At the end of the first day of the TNT Express Meeting on Friday (10), local favourite Katerina Cachova and Britain’s John Lane hold the overall leads at the IAAF Combined Events Challenge meeting in Kladno.
The pair scored totals of 3797 and 4128 respectively in sunny conditions at the Sletiste Stadium in a city located 30km from the Czech capital Prague.
Compared to her 6285 PB series from three weeks ago, Cachova performed better in the first three events and came close to matching her performance in the fourth event. It means the 26-year-old is already 85 points ahead of her day-one score from the recent Czech Championships.
Three-time Kladno winner Eliska Klucinova, who is in the Czech city just as a spectator this weekend after picking up a slight injury last month, could even see her 6460 national record broken tomorrow. If Cachova comes close to matching her personal bests in tomorrow’s three events, it would give her a score of 6494.
“I am definitely happy with my first day,” said the 2007 world youth champion. “As I expected, my shape is better than during my first heptathlon of the season, where I set my PB. Nevertheless, I had a great second day there, so it won’t be easy to improve it.”
The heptathlon started on a high note with meeting records being broken in the first two events. Cachova confirmed her great hurdles form by running 13.16, her fastest ever within a heptathlon. Nigeria’s Uhunoma Osazuwa was a distant second in 13.54.
Cachova maintained her lead after the second event by clearing 1.82m, just three centimetres below her high jump PB. Britain’s 19-year-old Morgan Lake, competing in the discipline at which she won the world junior title in 2014, moved up to second place after clearing a meeting record of 1.91m.
Yana Maksimava of Belarus was successful at 1.88m, moving the 2013 European indoor silver medallist up to third place overall.
Karolina Tyminska, who has been the runner-up in Kladno on four occasions, made an early exit from the high jump after clearing just 1.67m. Osazuwa, meanwhile, withdrew from the whole competition after managing 1.73m.
Cachova improved her five-year-old shot put PB with 12.96m, but she surrendered her lead to Maksimava, who threw 14.25m.
Ukraine’s two-time world indoor bronze medallist Alina Fodorova was the top performer of the event, sending her shot out to 14.82m. After some promising warm-up throws, Lake’s best effort of 12.83m was two metres down on her PB and she dropped to fourth place overall.
Cachova’s 24.12 (1.4m/s) clocking in the 200m was just 0.02 shy of the PB she set en route to her heptathlon lifetime best and was enough to give her a comfortable overall lead.
Maksimava, running into a -2.7m/s headwind, clocked 26.00 and dropped to third place with 3631, nine points behind her compatriot Katsiaryna Netsviatayeva. Britain’s Katie Stainton was the fastest in the field, speeding to a PB of 24.07.
Lane chases Olympic standard
Three decathletes started the competition by covering the 100m within 11 seconds.
Brazil’s 21-year-old Kerinde de Souza was the fastest of the 15-man field, setting a PB of 10.84 to finish 0.02 ahead of Lane. With a near-perfect reaction time of 0.107, Martin Roe came close to his season’s best with 10.90.
After the long jump, Lane and Roe moved to first and second place overall with just two points separating them. For Roe, who improved his PB to 7.42m in Kladno last year, his only valid jump of 7.17m (-1.6m/s) was enough to win, while Lane finished second with 7.14m.
A heave of 15.20m in the shot put was enough to give Roe the overall lead. Norwegian compatriot Lars Rise was the only athlete to throw farther, sending his shot out to 16.02m and moving into third place, just five points behind Lane, who improved his season’s best to 13.98m.
The high jump ended with a slight disappointment for Roe, who was nine centimetres down on his outright PB with a clearance of 1.86m. With Lane clearing a season’s best of 1.98m and Rise leaping 2.01m, the overall standings changed again as Rise went into the lead ahead of Lane and Roe.
Viktor Fajoyomi was the last man standing in the high jump. The Hungarian cleared a season’s best of 2.10m.
After clocking 48.66 in the 400m, the fastest time of the day, and taking the overall lead, Lane wasn’t fully satisfied.
“My legs were gone, I had nothing left,” said Lane, who is chasing the Olympic qualifying standard of 8100. “It’s still possible,” he added. “I just have to be consistent and do some PBs.”
Rise completed his day with 50.71 and sits in second place overnight, 72 points behind Lane. After performing consistently well in today’s five events, Argentina’s Ibero-American champion Roman Gastaldi moved up to third place with 4033, three points ahead of Roe in fourth.
Michal Osoba for the IAAF