European junior decathlon champion Thomas Van der Plaetsen made his indoor heptathlon debut a memorable one, setting a Belgian record at the National Indoor Combined Events Championships (5-6) in Gent.
The 20-year-old tallied 5901, adding 44 points to the previous mark. His performance is currently the fifth best in the world this season, and the third among Europeans.
Van der Plaetsen finally made the transition from winning the European junior decathlon crown in Novi Sad in 2009 to the senior ranks.
On the first day he managed a series of solid performances, clocking 7.27 in the 60m and leaping 7.57m in the long jump, but he disappointed in the shot put (13.03m) and the high jump (1.99m).
He returned the next day to achieve personal bests in the 60m hurdles (8.18), pole vault (5.10m) and the 1000m (2:44.94).
His total score of 5901 erased the six-year-old mark from François Gourmet (5857).
Organisers for the IAAF