Yordanis Garcia of Cuba competes in the 110m Hurdles of the men's Decathlon at the 2006 World Junior Championships (Getty Images) © Copyright
General News

García tallies 8496 in Havana

Havana, CubaTwentyyear old Yordanis García improved his personal best by over 100 points to score a world leading 8496 points in winning the Americas Combined Events Cup on Saturday (30) in Havana, his first international title since taking the World Youth gold in 2005.

Team USA Beijing Olympic high jumper Sharon Day took the Heptathlon in another Cup record of 6063.

The Americas Combined Events Cup is part of the the IAAF World Combined Events Challenge.

Garcia threatening 8500

Garcia, eighth at the 2007 World Championships in Osaka, trailed his countryman Yunior Diaz in the first two events, but overtook him with a personal best of 16.50m in the Shot Put, followed by a lifetime best of 2.10m in the High Jump.

After the first day on Friday, the 2007 Pan American Games silver medallist enjoyed a narrow 36-point lead over Garcia (4428 to 4394), who closed the gap thanks to his 47.34 in the 400m.

On the second and final day, Garcia challenged the rain and performed very consistently, equaling his best in the Pole Vault (4.80m), and posting marks close to his lifetime best in the 110m Hurdles, the Javelin and 1500m.

“I was aiming to break the 8500 points barrier, but the weather did not help. Anyway, I am happy as I bettered by best by 131 points and that is a good indicator for the CAC Championships in Havana (July) and the World Championships in Berlin,” said the 2006 World Junior runner-up.

In summary, he improved his personal best in three events (Long Jump, High Jump and Shot Put), and equalled one (Pole Vault) to add 131 points to his previous best total of 8365, set in March.

In the process, he overtook 2008 Olympic bronze medallist Leonel Suarez as the new season leader, with 81 points more than the 8415 best set by his countryman in March.

Yunior Diaz (7920) and Alexei Chivas (7808) completed the Cuban sweep, well ahead of 2004 Olympian Paul Terek of the USA, who finished fourth with 7430. His countryman and defending champion Chris Helwick did not compete.

In the Heptathlon, 2008 Olympic high jumper Sharon Day made tremendous progress adding more than 200 points to her personal to break the 6000-point barrier for the first time.

Thanks to a 1.93m leap in her specialist event, the 2004 World Junior High Jump bronze medallist led on the first day with 3707 points, followed by Cuba’s 2008 CAC champion Yariadmis Arguelles (3619).

The latter leaped to 6.47m in the Long Jump to take an 87-point lead, but it shrank to 44 in the Javelin.

A good 800m runner, the 23-year-old beat the Cuban by over nine seconds in the two-lap race to secure her first international win in the Heptathlon.

Arguelles was rewarded with a new personal best of 5982, followed by USA’s defending champion Lela Nelson (5817).

The Pan American Cup, held during the Barrientos Memorial, drew 18 men and 16 women from eight countries at Havana’s Estadio Panamericano.

Javier Clavelo Robinson for the IAAF

Leading results:

Decathlon -
1. Yordanis García CUB 8496 CR
(10.88, 7.36, 16.50, 2.10, 48.77/14.07,43.97, 4.80, 68.10, 4:46.80)

2. Yunior Díaz CUB 7920
(10.80, 7.75, 14.59, 1.98, 47.34/15.01, 40.81, 4.20, 55.66, 4:44.70)

3. Alexei Chivas CUB 7808
(11.10, 7.46, 15.54, 1.98, 52.68/14.55, 45.50, 4.60, 53.06, 4:47.20)

4. Paul Terek USA 7430
(11.67, 6.53, 14.60, 1.92, 49.64/15.89, 43.28, 4.90, 55.10, 4:43.10)

5. Yosley Azcuy CUB-B 7361
(11.26, 6.99, 13.75, 1.80, 49.96/14.46, 42.84, 4.60, 52.60, 5:04.30)

6.  José Angel Mendieta CUB-B 7192
(11.22, 7.23, 12.85, 1.92, 49.81/14.72, 37.42, 3.60, 54.10, 4:45.60)

Heptathlon -
1. Sharon Day USA 6063
(14.29, 1.93, 12.92, 24.87/5.92, 40.19, 2:17.16)

2. Yariadmis Arguelles CUB 5982
(14.10, 1.87, 11.63, 24.31/6.47, 37.95, 2:26.48)

3. Lela Nelson USA 5817
(13.90, 1.75, 11.86, 24.49/6.27, 39.14, 2:26.55)

4. Gretchen Quintana CUB 5708
(14.01, 1.66, 13.16, 24.68/5.94, 37.88, 2:20.75)

5. Yuleidis Limonta CUB 5236
(14.35, 1.81, 12.08, 26.30/6.19, 23.40, 2:36.12)

6. Ashley Wilhem USA 5153
(14.84, 1.72, 10.06, 25.89/5.61, 37.34, 2:27.59)

Click here for full results