Tue. Feb 27th, 2024
decathlon and heptathlon rankings

This series of posts provides an analysis of key developments in the world rankings for combined events, and in qualification for major championships.

You can read a full description of the rankings system and the issues to consider when planning a strategy for qualification here.

These first few posts in 2023 focus on decathlon, and initially the top 70 (the full 100, and heptathlon/pentathlon, will be added in coming weeks). The table below is a line by line analysis of the scores which contributed to the current position of athletes.

The 31 January post outlined the rule changes and expiry of Olympic marks.

Points of Interest

Key points of interest from the decathlon rankings as at 07 February:

  • Rik Taam was unranked in January but his performance of 6053 at the Dutch Indoor Championships, together with his Götzis 2022 score, means he re-enters the rankings at No.27
  • Sander Skotheim’s victory in Tallinn moves him from 17th to 10th in the rankings, his Tallinn score replacing his 2022 national championships decathlon score
  • Edgaras Benkunskas, third in Tallinn, moves from 39th to 35th
  • Although Belarussian athletes are not currently eligible to participate in World and European championships, the Belarus national champs is included in the World Athletics calendar. Maksim Andraloits’ 6157 at the recent national championships therefore moves him from 63rd to 36th place in the rankings
  • Personal best performances in Tallinn at the weekend moved Vilem Strasky of Czechia up from 98th to 84th and gave Rasmus Roosleht (Estonia) a place in the top 100, at 91st.
  • Unranked athletes include: Kevin Mayer, Pierce LePage, Jorge Ureña, Adam Sebastian Helcelet, Pawel Wiesiołek, Andreas Bechmann, Karel Tilga, Ruben Gado, Nils Pittomvils, Martin Roe, Darko Pešić and Thomas van der Plaetsen. Wiesiołek and Pešić both finished heptathlons in Tallinn so only need one further score to place them back into the rankings.
  • Maicel Uibo (7th) is ranked 10 places above his Estonian teammate Janek Õiglane (17th). Despite Uibo’s top score 8425 being only 20 points better than Õiglane’s (8405), and his second score (8289) 57 points lower than Õiglane’s (8346), Uibo collected 215 ranking placing points while Õiglane only collected 85.

Performances due to expire

In the next few weeks those athletes whose current rankings position includes performances from August 2021 may see their rankings drop as those scores expire, including (in the top 50):

  • Malik Diakite
  • Andri Oberholzer
  • Marvin Bollinger
  • Fredrik Samuelsson

Performances not on World Lists

The new World Athletics rules for performances eligible for rankings mean that there are legal scores that do not feature on WA world lists, nor reflected in rankings. From the last week, those include a Bahamas National Record by Ken Mullings, and others as below:

  • Till Steinforth (Germany) 6082
  • Heath Baldwin (USA) 5959
  • Ken Mullings (Bahamas) 5933 NR
  • Hakim McMorris (USA) 5870

European Indoor Championships 2023

Thanks to the efforts of Fredrik Samuelsson and the hundreds of athletes who supported his letter to European Athletics, there is now a small increase in the field size for Istanbul, from 12 to 14.

The rules for qualification for Istanbul 2023 can be found here, and the qualifying period ends on 19 February.

Five athletes are currently qualified by reaching either the indoor (6140) or outdoor (8400) standard from 20 August 2021 onwards. Sander Skotheim has moved from being qualified by rankings to qualified by entry standard:

  • Simon Ehammer (Switzerland 1)
  • Sander Skotheim (Norway 1)
  • Hans Christian Hausenberg (Estonia 1)
  • Kevin Mayer (France 1)
  • Maicel Uibo (Estonia 2)

The remaining nine quota places are occupied by the athletes listed below.

  • Marcus Nilsson (Sweden 1)
  • Manuel Eitel (Germany 1)
  • Ondřej Kopecký (Czech Republic 1)
  • Kai Kazmirek (Germany 2)
  • Marcus Rooth (Norway 2)
  • Risto Lillemets (Estonia 3)
  • Tim Nowak (Germany 3)
  • Dario Dester (Italy 1)
  • Rik Taam (Netherlands 1)

The next five athletes on the rankings are:

  • Makenson Gletty (France 2)
  • Jiri Sýkora (Czech 2) – injured
  • Baptiste Thiery (France 3)
  • Sven Roosen (Netherlands 1)
  • Jente Hauttekeete (Belgium 1)

Others are higher and/or have Q standard but have presumably indicated they don’t intend to seek selection, such as Niklas Kaul, Leo Neugebauer, Janek Õiglane. Johannes Erm was qualified by rankings but is no longer included.

Last week Risto Lillemets had been the fourth Estonian qualified by rankings (and hence excluded, subject to selection decisions by the Federation), but the removal of Johannes Erm makes Lillemets the third Estonian and fully eligible.

Makenson Gletty had been in the quota, but has been overtaken in the rankings by Rik Taam following his performance at the Dutch championships.

Swedish participation in the European Indoors is also not clear given current events and relationships between Sweden and Turkey.

This weekend (11-12 February) various national championships, including those in Czechia, Austria and Belgium, provide the opportunity for athletes to either score a Q standard, or increase their ranking position and overtake others.