18 OCT 2000 General News

Men's decathlon final

Men’s decathlon final
Steven Downes for the IAAF

19 October 2000 – Dennis Leyckes, the leader since the fourth of the 10 events on Wednesday, maintained and improved his lead in the decathlon at the World Junior Championships here on Thursday, taking the gold medal with a final championship best score of 7897 points.

He thus became the third German to win the world junior title, but in doing so he exceeded Eric Kaiser’s championship record 7762pts, amassed in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, 10 years ago.

Spain’s David Gomez won a fierce battle for the silver, only securing the position by outsprinting Andre Niklaus, of Germany, down the home straight of the 1500m, the final event of the 10.

Gomez scored a final tally of 7772, with Niklaus on 7712.

It was his 4.80-metre pole vault clearance that effectively secured the title for Leyckes, as he scored nearly 150pts more than his two closest challengers, Dmitry Karpov, of Kazakstan and Gomez.

It was the eighth event which saw Leyckes’ German team mate, Niklaus, vault into the medal positions for the first time in the two days, thanks to the 880pts from his 4.90m effort.

Agonisingly for Karpov, who had been a medal contender for eight-tenths of the decathlon, he lost further ground after a weak javelin throw (42.11m).

Going into the final 1500m run, Leyckes was assured of the gold, with a nine-event total of 7173, while just 46pts - approximately 7sec - separated Gomez (6991), in the silver medal position, from Niklaus (6945).

As Niklaus led for virtually 1400 metres of the last event, Gomez stuck doggedly on his heels, before launching a sprint which left his German rival to cross the line in an exhausted, frustrated walk.

In contrast, Leykes, third finisher in the run, was exultant.

As well as his German team predecessors, by winning here Leykes was following in the footsteps of his father, Dieter, the 1973 European Junior silver medallist.