Sophie Weissenberg and Nicklas Kaul lead a strong line-up at the 2023 Stadtwerke Mehrkampf meeting in Ratingen, a World Athletics Combined Events Tour Gold level event, from 17 to 18 June.
Weissenberg will attempt to defend Heptathlon title she won last year.
The German won the 2022 edition of the top German Combined Events meeting with 6273 points ahead of her compatriot Carolin Schaefer. Weissenberg, who won the European under 23 silver medal in 2019, finished fifth at the Hypo Meeting in Goetzis with her PB of 6375 points this year.
Schaefer, a world silver medallist in London 2017 with 6696 points and European bronze medallist in Berlin 2018 with 6602 points, finished eighth in Goetzis with 6312 points this year. The German heptathlete set her lifetime best of 6836 points in Goetzis in 2017.
The other German heptathete with the potential to fight for a top-three spot is Vanessa Grimm, who placed third in Goetzis in 2022 with 6323 points. Grimm returned from an injury with a score of 6035 points in the Austrian meeting.
Emma Oosterwegel will take part in her first heptathlon competition this year. The Dutch athlete won the Olympic bronze medal in Tokyo with 6590 points.
The line-up also features 2019 world bronze medallist Verena Mayr from Austria and Georgia Ellenwood from Canada, who won in Ratingen in 2021 with her PB of 6314 points, Kate O’Connor from Ireland, who won silver medals at the European Under 23 Championships in Boras with 6093 points in 2019 and at the Commonwealth Games with 6233 points in Birmingham 2022, and USA’s Shaina Burns, who holds a PB of 6130 points.
Olympic champion Nafissatou Thiam will not contest the full heptathlon until the World Championships in Budapest, but she will test her form in five events in the 100 metres hurdles, in the 200 metres, in the shot put, in the long jump and in the javelin throw. Thiam won two Olympic gold medals in 2016 and 2021, two world titles in 2017 and 2022 and holds the third best performance in history with her national record of 7013 points set in Goetzis in 2017. Thiam won the European Indoor gold medal in Istanbul in the pentathlon with a world record of 5055 points last March.
Nicklas Kaul leads the line-up in the men’s decathlon. Kaul won the world title in Doha 2019 with 8691 points and achieved the qualifying standard for the World Championships in Budapest of 8460 points when he clinched the European gold medal in Munich with 8545 points. Kaul also won the European under 20 title in Grosseto 2017 with a world under 20 record 8435 points and the European under 23 gold medal in Gavle 2019 with 8572 points.
Kaul will take on Belgium’s Thomas Van der Plaetzen, who won the European title in Amsterdam 2016 and set his PB of 8430 points in Goetzis in 2021, but he suffered from an injury problem at the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2021. He is looking to bounce back from his first competition in Desenzano, where he withdrew after the 400 metres due to a small injury.
The other top contenders are Jorge Urena from Spain, who won the European Indoor title in the heptathlon in Glasgow 2019 and finished ninth at the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2021 with his PB of 8322 point, Rik Taam from the Netherlands, who set his PB of 8246 in Goetzis last year, Adam Sebastian Helcelet from Czech Republic, European Indoor bronze medallist in Belgrade 2017 and European outdoor silver medallist in Amsterdam 2016, Riisto Lillemets from Estonia, European Indoor bronze medallist in Istanbul 2023 with 6079 points, and d German specialists Tim Nowak, European Under 20 bronze medallist in Rieti 2013 and Felix Wolter, who set a PB of 8170 points in Montpellier last May.