A Letter to World and European Athletics, 22 March 2021

To: Sebastian Coe, World Athletics President, and Dobromir Karamarinov, European Athletics Interim President Dear colleagues We are writing to you to express our concerns about the size of fields for combined events competitions at major championships, and the interaction with world rankings. Background The fields for the combined events in major outdoor championships have been…

Field Sizes: Update

In March this year, hundreds of combined eventers came together as one voice to express their concerns at the downward trend in field sizes at major outdoor championships; from over 40 athletes at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, to 32 in Rio in 2016 and most recently just 24 at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo….

Preview: World U20 Championships, Nairobi

The Championships have been delayed for a year, there will be few people in the stadium to watch, some big names are missing, and we weren’t sure they would ultimately happen …but they’re finally here. No, not the Olympics, but the World U20 championships in Nairobi, Kenya. For just a few days longer, and a…

Preview: Olympic Games

What a strange path to the Olympics it has been. In any other Olympic year, after a brief respite following the major champs of the previous summer, the season is a crescendo of impressive scores, as the best on the planet clamour to be the best in history.  For the Games of the 32nd Olympiad,…

Review: 2021 European U20 Decathlon, Tallinn

100M The first man to cross the line in the 2021 European U20 decathlon was Sweden’s Jacob Thelander in a huge PB of 11.09 in Heat 1 of the 100m, taking 0.31 seconds off his previous best.  Germany’s Roman Jocher looked great as he sped to 11.56, also a lifetime best, but sadly he was…

Review: 2021 European U20 Heptathlon, Tallinn

The conditions were great, Sofie Dokter was a revelation, the Germans weren’t messing and Saga Vanninen looked amazing. 100M HURDLES On the first day of the U20 heptathlon, like the first day of the U23 decathlon, it was a hot one, already 30 degrees by 10am.  And the first heat was a cracker. German’s Serena…

Preview: 2021 European U20 Championships, Tallinn

Estonia, spiritual home of decathlon, where Janek Õiglane is on the commemorative stamp to celebrate the championships; where 2000 Olympic champion Erki Nool presented the medals to the European U23 victors; and where even the local organising committee can embrace multi-events and organise two championships on consecutive weekends. As the European U20 championships get underway,…

Review: 2021 European U23 Championships, Tallinn

HEPTATHLON When we left the heptathlon at the end of Day 1, Adrianna Sułek had a lead of 150 points over Holly Mills, largely as a result of Holly’s lower than usual high jump of 1.72. Had she equalled her season’s best of 1.85, Mills would have been in the lead.  As the best long…

Preview: 2021 European U23 Championships, Tallinn

The last time the European U23 championships took place, it was in the summer of 2019 in Gävle, Sweden. The decathlon was a showdown between the titans Niklas Kaul and Johannes Erm, both scoring over 8400: Kaul 8572 and Erm 8445. Kaul went onto become the youngest decathlon world champion in history in Doha a…

Tim Duckworth: Bringing the British Decathlon Love

It’s the eve of the 2021 British Championships in Manchester, and the 2019 European Indoor silver medallist Tim Duckworth is back in Loughborough. Reunited with his teammates after a long pandemic-enforced separation. Older, wiser, more assured and self-sufficient but – most importantly of all – healthy and ready to tackle his first decathlon in two…

Review: Ratingen and US Trials – The Virtual Thorpe Cup

Two decathlons of critical importance, taking place 5000 miles apart. Like a virtual Thorpe Cup, featuring two of the titans of combined events, Germany and USA.  Two men on each team already with the Olympic qualifying standard, but with brutal selection processes to satisfy first. A suite of contenders waiting in the wings, seeking to…