7000 spectators were in the stade de Thouars Sunday morning for the second day of competition of the Decastar, one of the main competitions the first IAAF World Combined Events Challenge.
The announcement of the presence of Chris Huffins in the blocks of the 110m hurdles, after the injury suffered during the long jump yesterday, pleased everyone in the stands even if it was not to last. The American finished his race in 18.15 on one leg and decided to exit the competition, incapable to produce any more effort.
Sebastien Chmara (POL) who was second behind Magnusson after day one, had a very impressive debut in this second day of competition, clocking 14.25 in the 110m hurdles for a new personal best, Lobodin (RUS) and Hamalainen (FIN) eroded the lead with 14.24 and 14.20 respectively. Magnusson, though, remained the leader, and was todo so until the end, despite a very bad discus throw. Well below his personal best and fighting against the terrible weather conditions, the Icelander couldnt do better than 39.84 and lost all chances to improve his best overall total.
The pole vault, dominated by French man Levicq who cleared an excellent 5.40 - considering the changing wind and persisting rain - was very spectacular.
With two events to go, the javelin throw and the 1500m, the leading positions seemed destined not to change again. Chmara, forced to retireme after the discus throw in Budapest, seemed determined to score one of his best totals of the year to finish in the first eight prize money winning places of the IAAF World Combined Events Challenge. The same was true of Lobodin, third in Budapest, who had only two scoring decathlon so far.
Magnusson finally won the 1998 edition of the Decastar with 59.99 in the javelin and 4:46.67 in the 1500m despite being unable to better his best result. Chmara (56.36 and 4:42.66) and Lobodin (56.59 and 4:46.07) finished respectively second and third, depriving Hamalainen of the podium.
In the womens field, the real protagonist of the competition has been the rain always making its appearance the worst moments. Surprisingly though, the long jump did not modify the first three positions in the standings, Wlodarczyk, Narazoviene and Sazanovicth all landing at the 6.37m mark.
Wlodarczyck made the difference, as expected in the 800m where she clocked 2:17.09 against 2:27.08 for Sazanovitch. Nazaroviene managed to take second place thanks to a very good race in the 800m - 2:14.72.
Talence will go down as being one of the most special competitions of the Challenge. During all field events, the competitors were helped - or at least motivated - by music. As a matter of fact, each of them had previously chosen his favourite hit which was played for each of their attempts. Italian Gertrud Bacher declared that she would ask every organiser to play music during the meeting.
Also, a draw had previously determined couples whose scores were added for a "Couple Challenge". The couple Collonville - Magnusson won the challenge.
Finally, a Golden Coin was awarded to the winner of each single event. For instance, Magnusson won two Golden Coins (Shot Put and 400m) Sazanovitch won three coins (shot put, 200m and Long Jump) while Wlodarczyk did not win any
In the end, Talence did not change that much in the IAAF World Combined Events Challenge which, for its first edition will crown two big names of the multiple events: Erki Nool (EST) reigning European champion and Ursula Wlodarczyk (POL) second in Budapest. In the mens standings, Magnusson and Sebrle are currently second and third while in the womens list we have Russian Belova just 93 points ahead of Nazaroviene to take second place.
With just the Commonwealth games to go, there are unlikely to be major changes in the overall standings of the first IAAF World Combined Events Challenge.
Decastar - Talence
Magnusson (ISL) 8410
Chmara (POL) 8303
Lobodin (RUS) 8290
Hamalainen (FIN) 8200
Sebrle (CZE) 8056
Levicq (FRA) 7804
Rosendaal (NED) 7486
Damasek (CZE) 7386
Huffins (USA) dnf
Wlodarczyk (POL) 6352
Nazaroviene (LIT) 6313
Sazanovitch (BLS) 6229
Belova (RUS) 6205
Collonville (FRA) 6151
Braun (GER) 6147
Rashchupkina (RUS) 6090
Blair (USA) 6059
Teppe (FRA) 6030
Nathan (USA) 5886
Bacher (ITA) 5107
Marrot (FRA) and Devillier (FRA) dnf