07 FEB 2011 General News Gent, Belgium

Van der Plaetsen breaks Belgian Heptathlon record

Thomas Van der Plaetsen after his Belgian indoor Heptathlon national record (organisers)Thomas Van der Plaetsen after his Belgian indoor Heptathlon national record (organisers) © Copyright
Thomas Van der Plaetsen, the European junior Decathlon champion, made his debut in the indoor Heptathlon a memorable one, setting a new Belgian record at the national indoor combined events championships (5-6) in Gent.

The 20-year-old tallied 5901 points, added 44 points to the previous mark. His performance is currently the fifth best in the world this season, and the third among Europeans.

Van der Plaetsen finally made the transition from winning the European decathlon crown in Novi Sad in 2009 to the senior ranks. On the first day he managed a series of solid performances in the 60m (7.27) and the Long Jump (7.57m) but disappointed in the Shot Put (13.03m) and the High Jump (1m.99.). However, Van der Plaetsen came back the next day to notch personal bests in the 60m Hurdles (8.18), Pole Vault (5.10m) and the 1000m (2:44.94).

His total score of 5901 erased the six-year-old mark from François Gourmet (5857).

Organisers for the IAAF