Yordani Garcia in Desenzano del Garda (Lorenzo Sampaolo) © Copyright
General News 8 May 2010 – Desenzano del Garda, Italy

Garcia, Schippers the Day one leaders in Desenzano del Garda – IAAF Combined Events Challenge

Desenzano del Garda, ItalyCuban Yordani Garcia, who entered the IAAF Combined Events Challenge meeting in Desenzano del Garda on the eve of the competition, is the overnight leader after the first day at the 23rd edition of the Multistars with 4113 points. He leads last year’s Desenzano winner Jake Arnold from the USA and Leonel Suarez of Cuba, the Olympic bronze medallist in Beijing and World silver medallist in Berlin  who recovered from a slow start finishing day one in third place with 4004 points.

Dafne Schippers from the Netherlands produced a major upset finishing day one in first place with 3539 points leading over favourite Hanna Melnychenko from Ukraine by 14 points. Marina Goncharova from Russia, seventh in the Pentathlon at the World Indoor Championships in Doha, finished the first day of competitions in third place with 3495 points.

Garcia kicks back jetlag to take overnight lead

Garcia, eighth at the Olympic Games in Beijing and at the World Championships in Berlin and the World Youth champion in 2005, and his compatriot Suarez were the last additions to the Multistars starting lists late on Friday evening. Suarez and Garcia lined up in the 100m this morning after arriving in Desenzano on Friday night following a 14-hour flight from Cuba.

Daniel Awde from Great Britain and Luis Alberto de Araujo tied the first place in the 100m.  Awde won the third heat in 10.94 with a headwind of -0.1 m/s (874 points), while De Araujo clocked the same time in the final heat (with a headwind of -0.7 m/s) edging out  Garcia by 0.01 sec.

Roland Schwarzl from Austria, who clocked 11.39 in the 100m, won the Long Jump with 7.48m (930 points), which was enough to take second overall  with 1706 points behind Franco Casiean who took the provisional lead after two events with 1718 points after clocking 11.02 (856 points) and jumping  7.20m in the Long Jump. William Frullani was third after the first two events, with 11.03 in the 100m and 7.10m in the Long Jump.

Schwarzl, tenth at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, took first place after the Shot Put following his release to 13.99m. Schwarzl moved into a tie for tied for first with Arnold who won the Shot Put with 15.67m (831 points), with each tallying 2434 points. Garcia who leapt to 6.73m in the Long Jump, caught up positions moving from eighth after the long jump to third with 2398 points thanks to his 14.77m in the Shot Put. Frullani was fourth with 2375 points after his 13.26m in the Shot Put. Casiean’s lead did not last long following his 12.71m in the shot Put, moving him back from to fifth with 2368 points. The long journey from Cuba probably took its toll on Suarez who clocked 11.33 In the 100m, leapt to 6.92m in the Long Jump and reached 13.00m in the Shot Put.

Suarez needed four events to return to his best form. After a slow start the 22-year-old Cuban began his come-back in the High Jump in which he won with 2.10m (896 points) before missing three attempts at 2.13m. Garcia climbed to first thanks to his second place in the High Jump with 2.07m (868 points).

Garcia took the lead with 3266 points leading over former NCAA champion Arnold (3192 points) and Schwarzl (3165 points) before the 400m. Suarez climbed into fourth place with 3147 points thanks to his win in the High Jump.

Garcia ran the 400m in 49.31m (847 points) and defended his overnight lead with 4113 points with a gap of 107 points over Arnold. Suarez finished second in the 400m in 49.09 behind event winner Awde (47.73 for overnight fourth place with 3973 points) and finished the first day in third place. Suarez can rely on a strong second day in which he boasts a sensational javelin PB of 77.47m and 4:27.29 in the 1500m and can fight for the final win, if he recovers from the long journey.
“I was too tired. We arrived in our hotel after midnight”, said Garcia. “It was not a good competition for me. My performances did not fulfil my expectations. This is my first Decathlon event in Europe in 2010. I am planning to compete in Gotzis but my big goal is to peak for the 2011 IAAF World Championships in Daegu.”

Schippers springs first day surprise

The Heptathlon began with a good result by Italian best combined events specialist Francesca Doveri who improved her PB in the 100m Hurdles from 13.41 to 13.33 (1075 points) and beat Swiss Claudine Muller (13.68). Hanna Melnychenko from Ukraine, fifth at the IAAF World Championships in Berlin, started slowly with 14.20 (950 points) for seventh place in the hurdles clocking the same time as the other favourite Marina Goncharova from Russia.

The Ukrainian managed to  recover well in the High Jump held on a wet track following a short rainfall by winning with 1.78m (953 points) on a countback over Marina Goncharova, Nadine Boersen from the Netherlands and Agniezka Borowska from Poland who cleared the same height.  As a result Melnychenko and Goncharova shared the same overall score of 1903 points but the Ukrainian took the lead because of her countback win in the High Jump. Broesen, who clocked 14.32 in the hurdles and cleared 1.78m in the High Jump, followed in third just 16 points behind Melnychenko and Goncharova with 1887 points. Doveri cleared 1.66m and moved back into fifth place with 1881 points, three points behind three-time Multistars winner and 2005 World Championships bronze medallist Margaret Simpson who ran 13.81 in the hurdles and cleared 1.72m in the high jump.

Goncharova finished second in the Shot Put with 13.23m (743 points) behind 2009 European Under 23 bronze medallist Nadezhada Sergeyeva (14.00m) but overtook Melnychenko who put 13.13m (736 points). Before the 200metres Goncharova went to the lead with 2646 points, just seven more than Melnychenko (2646 to 2639 points). Broersen (12.61m) defended her third place with 2589 points in a close battle for third place with Simpson (2568 points), Doveri (2563 points) and Dafne Schippers from the Netherlands (2529 points).

The overall ranking underwent a dramatic change after the 200metres in which Schippers (born in 1992) won in 23.70  (1010 points), a new PB which moved her from sixth to overnight first with 3539 points with a narrow lead over Melnychenko (3525 points), who clocked the fourth fastest time of 25.01. Goncharova (25.42) ended the first day with 3495 points. Doveri set her 200m PB with 24.53 and moved up into fourth place with 3493 points ahead of Simpson who clocked 25.15.

Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF

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