Leonel Suarez long jumping in the Decathlon at the 2011 Pan American Games (Getty Images) © Copyright
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Suárez and Chernova are the overall winners of the 2011 IAAF Combined Events Challenge

Monte CarloCuba’s Leonel Suárez  and Russia’s Tatyana Chernova are the overall winners of the 2011 IAAF Combined Events Challenge and will each receive a payment of $30,000 from the IAAF*.

Suárez, who was second in the Challenge last year and took bronze at the World Championships, produced another consistent season to tally 25,172 points. Eelco Sintnicolaas of The Netherlands, who was fifth at the World Championships and most recently third in Talence, was second with 24,772 points, ahead of Mikk Pahapill of Estonia, who was third with 24,746.

Chernova, who also won the series title in 2010, produced a memorable series, winning three of the four Heptathlons she contested this season, capped by her 6880-point total to take gold at the World Championships in Daegu. The 23-year-old tallied 20,332 points in the series, well ahead of Germany’s Jennifer Oeser, the World Championships bronze medallist, who totalled 19,594. Natallia Dobrynska of Ukraine, who was fifth at the World Championships, finished third in the series with a 19,408 point total.

After meetings in Europe, North America, Africa and Asia, the 2011 IAAF Combined Events Challenge concluded last weekend at the Decastar Meeting in Talence, France.

2011 was the 14th successive year of the Combined Events Challenge, and, as well as the five individual permit meetings (Desenzano, Götzis, Kladno, Ratingen and Talence), this season the series included the IAAF World Championships, the African Combined Events Championships, the three European Cup Combined Events competitions, the U.S. Championships, the Asian Championships, and the World University Games.

The Challenge offers a total of US$202,000 in Prize Money paid by the IAAF which is distributed to both the top-8 men and women as follows*: 1st $30,000, 2nd $20,000, 3rd $15,000, 4th $10,000, 5th $8000, 6th $7000, 7th $6000, 8th $5000.

Athletes had to complete three competitions to be eligible to contend for the overall prize money, and in 2011 13 men and 22 women made the grade. In total 317 athletes completed at least one Decathlon or Heptathlon.

Click here for the final men’s Decathlon standings

Click here for the final women’s Heptathlon standings

*subject to usual anti-doping controls