Germany’s Michael Schrader and the Netherlands’ Anouk Vetter held on to their overnight leads to emerge as the winners of the Erdgas Mehrkampf-Meeting in Ratingen, an IAAF Combined Events Challenge meeting, on Sunday (27).
Schrader, the world silver medallist and a local hero in Ratingen as he hails from nearby Duisburg, put together a total of 8419 to win by 78 points from South Africa’s Willem Coertzen, who was just 57 points short of his recent African record.
Coertzen was the fastest man in the opening event of the second day, the 110m hurdles, clocking 14.06 but with Schrader just 0.02 behind, the latter lost only three points from his first-day lead of 100.
Germany’s Tim Nowak led the way in the discus with 44.98m, with Schrader second with 44.97m, although the overall leader was a little disappointed he was not closer to his recent best of 47.19m.
After seven events, Schrader led with 6060 points and Coertzen, who threw 43.94, was still in second with 5942.
Schrader was one of two men, the other being Kai Kazmirek, to clear 5.00m in the pole vault to consolidate his lead with Coertzen going over 4.50m.
By now Scrader realised that, barring accidents, he was secure in victory but also not likely to get close to his best of 8670 points, set in Moscow two years ago at the IAAF World Championships, and so was only concerned with finishing the competition in respectable fashion.
He tossed the javelin out to 56.57m with his first attempt, and although the throw was more than 10 metres below his best, he passed his last two attempts.
Coertzen, by contrast, is a good javelin thrower and led the way from the remaining eight men, throwing a season’s best of 68.79m, just 61cm down on his best set last year.
With just the 1500m to go, Schrader had 7656 points while Coertzen had a tally of 7573.
With little between the two men in terms of 1500m ability, Schrader was able just to shadow Coertzen around the track. The latter took the win in 4:26.52, unable to muster enough energy to find the extra seconds required to improve his African record set in Gotzis four weeks ago when he ran 4:22.22.
Schrader crossed the line in 4:27.28 to complete his victory, having led the competition since the second event on Saturday morning.
“The 1500m was very easy this time, I just followed Willem all the way," said Schrader. "In the 110m hurdles I hoped to go under 14 seconds and in the javelin, well, I just saved the other two throws for Beijing."
Germany’s 2012 European champion Pascal Behrenbruch was a distant third overall with 7826 points.
Unlike Schrader, Vetter lost her lead in the heptathlon after the first event on Sunday with two-time World Championships medallist Jennifer Oeser taking over in pole position after long jumping 6.26m to the Dutch woman’s 6.07m.
Oeser had 4658 points after five events, just two ahead of Vetter.
Claudia Rath was the best long jumper and went out to 6.57m, moving up to third.
But Vetter is one of the best javelin throwers among the top echelon of heptathletes and proved this when she launched her implement out to 52.75m, the best throw of the day and just 35cm down on her best.
Oeser could only throw 45.03m and the lead changed hands again with Vetter having a total of 5569 and an advantage of 147 points ahead of the last event, the 800m.
Rath dominated over two laps of the track and won in 2:08.91, more than three seconds faster than anyone else. Further down the field, Vetter trudged round in 2:20.38 to finish eighth of the nine finishers with Oeser clocking 2:15.63.
Nevertheless, Vetter had enough in hand to emerge as the winner with 6387, 81 points ahead of Oeser and 97 in front of third-placed Rath.
Phil Minshull for the IAAF