Natalya Dobrynska long jumping in 2009 Decaster in Talence (Hans van Kuijen) © Copyright
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Double triumph for Ukraine at IAAF World Combined Events Challenge in Talence

Talence, FranceUkraine’s Oleksiy Kasyanov and Natalya Dobrynska, the overnight leaders in the Decathlon and Heptathlon, ended up the victors in the 33rd edition of the Décastar meeting which is part of the 2009 IAAF Combined Events Challenge but in both cases it came down to the last events.

Decathlon – Kasyanov kept it till the end

The second day started as the first day in rainy conditions but this did not negatively affect the results in 110m Hurdles.

The two Estonian athletes in the field, Mikk Pahapill and Andres Raja, who ended the first day close to their personal best first day performances continued their competition both with PBs in the 110m Hurdles.  Raja finished in 13.90sec ahead of his countryman, the European Indoor Heptahlon champion, in 14.14. The overnight leader, Oleksiy Kasyanov lost valuable points by finishing in 14.51.

After 6 events: 1. Kasyanov 5315, 2. Pappas 5204, 3. Raja 5155

Pascal Behrenbruch (GER), who was after 6 events already more than 400 points behind his personal best in the Decathlon, took the victory in Discus Throw with 48.97m ahead of Pahapill with 48.48m.

It was starting to become a close battle for the overall victory in Decathlon. At this point taking the best 2009 result of the top 4 athletes in the remaining events (pole vault, javelin and 1500m) there was potentially only 1 points difference between the four athletes.

After 7 events: 1. Kasyanov 6062, 2. Pappas 6021, 3. Pahapill 5934

The weather conditions had improved a lot by the start of the Pole Vault and an interesting competition was the result. Pahapill, Aleksandr Pogorelov (RUS) and Rudy Bourguignon (FRA) surpassed a height of 5.02m. As the leader since the first event, Kasyanov produced a PB of 4.82 allowing him to still lead after 8 events.
After 8 events: 1. Kasyanov 6918, 2. Pahapill 6851, 3. Pappas 6846

But the leader in the standings had his weakest event, the Javelin Throw, still to come and with a best of just 49.75m, with his main competitors all producing throws over 60m he dropped to fourth place. With a 65.13m release of the German, Pascal Behrenbruch, took his second event victory of the day.

After 9 events: 1. Pappas 7611, 2. Pogorelov 7607, 3. Pahapill 7589
But at the start of the 1500m, 4 competitors were still in the race for victory.

In the 1500m, Kasyanov closely followed the stronger runners in the field and increased his lead by a big margin on the others who were still in contention for the overall win. The Frenchmen Gael Querin was the strongest at the end and passed the finish line in 4:10.57. Kasyanov was fourth in 4:23.49, enough to win the Decathlon overall.

Kasyanov’s total was 8291pts, with Pahapill 8255, and Pappas bring in third, 8199.

In total, six athletes passed the 8000 points mark; Pahapill and the Belgiam Hans van Alphen produced personal best performances.

Heptathlon – Dobrynska for Yosypenko

The rainy conditions at the start of the second day produced below par results in the Long Jump.

The overnight leader in Heptathlon, Olympic champion Natalya Dobrynska, could not continue her strong performances from the first day. She started with a modest jump of 6.15m and fouled on her second attempt. In the last attempt she improved to 6.33m, but far away from the 6.73m she had achieved earlier in her season’s best Heptathlon in Götzis.

Her fellow countrywomen, Lyudmyla Yosypenko, produced a leap of 6.19m. She was very satisfied with this as she could keep the gap with Dobrynska within limits. Russia’s Tatyana Chernova produced the winning distance in this event with 6.41m.

After 5 events: 1. Dobrynska 4834, 2.Yosypenko 4685, 3. Melnychenko 4560

With a 51.30m Javelin Throw on her first attempt Yosypenko showed that she was in winning mood. She improved her personal best with this throw by almost 3 metres. As Dobrynska could only produce a distance of 43.34m she lost the overall leading position to Yosypenko. Both were separated after the javelin by only 5 points in the intermediate standings which meant a gap of only 0.4 seconds in 800m.

Chernova proved again that she is a strong second day athlete. With 51.92m she produced her second event victory of the day.

After 6 events: 1. Yosypenko 5570, 2. Dobrynska 5565,3. Chernova 5419

Dobrynska who had proved in important championships that she can run a strong 800m and immediately took the lead in the last event. Knowing that she had to compensate only 0.4 seconds she did not give Yosypenko any change to come close to her. In 2:13.07 she passed the finish line ahead of all her rivals and secured the overall Heptathlon victory.

Her winning total was 6485pts from Yosypenko’s 6423, and Chernova’s 6306.

2009 IAAF World Combined Events Challenge

The remaining 2 competitions in the 2009 Challenge, les Jeux de la Francophonie next month in Beirut and the Asian Championships in Guangzhou in November, will not influence the top of the overall standings which are led by USA’s World champion Trey Hardee (Decathlon) and thanks to her victory in Talence by Natalya Dobrynska (Heptathlon).

Hans van Kuijen for the IAAF

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