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Kladno, Czech RepublicOleksiy Kasyanov of Ukraine and Eliska Klucinova of the host Czech Republic won the Combined Events titles at the 4th staging of the TNT-Fortuna Meeting in Kladno on Tuesday and Wednesday. The competition was the third step in this season’s IAAF Combined Events Challenge.
Kasyanov moved out of the lead near the end, and he had to overcome a small deficit after the penultimate event. But with a fine 4:27.93 in the 150m, he was able to dispatch any other challenges and accumulate 8381 points in his victory. Aleksey Drozdov of Russia with 8246 and Canada’s Jamie Adjetey-Nelson at 8239 waged a tight battle for the remaining podium spots.
For Klucinova, the last two days were a whirl she will never forget. With PBs in five of the seven events (only missing the Shot Put and the 200m - the latter by 0.08 seconds), the one-time Kladno resident gave her old neighbours a memorable moment by exactly equaling the 22-year-old national record of 6268 set by Zuzana Lajbnerova in the 1988 Götzis meeting when Klucinova was only nine weeks old.
Today’s landmark performance came after an up-and-down 2009 season in which Klucinova was still recovering from injuries. Finally this past winter, she was able to get a full period of training, an early payback of which came two weeks ago as a 6007 score nearly surpassed her then-PB of 6015 during often inclement conditions in Götzis. Now, she’s reached an even higher level as the European Championships approach in six weeks’ time.
Marina Goncharova of Russia (6182) and Ukraine’s Lyudmyla Yosypenko (6142) took the next two places in the overall standings.
Kasyanov consistent - Decathlon
First-day leader Kasyanov of Ukraine quickly extended his 76-point overnight lead to 124 as a result of a PB 14.24 performance in the 110m Hurdles. Despite also running a lifetime best of 14.62, Adjetey-Nelson fell back in the point totals to 5271 although he easily remained in second. Maurice Smith of Jamaica sneaked into third with 14.20 and an aggregate 5152 as Lithuania’s Darius Draudvila dropped to fourth at 5147 after a 14.47 clocking. American Jake Arnold, who yesterday ran for the first time under 11 seconds in the 100m, continued his fine sprinting as he led all competitors with a hurdles PB 14.11 to move into fifth with 5087. Drozdov saw his 15.03 time push him downward to sixth at 5074, only seven points ahead of Eduard Mikhan’s 5067 which resulted from the Belarusian’s PB 14.38.
A big PB of 49.17m in the Discus [previous 44.81m] helped Adjetey-Nelson cut Kasyanov’s lead to 80 as the Ukrainian’s best was more than two metres back of the Canadian. But Kasyanov’s seven-event total of 6204 appeared to be an adequate cushion in front of Adjetey-Nelson’s 6124. Smith had the best fling of the session with a PB 53.02m, and this moved him to within 39 points of second at 6085. Draudvila’s 47.95m throw was off his usual norm, and although still in fourth, the Lithuanian saw his spread over fifth place shrink to only 29 at 5975. Drozdov and Arnold switched places as the Russian moved into fifth at 5946 with a 50.10m effort, while the American dropped back to sixth with 5919 after a still-respectable 48.15m.
Kasyanov got back the points he lost in the Discus and then some with a 4.70m leap in the Pole Vault. With 7023 after eight events, the Ukrainian pushed his margin to 148 over Smith, who moved up into second at 6875 after vaulting 4.60m. Adjetey-Nelson dropped into third with 6855 as a result of a 4.40m best, while Arnold predictably did well in the event with 5.00m to take over fourth at 6829. Drozdov (4.80m) and Mikhan (=PB 4.60m) were fifth and sixth with 6795 and 6611, respectively. The best effort of the afternoon came from 19-year-old Adam Pasiak, whose 5.10m PB established a Kladno meeting record.
Adjetey-Nelson picked an opportune time for a big PB 62.74m [formerly 59.53m] in the Javelin for a nine-event 7634 total, as he moved 11 points ahead of Kasyanov (7623 after a 50.78 throw) with one event remaining. Smith meanwhile moved from second to third after a 60.14m fling, but his 7615 kept the top three within 19 points of each other. Slightly farther back in fourth was Drozdov at 7588 after a 63.64m throw which displaced Arnold, whose 58.56m sent him to fifth at 7545. The top throw of the session was 64.09m by Brent Newdick of New Zealand, and although he held sixth as a result, he was more than 200 points behind Arnold at 7342.
Kasyanov ran the 1500m together with Mikhan and Newdick as a measure of security in achieving a time which would bring him back to the lead at the end of the two days. It may have been overkill, because his 4:27.93, giving him a two-day 8381, easily achieved the needed margin over Adjetey-Nelson’s 4:52.28. In fact, Drozdov was able to slip in with 4:43.52 at the end and claim second, 8246 to 8239.
In all, six competitors surpassed the benchmark 8000 level, Adjetey-Nelson and Newdick (8091) for the first times in their careers. It was agonizing to see the hard finish of Mikhan in the 1500m, in the day’s best time of 4:27.84, bring him to a frustrating 7999 total. Barcelona should be his moment to enter The Club. Break out for Klucinova - Heptathlon
Starting the second day, Hanna Melnychenko of Ukraine stretched her overall margin to 88 points with a composite 4600 after a 6.27m leap in the Long Jump, as Klucinova of the Czech Republic still held second at 4512 after a PB 6.18m. Karolina Tyminska, ordinarily an international-level long jumper, missed a big opportunity to move up strongly against the leading pair. The Pole struggled to only 6.21m and barely held on to the third spot with 4477. Only two points behind in fourth was Lyudmyla Yosypenko of Ukraine with 4475 after a 6.22m leap, as Marina Goncharova jumped 6.11m to remain in fifth with 4431. In fact, the Long Jump discipline did nothing to change the top nine placeholders after the end of the first day. The day’s top performance came from Blandine Maisonnier of France with 6.33m as she remained in sixth at 4418.
The Javelin saw the biggest turning point of the two days, as Klucinova bettered her PB by more than three metres with an astounding 50.75m, the day’s only effort surpassing fifty metres. A South African winter training camp with instruction from World record holder Jan Zelezny may have played a significant role in this quantum leap in her javelin ability. The highly-cheered performance lifted her into the overall lead at 5387 as other top placings were scrambled greatly during this sixth event. Previous leader Melnychenko, not usually a strong javelinist, dropped to fourth with 5176 after a meek 35.21m. Meanwhile, Yosypenko and Goncharova threw 49.04m and 47.14m, respectively, to move into second and third at 5317 and 5236. Tyminska inexplicably continued her downward spiral after one of the day’s shortest throws of 32.84m as she held sixth at 5008. Just ahead of the Pole was Maisonnier with 5022 after a 36.69m effort.
Klucinova knew what she had to do to convert her six-event lead into an overall win, and her determined PB 2:15.85 clocking in the 800m easily brought her to victory. The Czech’s final total of 6268 was a PB by 263 points, and it was the conglomerate of five personal bests over the two days.
To preserve her win over Yosypenko, Klucinova needed to ensure she finished within about four seconds of the Ukrainian. When Klucinova crossed the line well in front of Yosypenko, who finished last in 2:19.88, the Czech could finally relax. Goncharova ran an outstanding 2:11.28 and slipped into second place at the end with 6182 as Yosypenko slid to third at 6142. Early leader Melnychenko held fourth at the end with a 2:16.72 and an aggregate 6045, while Tyminska sprinted hard over the final straight to win the top heat in 2:09.41 and take fifth overall with 5981. All of the top five finished surpassed the 5900 qualifying standard for Barcelona.
The Czech Republic’s Adam Sebastian Helcelet, who should be a medal contender at next month’s World Junior Championships in Moncton, Canada, easily won the junior division of the Decathlon with 7588 points. But the junior performance of the weekend was the 64.07m javelin throw by 18-year-old Marek Lukas. Even in the senior javelin competition, only Brent Newdick, with 64.09m, barely surpassed the brilliant mark by the young Czech. Ironically, it was not a PB for Lukas. That stands at 64.17m. Ed Gordon for the IAAF