William Frullani en route to his Day 1 lead in Arles (Lorenzo Sampaolo) © Copyright
General News Arles, France

Frullani and Kouassi the overnight leaders in Arles - IAAF Combined Events Challenge

William Frullani from Italy and Gabriella Kouassi from France are the overnight leaders after the first day of the IAAF Combined Events Challenge Meeting in Arles.

Frullani, a former European Under 23 bronze medallist in Amsterdam 2001, leads the men’s decathlon by 57 points over Franck Logel from France (4004 to 3947 points). Frullani is back to his best form this year after a career ruined by many injury problems. During the 2009 winter he finished sixth at the European Indoor Championships on home turf in Turin with a new indoor Heptathlon Italian record (5972 points). The Italian decathlete, who is married to this year’s Götzis runner-up Hanna Melnychenko, entered the Arles meeting this week after fouling three attempts at the opening height in the pole vault in Götzis last week.

The women’s Heptathlon is wide open with the top three heptathletes separated by just two points! Kouassi leads with 3488 points to Italian Francesca Doveri (3487) and France’s Marisa De Aniceto (3486). Yassmina Omrani from France (fourth 3465), Susan Coltman (fifth with 3456) and Margaret Simpson (sixth with 3434) rounded out the top six positions.


Logel, seventh at the European Indoor Championships in Turin, took a narrow win in the 100m over Frullani beating him by just 0.01 seconds in 11.13 (832 points) against a strong headwind of -1.6 m/s. Wilfried Gouacide from France clocked the third fastest time of 11.16.

Gouacide took the lead after two events with 1703 points thanks to his win in the Long Jump with 7.27m (878) beating Logel and Frullani who both jumped 7.08m. After the Long Jump Logel was second with 1665, just two points more than Frullani.

Gouacide won the Shot Put with 14.71m (772) and increased his lead with a total score of 2475 points after three disciplines. Frullani finished third in the shot with 14.35m (750) and took second place with 2413. Logel produced a best release of 12.44m and faded into sixth in the overall ranking with 2298 points. Morad Souissi from Algeria, fifth after two events with 1604, moved up into third place with 2353 thanks to his 14.33m toss.

Frullani cleared 2.00m (803) notching up the win in the High Jump and moved up to first place with 3216 points with a gap of 142 points over Logel. The Frenchman cleared 1.97m bouncing back from the below-par performance in the Shot Put. Gouachide could not clear higher than 1.76m and faded into third with 3068 ahead France’s Rudy Bourgignon (3040) and Mored Souissi (3023).

Logel ran the second fastest time in the 400m with 48.76 and closed his gap on Frullani to 57 points at the end of the first day (4004 to Logel’s 3947). Morad Souissi was the fastest man in the 400m with 48.62 (879) and overtook Gouacide (51.60) to take overnight third place by 92 points.


Doveri, ninth at the European Indoor Championships, took the win in the 100m Hurdles in 13.48 (1053), just 0.03 seconds off her recent event PB set in Desenzano del Garda. Other heptathletes who scored more than 1000 points were 2003 World Youth Champion Marisa De Aniceto from France (13.77, 1011), her compatriot Gabriella Kouassi (13.79, 1008) and 2005 World bronze medallist Margaret Simpson from Ghana (13.81, 1005).

Doveri cleared 1.69m in the High Jump, one of her weakest events, and lost the leading position to De Aniceto who clinched the win in this discipline with 1.78m (953) and went  to the lead with 1964 points. Doveri was overtaken by France’s Vanessa Gladone who also cleared 1.78m and took overall second place with 1914 points. 

Kouassi, fourth after the High Jump with 1887 points, took the win in the Shot Put with 13.53m (763) and climbed to first place with 2650 points overhauling De Aniceto (11.87m). Coltman from Canada, sixth after the High Jump, improved her ranking to third place ahead of Doveri thanks to her 12.84m toss. The Italian, who put 11.88m, was ranked in fourth place with 2548 points, 15 ahead of Simpson (12.37m).  

Kouassi ran 25.54 (838) and managed to defend her lead by just one point over 200m winner Doveri who clocked 24.44 (aided by a tail wind of +2.3 m/s) in the third heat (939 points).

Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF

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