Talence, FranceDimitry Karpov from Kazakhstan, bronze medallist at the 2003 World Championships and 2004 Olympic Games and this year’s winner of the IAAF Combined Events Challenge meeting in Ratingen is the overnight leader of the men’s Decathlon at the Decastar meeting, the last meeting of the 2006 edition of the IAAF Combined Events Challenge.
In wet and cool weather conditions in Talence, Olympic bronze medallist and Commonwealth Games champion Kelly Sotherton from Great Britain leads the women’s Heptathlon standings at the end of day one.
Dimitry Karpov from Kazakhstan had a good start taking the lead after the Long Jump leaping to a winning 7.72m (990 points) which followed up his opening 10.79 second performance in the 100 metres.
Stefan Drews from Germany took second place after 10.93 in the 100 metres and 7.48 in the Long Jump. Czech Roman Sebrle, World record holder and reigning Olympic and European champion, began with 11.15 in the 100 metres and 7.45 in the Long Jump for fifth place after two events but a Shot Put release of 15.33m climbed him into second position behind Karpov after three disciplines.
However, the star from Kazakhstan increased his lead to 190 points over Sebrle after three events thanks to an even better 15.99m. Only European Championship bronze medallist Alexsey Drozdov from Russia did better in the shot put with 16.13 metres.
US Ryan Harlan, who was seventh after the Shot Put, moved up into overall second place thanks to his 2.10m winning clearance in the High Jump (896 points) overhauling Roman Sebrle (2.04m). Karpov, who cleared 2.04m, had a lead of 176 points over Harlan.
Karpov backed up his overnight first place with a solid 48.50 second run in the 400m which earned him his second individual victory (885 points) for a total score after five events of 4474 points. Sebrle ran 49.72 returning to second place (4227 points) overall ahead of Harlan (4187 points) and Drozdov (4146 points).
Hanna Melnichenko from Ukraine, fifth after the 100 metres Hurdles with 13.65 seconds, took the lead in the overall ranking with 2019 points after the High Jump where she was beaten for first place by France’s Marie Collonville on countback at 1.81m.
Kelly Sotherton from Great Britain clocked 13.42 in the 100m Hurdles and cleared a 1.78m height to place second in the overall standing just four points behind Melnichenko after two events. The Briton was ahead of Collonville (2001 points - 13.78 and 1.81) and Natalya Dobrynska from Ukraine (1966 points – 13.76 and 1.78).
The Shot Put produced a new change in the ranking. The new leader was Dobrynska who moved up into first place (2842 points) thanks to a 15.22m release which earned her the win (876 points).
Sotherton (13.82m) and Collonville (12.73m) defended their second and third places with respectively 2792 and 2710 points. Melnichenko faded to fourth with 12.40m.
Sotherton clocked a hand-timed 23.7 in the 200 metres going to the lead overnight with a total of 3783 points ahead of Dobrynska (3707 points) and Melnychenko (3618 points).
30th anniversary celebrations
Talence is celebrating the 30th edition of its famous Combined Events meeting this year. To mark this special anniversary some stars who made the history of the French meeting were invited as special guests. Among those attending this year’s meeting are German sprint and long jump legend Heike Drechsler – now an IAAF Ambassador – who was the winner of the Decastar in a rare appearance in the Heptathlon in 1994 (6741 points), former Heptathlon World champion Eunice Barber (Talence winner in 1999 and 2005), and 1990 European champion and five-time Decastar champion Christian Plaziat.
Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF