The Sebrle show goes into a second day with the Czech multi-event master threatening to do some serious damage to the world record on the final day of the heptathlon at the 10th IAAF World Indoor Championships here in Budapest.
Seeking to regain the title he won in 2001, Roman Sebrle, the leader after three events following outstanding performances in the long jump and shot, moved further clear of his rivals after the high jump.
After an aberration with his first attempt at 1.96m, Sebrle sailed over the bar at his first attempt at each height thereafter, through to an event-winning 2.11m. That chalked up another 906pts to bring his halfway total to 3718.
That gave the Czech an improved points advantage over his rivals, and also meant that he had surpassed all four performances from the first day of his title-winning effort in Lisbon three years ago.
Still plugging away in second place, after adding 4cm on to his lifetime best, is the United States’s Bryan Clay, with 2.08m, a height matched by Russia’s Aleksandr Pogorelov.
The 878pts earned by Clay gives him 3673pts at the end of the first day.
But with Erki Nool (1.96m) and Dmitriy Karpov (1.99m) having disappointing high jump performances, the chances of victory of the Olympic decathlon champion and the young Kazak seem to have vanished.
Lev Lobodin, of Russia, silver medallist in Birmingham last year, moved from fifth to third after clearing 2.05m (3519pts total), 17 better than Karpov, in fourth, while Nool has dropped back to seventh on 3400, and will need an extraordinary turnaround in his speciality pole vault, the sixth of the seven disciplines, tomorrow.