Hall and LePage take honors at the Hypo Meeting in Gotzis

Posted by: Watch Athletics

Anna Hall won the women’s heptathlon at the 48th edition of the Hypo Meeting in Goetzis with 6988 points becoming the fifth best performer in history behind Jackie Joyner Kersee (7291), Carolina Kluft (7032), Nafissatou Thiam (7013) and Larisa Nikitina (7007).

Hall missed the meeting record held by Thiam, who broke the Belgian record in 2017 with 7013 points.

The 22-year-old US star started the competition with a PB of 12.75 in the 100 metres hurdles and followed with a 1.92m clearance in the high jump, a mark of 13.90 in the shot shot and another PB of 22.88 in the 200 metres. She ended the first day with a score of 4172 points. Only Jackie Joyner Kersee scored more points in the first day in the history of heptathon.

Katarina Johnson Thompson clocked 13.88 in the 100m hurdles before clearing 1.89m in the high jump and setting a PB of 13.92 in the shot put. The British athlete ended the first day in second place after setting a seasonal best in the 200m with 23.26.

Hall picked up where she left off by leaping to a PB of 6.54 in the long jump. She followed with 43.08m in the long jump. She needed to run 2:02.22 to break the 7000 points barrier. She improved 2:02.97 setting the second fastest ever time in the history of the Hypo meeting over this distance.

Anna Hall: “I am really happy with where I am in training as I had no idea I could achieve this score. I am excited to get back to work, to clean things up and get ready for the World Championships in Budapest. The crowd was amazing as I could feel I was hitting the wall in the 800 metres. I am only 22 and have a long time to chase big scores I guess things are improving quicker than I thought. I am now focused on progressing. I will run the 400 metres hurdles in Florence next Friday and then I will return to the USA to get ready for the US National Championships and the World Championships”.

Hall had a setback in 2021 when she fell in the hurdles at the US Olympic Trials and broke a bone in her foot.

The 22-year-old US star won the world bronze medal in Eugene 2022 becoming the third best heptathlete in US athletics history with her PB of 6755 points. She set a PB of 54.48 in the 400 metres hurdles in the semifinal of the NCAA Championships in Eugene competing for the Florida Gators last year. She is the only woman to break 6700 points in the heptathlon and run under 55 seconds in the 400 metres hurdles.

This year Hall broke Brianne Theisen Eaton’s North American record with 5004 points in the pentathlon at the US Indoor Championships in Albuquerque. At the same championships she later won the US Indoor title in the 400 metres clocking a PB of 51.03.  She grew up in a sports family near Denver in Colorado. Her father David was a quarter back on the American team, played basketball and competed in the decathlon.

Katarina Johnson Thompson placed second with 6556 points, her best score since October 2019, when she won the world title in Doha with 6981 points.

Johnson Thompson set two seasonal best performances of 6.32m in the long jump and 44.14m in the javelin throw before clocking 2:12:40 in the 800 metres. She sustained a career-threatening Achilles tendon rupture in 2020. 

Katarina Johnson Thompson: “I don’t think the score truly reflects where I am at, but everything is going in the right direction and I can see a path back. I now feel super motivated again because I know I can do better”.

Adrianna Sulek from Poland took third place with 6480 points finishing in the top-three in Goetzis for the second consecutive year.

Saga Vanninen improved her PB to 6391 points to finish fourth. Sophie Weissenberg from Germany completed the top-five with a PB of 6375. Three more women scored more than 6300 points: Annie Kunz (6330), Sofie Dokter (6321) and Carolin Schaefer (6321). European Under 18 champion Jana Koscak received the “Rookie of the Meeting “ Award after finishing ninth with 6293. The Croatian teenager set PB in the 100m hurdles with 13.26, in the high jump with 1.92m, in the shot put with 12.42m, in the 200m with 24.13m and in the 800m with 2:21.20.

Last year’s Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Jade O’Dowda finished tenth with a PB of 6255. Sixteen athletes scored over the 6000 points barrier. Anouk Vetter withdrew from the competition on day two as a precaution over an Achilles tendon injury.

LePage win the men’s decathlon:

Canada continued the proud tradition in the men’s decathlon in Gotzis. After seven wins by Damian Warner, another Canadian specialist Pierce LePage triumphed in Goetzis for the first time with 8700 points missing his PB by just point. LePage won the world silver medal in Eugene with 8701 last July.

Pierce LePage: “It’s my first time winning in Goetzis and my first international win since 2019. It’s just great. The crowd was amazing. Damian Warner pushed me the entire way. He is the king of Goetzis”.

Warner placed second with 8619 in his come-back to competition after a harmstring injury during the 400m at the World Championships in Eugene last July.

Damian Warner: “The better man won today. It’s a matter of time before Pierce LePage is on the big stage and is putting up big numbers and I am coming up with him. It was the toughest battle for a while. I have never thought I would give up”.

Warner led over LePage by a small margin of 18 points overnight. The Olympic champion extended his lead after clocking 13.60 in the 110 metres hurdles. LePage started his come-back with a throw of 49.34m in the discus throw and took a 9-point lead over Warner after seven events.

LePage cleared 5.00m in the pole vault, while Warner had to settle with a 4.50m vault. LePage built up a 159 points lead after the pole vault.

LePage improved his PB twice to 59.98m and 63.09m in the javelin throw.  He had a previous lifetime best of 58.24m.

“For ten straight years I would say javelin was my least favourite event, but somehow it went far. When I come here I always try to have fun and see where I am at. I saw a lot of good things and will be ready for the World Championships”, said LePage.

Skotheim won the 1500 metres improving his PB to 4:19.38 to end the competition in third place with a national record of 8590 points and was awarded with the “Rookie of the Meeting” Award.

Karel Tilga from Estonia finished fourth with 8403 one month after winning at the Multistars in Desenzano. Manuel Eitel finished fifth with a PB of 8351 points ahead of Daniel Golubovic from Australia (8301) and Lindon Victor (8293). Victor won the shot put with 16.13m, the discus throw with 53.27m and the javelin throw with 64.65m.

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