Nafissatou Thiam in the heptathlon high jump at the Hypo Meeting in Gotzis (Getty Images) © Copyright
General News Götzis, Austria

Thiam and Warner lead entries for Götzis

Organisers of the Hypo Meeting have announced that Olympic heptathlon Nafissatou Thiam and world silver medallist Damian Warner will compete at the IAAF Combined Events Challenge meeting in Götzis on 27-28 May.

Thiam will be making her fourth appearance in the Austrian town. But with this being her first heptathlon since winning the Olympic title last year, the Belgian will be aiming to secure her first Götzis victory.

Her best scores from the 2014 and 2015 seasons, 6508 and 6412 respectively, were set in Götzis. The 22-year-old scored 6491 at last year’s Hypo Meeting to finish fourth but went on to take a surprise victory at the Olympic Games after breaking numerous personal bests en route to her 6810 score in Rio.

Thiam’s momentum has carried through into 2017 and earlier this year she won the European indoor title with a score of 4870.

But the local crowd in Götzis will turn out to support the woman who finished second to Thiam at the European Indoor Championships, Ivona Dadic. The 23-year-old made a big breakthrough last year to take the European bronze medal with an Austrian record of 6408. She went one better than that at the European Indoor Championships, taking silver with 4767, another national record.

Compatriot Sarah Lagger, the world junior champion will also be in action.

Carolin Schäfer leads a strong German contingent in Götzis. The 25-year-old has made it on to the Hypo Meeting podium for the past two years, finishing second in 2015 and third in 2016. Her scores on each occasion – 6547 and 6557 respectively – were personal bests, and she followed them with a fifth-place finish at the Olympic Games in Rio.

She will be joined by two-time world silver medallist Jennifer Oeser, world 100m hurdles silver medallist Cindy Roleder, European indoor long jump bronze medallist Claudia Salman-Rath and World University Games champion Anna Maiwald.

Warner seeks hat-trick

World silver medallist Damian Warner will be making his fifth appearance in Götzis. A winner in 2013 and 2016, another win in the Austrian town would make Warner just the third man in history to notch up three victories at the Hypo Meeting after Guido Kratschmer and Roman Sebrle.

The Canadian clocked a meeting record of 10.15 for 100m en route to his 8523 tally last year. He went on to take the bronze medal at the Olympic Games with a score of 8666, just 29 points shy of the national record he set at the 2015 World Championships.

As is the case in the women’s contest, the German athletes will be out in force for the decathlon in Götzis.

Kai Kazmirek finished one place behind Warner in Rio last year, scoring a lifetime best of 8580. The 26-year-old will be keen to prove his 2015 Götzis victory wasn’t a fluke; he won the decathlon on that occasion with 8462 after Warner failed to register a valid mark in the shot put.

World bronze medallist Rico Freimuth, 2015 European indoor silver medallist Arthur Abele and world indoor bronze medallist Mathias Brugger will join fellow German Kazmirek in Götzis.

Austrian fans, meanwhile, will cheer on Dominik Distelberger, who scored a PB of 8175 in Götzis last year and recently finished fourth at the European Indoor Championships with a lifetime best of 6063.

Organisers and Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF