05 MAR 2008 General News

Men's Heptathlon - Pole Vault

Andrei Krauchanka (BLR) made a huge impact on the Heptathlon competition with a magnificent display in the Pole Vault. The Belarussian, who only cleared 5 metres for the first time in May 2007 and had not reached that height indoors during his career set five indoor personal bests ending up with a 5.30m result, 40cm more than his earlier indoor best 4.90m from the European Indoor Championships in Birmingham 2007. Outdoors Krauchanka had jumped 5.15m last season.

Bryan Clay (USA), who has lead the competition from the start, still has a clear lead with 5663 total points. The American had a minor disappointment in the Pole Vault with a 5.00m clearance, 15cm below his season’s best, but it might have been much worse as Clay only went over 4.90m with his third and final attempt.

Clay’s lead is now 232 points with Krauchanka in 2nd place having scored 5431 points after six events. But the Belarussian is a much faster 1000m runner and the last event of Heptathlon might repeat the display from the women’s Pentathlon 800m where Kelly Sotherton (GBR) nearly overtook Tia Hellebaut (BEL), who had a big lead before the last event. If Clay had reached a little better heights in the Pole Vault he would have been real close to Dan O’Brien’s 6476p World Indoor Record from the 1993 World Indoor Championships in Toronto. To break this record he has to run 2:45.47 which is not likely as his personal best in 1000m is 2:49.41 from 2004.

Krauchanka’s personal best is 2:39.92 from 2005 and this season he has run 2:41.84 and he has to beat Clay by 22.5 seconds to win the competition. Clay has only run 3:06.39 in his only heptathlon this season, but did 2:50.92 in Moscow World Indoor Championships in 2006 and that would indicate that Krauchanka’s task is impossible today.

Dmitriy Karpov (KAZ) also vaulted well setting a personal best 5.20m which is 20cm more than he has jumped outdoors. Karpov is still 3rd with 5339 points and will keep that place after the 1000m as well. Donovan Kilmartin (USA) is 4th with 5201p and can’t get close to Karpov, instead Mikhail Logvinenko (RUS – 5th 5162p) and Andrea Raja (EST – 6th 5136p) will probably pass the American in the 1000m as they are faster runners.

Projected final scores (using season’s best):

Andrei Krauchanka SB 6229 - projected 6284 +55p
Bryan Clay SB 6192 - projected 6266  +74p
Dmitriy Karpov SB 6229 - projected 6170  -59p
Mikhail Logvinenko SB 6129 - projected 6030  -99p
Andres Raja SB 5949 - projected 5952  +3p
Donovan Kilmartin SB 6008 - projected 5903  -105p

Mirko Jalava for the IAAF