Carolin Schaefer from Germany and Jorge Urena from Spain are the overnight leaders at the Stadtwerke Mehrkampf meeting in Ratingen, the German leg of the World Athletics Combined Events Tour Gold circuit.
Schaefer leads the heptathlon with 3812, 68 points ahead of her compatriot Sophie Weissenberg, who won the Ratingen meeting last year.
Urena has a small lead of five points over Germany’s Felix Wolter (4292 to 4287 points). Germany’s Nino Beckers is a close third with 4271.
Reigning Olympic, world and European champion Nafissatou Thiam, who Is competing in five events in Ratingen instead of the full heptathlon, clocked the fastest time in the 100 metres hurdles with 13.38 with a close margin of five hundredths of a second over Schaefer (13.43). Weissenberg placed sixth with 13.67.
Weissenberg cleared 1.81m in her second attempt in the high jump to take the lead in the overall standing with 2017 points. USA’s Shaina Burns improved her PB by two cm to 1.81m in her third attempt to move up to second with 2011. Kate O’Connor and Taneille Crase both jumped 1,78m. Schaefer placed fifth with 1.75m. Crase was fourth in the overall standing with 2000 ahead of Schaefer (1976).
Schaefer won the shot put with 14.75m missing her lifetime best by just nine cm. The German athlete produced her best mark since 2017, when she won the world silver medal in London. Schaefer moved up to first in the overall standing with 2820 points. Weissenberg threw 13.33m to slip to third with 2766 points, behind Burns, who posted 13.56m to take second place with 2776. Thiam did not compete in the high jump but she threw 15.20m in the shot put.
Olympic bronze medallist Emma Oosterwegelmissed her PB by just 11 cm to place third in the shot put with 14.34m.
Schaefer finished first in the 200 metres in 23.88 ahead of Weissenberg (24.03) to end the first day with 3812 points, her best day-one score since the 2018 European Championships in Berlin. She scored 68 points more than one month ago in Goetzis after four events and is on course to reaching 6400 points in the second day.
Weissenberg clocked 24.03 to bring her total tally to 3744, 100 points shy of the first day she scored last month in Goetzis where she finished fifth with
Burns finished day one in third place with 3644 points.
Thiam ran the 200 metres in 24.45. The Belgian will compete in the long jump and in the javelin throw during the second day.
Carolin Schaefer: “It was a good first day. The shot put was the highlight. I threw 14.75m, my best performance since 2017. The hard work is bearing its fruits, especially in speed. Everything is going in the right direction. I have invested a lot in training. I can already achieve the qualifying standard for the Olympic Games in Paris. If I don’t achieve it this weekend, I have the chance to reach it at the World Championships in Budapest”.
Dutch indoor champion Sven Jansons from the Netherlands set the fastest time in the 100 metresin 10.65 into a headwind of -0.3 m/s improving his PB by eight hundredths of a second. Six more athletes dipped under the 11 seconds. Felix Wolter ran 10.72 missing his lifetime best by 12 hundredths of as second. Rik Taam from the Netherlands clocked 10.73 ahead of 2019 European Indoor champion Jorge Urena from Spain (10.78), Jannis Wolff from Germany (10.87) and Nino Beckers (10.90).
Wolter leapt to 7.69m to win the long jump to move up to the lead with 1906 points in the overall standing. The German athlete had jumped to 7.91m when he improved his decathlon PB to 8170 points in Montpellier three weeks ago.
Thomas Van der Plaetzen jumped 7.61m. Jansonsfollowed his win in the 100m with a wind-assisted leap to 7.53m (+2.7 m/s) to take second place in the overall standing with 1882. Dutchman Taam leapt to 7.33m to take third place with 1815. European champion Nicklas Kaul placed sixth with 7.34m, the second-best performance of his career in this discipline, just two cm off his PB of 7.36m set at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Kaul is competing in his first decathlon competition since he won the European title in Munich last August.
Nino Beckers from Germany won the shot put with 15.86m in his favourite event, where he holds the meeting record. Adam Sebastian Helcelet improved his lifetime best to 15.63m.
Five athletes were separated by just 26 points in a close competition. Jansons threw 13.63m to move up to first place in the overall standing with 2588 points ahead of Beckers and Tam, who both scored 2578 points after three events. Wolterfollowed in fourth place with 2573 ahead of Urena (2562) and Jannis Wolff (2492). Kaul moved up to ninth with 2418 after his throw of 14.66m in his first shot put competition of the year. Jansons dropped out the competition due to adductor issues.
Urena cleared 2.04m in the high jump to move upfrom fifth into the overall lead with 3402 points. Kaul and Van der Plaetzen were the only other athletes, who were able to jump 2.04m.
Wolter ran 47.59 in the 400 metres to close the gap on Urena, who held on to his overall lead with 48.39 in the one-lap event. Urena leads with a score of 4292, just five points ahead of Wolter. Beckers ran 48.60 to end the first day with 4271. Kaul sits in fifth place after five events with 4157 points after running his third best ever time in the 400 metres with 48.21. Kaul is just 135 points behind Urena and is a strong second-day performer especially in the javelin throw and in the 1500 metres.