Anna Bogdanova in Gotzis (Lorenzo Sampaolo) © Copyright
General News 31 May 2008 – Gotzis, Austria

Karpov, Bogdanova the overnight leaders in Gotzis - IAAF Combined Events Challenge

Gotzis, AustriaAnna Bogdanova and Dimitry Karpov are the overnight leaders after the first day of the Hypo Meeting, the second leg of the IAAF Combined Events Challenge, held in the Mösle Stadium in Götzis.

Bogdanova leads with 3930 points, 36 points over Jessica Ennis.  But the young British star picked up a minor ankle injury which forced her to withdraw from the competition as a precaution in order not to put her build-up to Bejing at risk.

Dimitry Karpov took the lead after the 400m to move ahead of Aleksey Drozdov by 67 points in what should be a wide-open competition during the second day.

Women’s Heptathlon

Bogdanova, the World indoor bronze medallist in the Pentathlon in Valencia 2008, and Ennis, fourth in the World Championships in Osaka, were the fastest sprinters in the 100m Hurdles. Bogdanova won the third heat in 13.35 (1072 points) with a headwind of -0.8 m/s. Ennis’ race was slowed by a stronger headwind (-1.1 m/s) but managed to run a solid 13.36 (1071 points). Reigning world silver medallist Lyudmila Blonska finished runner-up behind Ennis in the last heat in 13.49.

Bogdanova beat Ennis in the High Jump to win this event by three cm clearing 1.88m and kept her lead in the overall ranking with 2152 to 2112 points. Ennis cleared 1.85m in her third attempt but after two attempts at 1.88m she felt soreness in her ankle and did not try her third and final attempt at 1.88m. 

The Russian athlete defended her lead after a best release of 14.64m in the Shot Put (837 points). Ennis improved her PB with a 13.52m toss to keep her second place. Austra Skujte set a new meeting record in the shot 16.57m to move into fifth place after a slow start in the 100m hurdles (14.62) and in the High Jump (1.79). Blonska, fourth after the first two events, moved into third thanks to 13.49 (100m Hurdles), 1.79m (High Jump) and 14.45m (shot put) results.

Bogdanova took first place in the first 200m heat improving her PB from 25.00 to 24.42. Ennis ran in the last heat where she finished second in 23.59 behind Poland’s Karolina Tyminska, first in 23.42  

Bogdanova ended day one in overnight first place with 3930 points leading by 36 points over Ennis (3894 points). Ahead of day two Bogdanova is in good position to book her ticket for the Olympic Games in Bejing. According to the rule set by the Russian Federation the first two Russians from the Hypo Meeting plus the winner of the Russian Championships will be eligible to compete in the Bird’s Nest Stadium in the Chinese capital.

Ennis picked up a minor ankle injury during the High Jump and took the sensible decision to drop out of the competition.

“I felt soreness in my ankle. It was more a precautionary measure, as there are Olympic Games this summer,” Ennis said. “It could have got worse during the long jump. I will make a scan next week but I don’t think this will affect the plans for the Olympic Games. It was very sore in the final 50 metres in the 200 metres. I am in good shape and I am still positive about my preparation for the Olympics. Gold medal is very ambitious goal but I can go for a medal. It’s frustrating to withdraw but I keep to be positive.”

Ennis’ coach Tony Minichiello shared her optimism. “Apart the injury it was a good day at the office. I don’t fear about Bejing with a PB in the Shot Put,” said Minichiello.

Men’s Decathlon

Young German Decathlon hope Jacob Minah ran 10.78 (910 points) setting the fastest time in the 100m heats beating Aleksey Sysoyev from Russia and Osaka’s world silver medallist Maurice Smith from Jamaica (10.86) in the fourth heat. Another German Arthur Abele won the third heat in 10.82 holding off Karpov, the reigning Olympic and world bronze medallist from Kazakhstan (10.85).

Alexsey Drozdov, third at the European Championships in Gothenburg and fourth at the Osaka World Championships, took the lead by leaping to a great 7.78m in his only valid attempt in the Long Jump (1005 points). Drozdov led the overall ranking after two events by 27 points over Minah (7.36m in the long jump) with 1837 points. Russia’s Alexandr Pogorelov finished second in the long jump with 7.53m to take third overall place with 1789 points. Smith followed in fourth place with 1778 points.

In the Shot Put Drozdov produced a best release of 15.97m (849 points) to keep his first place in the overall ranking with 2686 points. The win in the event went to German Pascal Behrenbruch with 16.58m, just four cm further than Pogorelov who moved into second overall place with 2674 points ahead of Smith (2660 points) and Karpov (2645 points).

In the High Jump Pogorelov and Carlos Chinin from Brazil tied for first place at 2.09m scoring 887 points. Drozdov finished third at 2.09m on countback and remained in first place with just the 400m to be run with a total score of 3573 points. Pogorelov followed just 12 points behind his compatritot in what promises to be a close fight for Olympic qualification. Karpov was third, 69 points behind Drozdov.

The overnight ranking underwent a major change in the day’s final event, the 400m. Karpov overhauled Drozdov to take the overnight lead with 4382 points after running 48.64 to Drozdov’s 51.61. But it’s still a close battle with Karpov leading over the Russian by just 67 points. Third is Pogorelov with 4305 points ahead of Smith (4279 points).

“My long jump PB was a big surprise (7.78m) but the negative result came in the 400m where I had a below-par performance,” said second placer Drozdov. “I will try to score PBs in every discipline tomorrow and take the lead. The weather was ideal for good performances.”

Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF

Click here for full day 1 results