Oleksiy Kasyanov of Ukraine pole vaulting in Kladno (Pavel Gryc) © Copyright
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Kasyanov and Chernova the overnight leaders in Talence - IAAF Combined Events Challenge

Talence, FranceOleksiy Kasyanov and Tatyana Chernova are the overnight leaders after the first day of competition at the Decastar Meeting, the final European leg of the 2010 IAAF Combined Events Challenge.

Kasyanov consistent - Decathlon

It was no surprise that the first event of the day was won by Ukrainian Kasyanov. The winner of the challenge meeting in Kladno (CZE) did not finish in Götzis and at the European championships and in Talence he is eager to complete his season with a second victory. His winning time was 10.72 ahead of Cuban Yordanis Garcia (10.89) and European silver medallist, Dutchman Eelco Sintnicolaas, in 10.94.

In the long jump Kasyanov put much pressure on himself by starting with two fouls. The event was headed at that time, by Belarus Andrei Krauchanka of Belarus with a 7.46m leap, followed by Serbian Mihail Dudas, who represented the European team at the Continental Cup in Split. On his last attempt Kasyanov produced a fair leap of 7.45. It was a modest distance for the athlete who has a 7.97m season’s best from Götzis. Krauchanka however sustained an injury on his third leap and was forced to drop out.

“I would continue because the prize money for the challenge is very important for me, but I can’t,” Krauchanka said. The Long Jump was also the end of a long season for Tunisian Hamdi Dhouibi and Estonian Mikk Pahapill.

The longest distance in Shot Put was produced by Aleksey Drozdov with 16.27m until Pascal Behrenbruch (GER) reached 16.43m. The judges disapproved the toss as as he should have hit the board, however it was measured in case of a protest. After an official protest the decision was overturned and Behrenbruch took the victory in the event. Kasyanov still lead after three events with 2594 points, with Behrenbruch (2555) next. Local hero, European champion Romain Barras, was in fifth position but will certainly be a factor since he is known as a better second day performer. At this stage of the competition he is only17 points down to his performance at the European championships.

In High Jump four athletes passed the two metre mark. Kasyanov, Drozdov and Garcia each cleared 2.05m, with the latter taking the victory in the event with a 2.11m leap. Kasyanov maintained the lead with Behrenbruch second after four events with 3381 points, 63 points behind Kasyanov. Garcia moved into third with 3362 points.

Dudas took the victory in the 400m in 48.57. As Kasyanov finished finished in 49.22 he maintained his lead at the end of day one. Garcia sits in second 4226 points, with Behrenbruch third with 4188 points. Barras ended the day in the sixth but wasn't worried.

 “Today was ok and I will see in what position the podium will bring me tomorrow.”

Heptathlon – Dobrynska versus Chernova

For Olympic champion Nataliya Dobrynska and Russian Tatyana Chernova, the meeting in Talence is the third in this year’s Challenge. At this moment German Jennifer Oeser, who is not in Talence, is leading the standings, but both athletes should be able to pass her this weekend. For Chernova a tally of 6220 points would be enough.

In the opening 100m Hurdles, Canadian Jessica Zelinka took the win in 13.29.was ahead of all other competitors with a winning time of 13.29. Second in this event was Belgian Sara Aerts, who finished with a personal best of 13.31.

In High Jump Melnychenko and Dobrynska tied at 1.85m. Melnychenko took the victory in this event as she had less foul jumps. After two events the first three athletes in the standings are separated only by nine points, with Dobrynska leading Melnychenko and Chernova.

In Shot Put Dobrynska showed again that she is unbeatable in this event. With 15.11m she was more than one metre ahead of her closest rival, Karolina Tyminska from Poland. After the Shot Put Dobrynska increased the gap on Chernova to 105 points and 184 points to Hanna Melnychenko.

The weather conditions remained cooperative heading into the final event, the 200m. Running in the same heat as her closest competitors, Chernova impressed with a 23.66 dash, her fastest time ever in a Heptathlon. As Dobrynska finished last in the heat in a disappointing 25.13 (in Barcelona she had 24.23 seconds) Chernova jumped into the overnight lead.

Chernova tallied 3828 points, 63 points better than in her season’s best heptathlon earlier this year in Götzis where she scored 6572 points. Dobrynska is second with 3804, followed by a surprising Zelinka with 3672 points. As Dobrynska scored only 6023 points in her first meeting, earlier this year in Götzis, it will be very difficult for her to win win overall Challenge title.

Hans van Kuijen for the IAAF

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