The 2020 January Ten

1 Welcome to 2020 and be sure to use your Decathletes of Europe Decathlon and Heptathlon calendars to help you plan your year.

2 One of the first competitions of the year was the England Athletics Combined Events Championships in Sheffield on 4-5 January, where Ashley Bryant competed in his first multievent since 2017. It didn’t go quite to plan with a broken pole and a subsequent no height in the vault, but it was nevertheless a welcome return for the 2014 Commonwealth silver medallist.

3 Wedding Bells were ringing in the USA as Wolf Mahler and Ashtin Zamzow and Solomon Simmons got married (not all to each other). Multievent couple Wolf and Ashtin got married in Austin, and Solomon shortly afterwards in Atlanta. Congratulations!

4 One of the first national records of the year went to Lucia Vadlejch, as she set a Slovak indoor record of 4488 in Ostrava. European U20 decathlon bronze medallist Markus Rooth set a new Norwegian U20 heptathlon record of 5798, and at the same competition Atias Ariel set an Israeli record of 5164.

5 The Germans dominated in Clermont Ferrand on 11-12 January, as Manuel Eitel set an early world lead of 5963, with Tim Nowak and Vanessa Grimm second in the heptathlon and pentathlon respectively. But Annaelle Nyabeu Djapa (with a world lead at the time of 4309) and Cassandre Aguessy-Thomas defended French honour to take first and third.

6 After a frustrating 2019 season, Artem Makarenko hit 2020 with all he had, and clocked a 7.60 60 hurdles in Yekaterinberg. Stay tuned for February for more to come…Also off to a great start in the individual disciplines was European U20 champion Simon Ehammer, setting an indoor high jump PB (2.03) in Zurich and a hurdles PB (7.81) in Magglingen.

7 While Makarenko’s 2019 season had been frustrating, Alina Shukh’s 2019 had been lacklustre. But she is back, and back with a vengeance in 2020. On 31 January Alina set a new pentathlon world lead of 4602 in Sumy, Ukraine.

8 The latest addition to the suite of multieventer websites is Mitch Modin’s new page at www.mitchmodin.com where in addition to multievent chat, you can also find his fine nature photography skills in action.

9 The heptathlon world lead at the end of January was held by a Georgia Dawg. But not by the one that would you expect, and not a name we’ve heard for a long, long time.  January 2020 marked the return of Garrett Scantling. In his first competition since finishing 4th in the US Olympic Trials in 2016, he scored 6110 for the biggest (unofficial, since an oversized track in Lexington) mark of the month.

X And finally, news broke that the World Indoor Championships in Nanjing had been postponed due to the coronavirus epidemic. There will therefore be no World Championships ranking points on offer this indoor season…and Kevin Mayer and Katarina Johnson-Thompson get to be reigning World Indoor champions for another 12 months.

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