Jessica Ennis in Desenzano del Garda (Lorenzo Sampaolo) © Copyright
General News Desenzano del Garda, Italy

Ennis impresses in first day of comeback in Desenzano del Garda – IAAF Combined Events Challenge

British Heptathlon star Jessica Ennis made a superb comeback to competitions at the Multistars - IAAF Combined Events Challenge meeting - in Desenzano del Garda with an impressive 4003 points at the end of day one, a score which indicates a possible attack to the 6500 points barrier in the second day.

Ennis produced a very good display in the opening 100m Hurdles event where she clocked 12.98 (wind + 0.7 m/s) for 1127 points missing her PB set at the IAAF World Championships in Osaka by just 0.01 seconds. Her favourite Italian venue where she won with a solid 6388 points tally in 2007 marked a very good return for the Briton who was sidelined from most of the 2008 season by a stress fracture in her right foot.

Hanna Melnychenko is second after four events with 3716 points, ahead of Uzbekistan’s Yuliya Tarasova (3631 points) and Yvonne Wisse from the Netherlands (3628 points) in a tight contest for third place.

The men’s Decathlon produced a major surprise with Czech Pavel Baar taking the overnight lead with 4033 points. The fight for first place is wide open with South African William Coertsen in second place with 4022 points, just 11 points behind Baar. One of the favourites, Jake Arnold of the USA and the 2007 NCAA champion, is in third with 4020 points. Stanislav Sajdok from Czech Republic and Daniel Awde from Great Britain round out the top five respectively with 4013 and 4001 points in what promises to be a very close and hard-fought competition during the second day of competition. 

Ennis dominating - heptathlon

Ennis missed her 100m Hurdles PB by just one hundredth of a second with her 12.98. “It was a nice surprise after a long time without competitions. I was nervous before the start,” said Ennis. 

Ennis won her favourite event beating Melnychenko (13.40), Italian indoor pentahlon record holder Francesca Doveri (13.45) and Jana Koresova from Czech Republic (13.56).

Ennis, who scored her PB of 6469 points in Osaka when she finished fourth at the World Championships, continued her comeback to top form with a good 1.90m leap in the High Jump increasing her overall lead with 2233 points, 11 points ahead of her PB pace. Ennis jumped 1.90 (1106 points) in her second attempt before three attempts at 1.93, two centimetres off her British high jump record and the Multistars event record set in 2007. The Heptathlon star from Sheffield came very close to clearing 1.93 in her third attempt.

Melnychenko backed up her overall second place with 2018 points with 1.78m in the High Jump. Francesca Doveri cleared 1.75m to take third overall place with 1974 points ahead of Koresova (1957 points). Last year’s Multistars winner Marie Collonvillé, seventh after two attempts, was forced to drop out of the competition after suffering from an injury during the High Jump where she cleared 1.75m.

Ennis threw beyond the 13m barrier in the Shot Put with 13.19m (40 cm off her recent event PB set in a Shot Put competition in Derby last week) and continued to keep her PB pace. She was 95 points ahead of her PB schedule with just the 200m to be run on the first day. Melnychenko kept her second place thanks to her best release of 13.11m. Russian Nadezhda Sergeyeva, ninth after the High Jump, climbed into third place thanks to her 13.86m effort which earned her second place in the Shot Put behind event winner Marina Goncharova from Russia who put 14.07m.

Ennis easily won the final 200m with 23.49 mantaining her 6530 points pace before the second day of competitions. Tarasova produced the only major change to the overall lead taking the overnight third place with 24.39 in the 200m (944 points), while Sergeyeva clocked 25.28 and was overhauled by Yvonne Wisse who finished the first day in fourth place just three points behind Tarasova. 

“The shot put was disappointing, especially after improving my PB to 13.59 last week. My goal is to qualify for the World Championships in Berlin. A further improvement to my PB would be a bonus,” said Ennis. 

Decathlon – Baar carries narrow advantage into day 2

The men’s Decathlon 100m went to Czech Republic’s Stanislav Sajdok who clocked 10.90 (883 points). His countryman Baar took the first place in the penultimate heat in 10.91 (881 points) for overall second place in the first event.

The most surprising story of the 22nd edition of the Multistars is the participation of a Kenyan decathlete. The young Silas Kalonon Cheruiyot, who was born in 1988, entered with a PB of 6726 points, improved his PBs in the 100m with 11.25 (806 points) and came close to his best in the Long Jump leaping to 7.56m (four cm off his lifetime best 950 points) which earned him a surprising win in the second event.

Cheruiyot, who trains at the IAAF Performing Centre in Mauritius, took a brief overall lead after two events with 1756 points. Daniel Awde from Great Britain followed in the overall ranking in second place with 1734 points after running 10.95 in the 100m and leaping to 7.20m in the Long Jump. Baar followed in third place with 1716 points after his 7.09 in the long jump. Not surprisingly Cheruiyot’s lead did not last long after the Shot Put where he did not put further than 10.50m and faded into 16th place. German Lars Albert, who was eighth after 11.29 in the 100m and 7.17m in the Long Jump, won the Shot Put with 15.76m (836 points) and took the overall lead with 2487 points ahead of Roland Schwarzl from Austria, second with 2423 points (11.33 in the 100m, 7.33m in the Long Jump and 14.17m in the Shot Put). Baar kept his third place with 2416 points after 13.54m in the shot put. 

The high jump produced a major change to the overall Decathlon ranking. Sajdok improved his position moving from 11th to first in the overall ranking with 3320 points thanks to his win in the High Jump with 2.13m (925 points) Albert lost his first place fading into eighth place following a 1.83m clearance. Behind Sajdok, Schwarzl defended his second place just 12 points behind Sajdock thanks to his 1.98m clearance. Arnold cleared 2.04m overtaking Baar for overall third place with 3184 points.  Cheruiyot remarkably improved his PB to 2.10m and climbed into fifth place

The 400m produced another major shake-up to the overall lead. Baar ran the third best time in the one-lap race clocking 49.04 (859 points) and took the overnight lead with 4033 points. Willem Coertsen finished second in the 400m and caught up positions moving into second place just 11 points behind Baar. Arnold kept his third place with 49.53 while Sajdok did not run faster than 50.47 and finished the first day in fourth place but everything can happen in such a close contest with a gap of just 32 points between the overnight leader and the fifth placer.

Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF 

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