Pieter Braun welcomed us into March on the Decathletes of Europe Calendar. And what a month it was! Here is the March Ten – the top decathlon-related stories, facts and figures from the month.
1 The Glasgow European Indoor Championships heptathlon was glorious. In the final few minutes one guy ran for the gold. One guy silenced his critics with a 7 second PB. One guy finished the previous day with blood pouring from a head wound. One guy was carted off the field on a stretcher just a few hours earlier. Three-quarters of the field were 25 or under. Half the field broke their personal bests in the shot. Enhorabuena to Jorge, KJT and all the competitors.
2 Europe reflected the best in the world in the 2018-19 indoor season. The only non-European to score over 6000 was Harrison Williams at the NCAA champs on 8-9 March, scoring 6042.
3 Typically one of the last decathlons of the season, Decastar has shifted its position in the calendar to June, to accommodate the timing of the World Championships in October. And the stars have been announced this week– both Nafi and Kevin confirmed.
5 A few of the field in Glasgow only had 10 days notice that they had a place at the Championships – particularly due to a lack of certainty on Artem Makarenko’s (best of 6114 this year) ANA status. In the meantime, both Makarenko and the 2018 European U18 gold-medallist Aleksandr Komarov have been awarded ANA status for 2019.
6 The wind and rain in Glasgow were strong, but nothing like the wind in Havana, helping Adriana Rodriguez to a 7.02 long jump and 6293 heptathlon score at the Copa Cuba de Atletismo. While not eligible for record purposes given the +4.0 wind, this was only the second ever 7.00m jump in an outdoor heptathlon, the first of course belonging to Jackie Joyner Kersee.
7 Karl-Robert Saluri’s withdrawal from the Glasgow heptathlon ahead of the high jump was unfortunate given his Championships record in the 60m. But the good news is that this week he recorded a 33.09 300m. Measured against 2018 performances, that would have positioned him between Kevin Borlee and Luguelin Santos. Pretty good going for a decathlete!
8 The qualification standards for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics are out. For the decathlon, the magic number is 8350, and for heptathlon 6420.
9 There is, however, a new approach to qualifying for Tokyo. Athletes can qualify either by achieving the entry standard within the relevant qualification period, or by virtue of the IAAF World Ranking position at the end of the qualification period. The qualifying period for combined events is 1 January 2019 to 29 June 2020. The world rankings are a combination of performance and the nature of the event at which the performance is delivered – leading to some interesting debate about where the highest rankings scores are most likely to be found in the multievent calendar.
X And so, as we sit back and wait for the outdoor season to begin, we’re enjoying the warm weather summer vibes from the multievent training camps in South Africa, Portugal, Cyprus, Turkey and beyond. Here’s to an excellent 2019 season.