Tatyana Chernova long jumps to 6.78m in the Hypo Meeting title in Götzis (Lorenzo Sampaolo) © Copyright
General News Götzis, Austria

Chernova sets 6618pts; Karpov holds off Sysoyev with 8504pts in Götzis – IAAF Combined Events Challenge

Tatyana Chernova clinched the Hypo Meeting title in Götzis in her first ever appearance in the Austrian leg of the IAAF Combined Events Challenge.

Chernova scored a new lifetime best and new world seasonal best of 6618 points after showing an impressive second day in which she leapt to 6.78m in the Long Jump and threw 53.51m in the Javelin.

Chernova started day one in ninth place with 3657 points but she quickly caught up positions in the overall ranking moving to fourth place after the Long Jump and then taking the decisive lead in the crucial Javelin Throw event. Ukraine’s Lyudmila Blonska, the World silver medallist in Osaka, had to be content with second place with 6570 points, 48 behind Chernova.

With her win in Götzis Chernova booked her ticket for the Olympic Games in Beijing together with her compatriot Anna Bogdanova (World indoor bronze medallist) who finished in third place with 6452 points, a new lifetime best.
 
The Olympic and World bronze medallist Dimitry Karpov took an exciting Decathlon win holding off Russia’s Aleksey Sysoyev by just seven points in a competition which remained undecided until the final 1500 metres race.

Karpov scored a world leading score of 8504 points. Aleksey Sysoyev (second with 8497 points) and Alexandr Pogorelov (third with 8381 points) booked the automatic two spots in the Russian olympic team for Bejing. Leonel Suarez from Cuba was a surprising fourth placer with a new 8366 PB. The Cuban, who ran 4:16.70 in the 1500 metres, beat World silver medallist Maurice Smith from Jamaica (8332 points) and Pascal Behrenbruch (PB 8242 points).

Women’s Heptathlon

Reigning World Junior champion Tatyana Chernova from Russia began Day Two on a high note by winning the Long Jump with an impressive 6.78m PB (1093 points), the fourth best ever performance in this discipline in Götzis Hypo Meeting, to move into fourth place in the overall Heptathlon ranking with a total score of 4756 points.

Blonska finished second in the Long Jump with 6.66m ahead of the Russian overnight leader Anna Bogdanova (6.49).

At that point Bogdanova was defending her overall lead with 4934 points with a margin of 79 points over Blonska (4855 points) and Russia’s Olga Kurban (4766 points) and Tatyana Chernova (4756 points).

But Chernova’s 53.51 (929 points) in her favourite Javelin Throw event shook up the overall ranking. The young Russian, who finished second in this event to German Lilli Schwarzkopf’s 54.35m (945 points), took a very narrow lead of just two points over Blonska (5684 points to 5682 points).

Blonska speared 48.29m to take second place in the overall ranking over Bogdanova who threw 37.65 in what is her weakest event.

Therefore the heptathletes were set for a thrilling final 800 metres race. Chernova lined up wearing a red bib as provisional leader and backed up her impressive second day by winning the final heat in 2:12:11 beating World silver medallist Blonska.

Overall, Chernova set a new PB of 6618 points, a result which makes one of the favourites in the fight for medals in Beijing. She celebrated the greatest win of her career in Beijing two years ago when she won the gold medal at the World Junior Championships and she has the potential to repeat the same result in two month’s time in the Bird’s Nest Stadium in the Chinese capital.  

“This win makes me sure that I am qualified for Beijing,” said Chernova. “Today’s performance shows that I have the potential to battle against the best athletes in the world in Bejing. Today I am surprised with my result in the Long Jump. I hope to produce my best performance at the Olympic Games.”
 
Men’s Decathlon

Dimitry Karpov increased his overall, overnight lead to 92 points totalling 5339 points after sprinting to 14.14 in the 110 metres Hurdles. Behind Karpov Maurice Smith managed to take second spot thanks to his 14.05 followed very closely by Alexandr Pogorelov with a gap of just six points. German Artur Abele was the only man to dip under 14 seconds with 13.94.

Smith reduced the gap on Karpov to just 34 points thanks to his second place in the Discus Throw with 52.77m. Aleksey Sysoyev won with a new 54.08 PB (the second all-time best performance in Götzis for a score of 956 points) which enabled him to move into fourth place. Pogorelov also set a new lifetime best of 50.17m which kept him in third place with 6115 points, behind Karpov (6209 points) and Smith (6175 points).

Karpov increased his lead by 206 points thanks to his 5.30m win in the Pole Vault (1004 points) while Sysoyev moved into second place by clearing 5.10m (941 points).

Sysoyev then managed dramatically to close the margin on Karpov to just 2 points (7811 to 7809 points) after sending the javelin soaring to 64.22 metres, while Karpov could not throw further than 50.62m. Pogorelov finished third with 65.57m to mantain his overall third place (7786 points) ahead of Osaka world silver medallist Maurice Smith (7635 points).

So it came down to the last event with Karpov managing to defend his very narrow lead in the 1500 metres holding off Aleksey Sysoyev in 4:37.93 to 4:38.82.
 
“It was a very tough 1500 metres mentally,” said Karpov. “Tactically I was well prepared but the last 100 metres were very difficult. My Javelin was poor. I am not in my best form to produce a good result in the Javelin but I am working on this discipline in training. This year Götzis is dress rehearsal for Beijing as it was in 2004, the year of my Olympic bronze in Athens.”       

Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF    

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