🇪 BEL 6947
World Indoor Championships: Noor Vidts 🇧🇪 BEL 4929
World Combined Events Tour: Adrianna Sulek 🇵🇱 POL 3498
African Championships: Odile Ahouanwanou 🇧🇯 BEN 5756
European Championships: Nafissatou Thiam 🇧🇪 BEL 6628
Oceanian Championships: Taneille Crase 🇦🇺 AUS 5945
Commonwealth Games: Katarina Johnson-Thompson 🇬🇧 GBR 6377
Season at a glance
It was a great year for Belgium in women’s combined events as Nafi Thiam and Noor Vidts claimed the three big titles of 2022.
Vidts was a surprise winner of the world indoor title in Belgrade at the end of an epic tussle with Poland’s Adrianna Sulek. Vidts emerged the winner with a score of 4929, breaking Thiam’s national indoor record. Sulek was also rewarded with a national record in second place (4851) and USA’s Kendell Williams earned her first senior global medal by taking bronze (4680).
Outdoors, it was Thiam’s turn to shine. After picking up her second Olympic title last year, she doubled up on world and European titles this year, taking gold in Oregon in a world-leading 6947 – her highest score at a global championships and the second-best mark of her career – and then winning European gold with 6628 exactly one month later.
In Oregon, Anouk Vetter pushed Thiam all the day, just as she had done in Tokyo last year. The Dutch heptathlete claimed another silver, this time with 6867 – a big improvement on the national record of 6693 she set to win in Götzis two months prior.
Vetter didn’t finish the heptathlon at the European Championships, but Sulek came through to take her second silver medal of 2022, this time with a score of 6532. Switzerland’s Annik Kalin finished close behind to take bronze with a national record of 6515.
But perhaps the biggest breakthrough performer in the heptathlon this year is USA’s Anna Hall. Aged just 20 at the start of the year, she dominated the US collegiate circuit by setting a pentathlon PB of 4618 and winning the NCAA indoor title with 4586.
The day after turning 21, she set a PB of 6412 in her first heptathlon of the year, then improved to 6458 to win the US title. She won the NCAA title with 6385 and then produced the series of her life to smash her PB with 6755 en route to taking bronze at the World Championships on home soil.
Sulek finished fourth at the World Championships with 6672, and her consistency across the season meant she finished top of the leader board in the World Combined Events Tour.
Katarina Johnson-Thompson had a frustrating start to her season as she struggled to find the form that carried her to the world title in 2019, but the Briton ended it on a high by winning the Commonwealth title on home soil with 6377.