Olympic decathlon champion Damian Warner from Canada and world heptathlon gold medallist Katarina Johnson Thompson headline the Hypo Meeting in Gotzis, a World Athletics Combined Events Tour Gold meeting.
Warner will be chasing his sixth consecutive win and the seventh overall title in Goetzis. The Canadian star won last year’s edition of the Austrian meeting with a national record of 8995 points. His performance at the Moesle Stadium was highlighted by two world all-time decathlon best marks of 8.28m in the long jump and 13.36 in the 110 metres hurdles. He also clocked 10.14 in the 100 metres, missing his own world decathlon best by 0.02. Warner made the history as the first six-time Goetzis winner, doing better than Roman Sebrle and Carolina kluft, who won this meeting five times. Warner went on to win the Olympic gold medal in Tokyo with 9018 points becoming the fourth decathlete in history to break the 9000 points barrier after Kevin Mayer, Ashton Eaton and Roman Sebrle. The Canadian star won his first world indoor gold medal in the heptathlon with 6489 points in Belgrade, moving into second place on the world indoor all-time list.
Warner opened the 2022 outdoor season with 49.07 in the discus throw and a wind-assisted 20.63 in the 200 metres.
Warner will take on Simon Ehammer from Switzerland, who won the world indoor silver medal behind Warner with a national indoor record of 6363 points. The Swiss decathlete, who won the European under 20 gold medal in the decathlon in 2019 and the European under 23 title in the long jump in 2021, won the Ratingen meeting with the national record of 8354 points. His performance was highlighted by a world decathlon all-time best of 8.30m in the long jump. Ehammer is also a strong hurdler with a lifetime best of 13.48 in the 110m hurdles.
The German contingent is led by Nicklas Kaul, world champion in Doha 2019 with his PB of 8691 points and fifth at the Hypo meeting in Goetzis last year with 8263. Kaul came close to his PBs in the 110m hurdes with 14.60 and in the pole vault with 4.90m this year.
The other top German athletes in the field are Kai Kazmirek, world bronze medal in London 2017 and winner in Goetzis in 2015, Arthur Abele, who will compete in his first decathlon competition since his European gold medal in Berlin 2018, and Tom Novak, bronze medallist at the World under 20 Championships in Eugene 2014 and second in Ratingen in 2022 with 8160.
The other three contenders for a top-five position are Maicel Uibo from Estonia, Pierce Le Page from Canada and Lindon Victor from Grenada. Uibo won the world silver medal in Doha with 8604 with and finished third in Goetzis with 8353. Lepage finished second in Goetzis with 8534 and fifth at the World Championships in Doha 2019 and at the Olympic Games 2021 in Tokyo with his PB of 8604. The 26-year Canadian athlete improved his PB to 51.38m in the discus throw and an indoor PB of 15.81 in the shot put this year.
Victor finished second in Goetzis in 2019 with 8473 and seventh at the Olympic Games last year with 8414.
World under 20 gold medallist Frantisek Doubek will compete in his first decathlon competition since becoming a senior athlete.
Johnson Thompson is looking to bounce back from a difficult 2021 season. The British star withdrew from the Olympic Games after pulling up during 200 metres due to a calf injury. KJT will compete for the fifth time in Goetzis. She won two editions of the Austrian meeting in 2014 with 6682 points and 2019 with 6813 points, the world indoor gold medal in the pentathlon in Birmingham 2018 with 4750 points and the world outdoor title in Doha 2019 with the British record of 6981 points. KJT leaped to a wind-assisted 6.41m in the long jump in the Birmingham Diamond League meeting.
Johnson Thompson will take on Olympic silver medallist Anouk Vetter, Olympic bronze medallist Emma Oosterwegel, world indoor bronze medallist Kendell Williams, British rising star Holly Mills and Laura Ikauniece.
Anouk Vetter from the Netherlands will compete in her first combined events of the year. Vetter won the European gold medal in Amsterdam 2016, the world bronze medal in London 2017 with 6636 points and the Olympic silver medal in Tokyo 2021 with 6689 points. Vetter has shown good form this year producing wind-assisted performances of 13.16 in the 100m hurdles, and 6.58 in the long jump, and 15.24m in the shot put.
Oosterwegel clocked a wind-assisted 13.44 in the 100m hurdles and threw the javelin to 52.36m last week.
Ikauniece won the world bronze medal in Beijing 2015 and finished second to Johnson Thompson in Goetzis 2019. She was forced to withdraw from the World Championships in Doha due to injury. The Latvian athlete has not competed in a heptathlon since June 2019, but she made come back this year and recently threw 13.90m in the shot put and 52.14m in the javelin throw.
Former world under 20 champion Yorgelis Rodriguez finished fourth at the World Championships in London 2017 in the heptathlon with 6594 points and won the world indoor bronze medal in Birmingham 2018 in the pentathlon with 4637 points. The Cuban athlete sustained an injury during the 100m hurdles at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
The other athletes to watch are Adriana Sulek from Poland and Kendell Williams, who won the world indoor silver and bronze medals in Belgrade last March, Holly Mills, Kate O’Connor, Annik Kaelin from Switzerland and Saga Vanninen from Finland.
Sulek claimed the European Under 23 gold medal in Tallinn last year and recently won the Bydgoszcz Combined Events meeting with 6290 points.
Williams won the Combined Events Tour last year securing her spot in the US team for the World Championships in Eugene. The US athlete finished fifth in the World Championships in Doha with 6415 points and third at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade with 4680 points in the pentathlon.
Kaelin won the Multistars in Grosseto breaking the Swiss record of 6398 points.
Mills won the European Under 23 bronze medal in Tallin 2021 with 6095 points and finished fourth at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade with 4673 points.
Finnish 19-year-old heptathlete Saga Vanninen won gold medals at the European Under 20 Championships in Tallin with 6271 points and at the World Under 20 Championships in Nairobi with 5997 points during a successful 2021 season.
O’Connor finished second at the Multistars in Lana in 2019 and won the European Under 20 silver medal in Boras later this year with 6093 points.