Arles day 1 leader Jessica Zelinka (Lorenzo Sampaolo) © Copyright
General News 8 June 2008 – Arles, France

Logel, Zelinka day 1 leaders in Arles - IAAF Combined Events Challenge

Arles, FranceFrance’s Franck Logel and Canada’s Jessica Zelinka are the overnight leaders at the Arles IAAF Combined Events Challenge meeting. Logel finished the first day with 4160 points with a gap of 28 points over Nadir El Fassi from France.

Zelinka, who was fourth at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, leads the overnight Heptathlon ranking with 3697 points ahead of the surprising Blandine Maisonnier who ended the first day in second place with 3627 points, ahead of 2005 European under 23 champion Laurien Hoos (3601 points).

Men’s Decathlon:

As already happened in the past two editions of the IAAF Combined Events Meeting in Arles, a tailwind blew too strongly making the results not valid for statistical purposes in the sprint competitions. In the men’s 100m Wilfried Gouacide of France ran the fastest time of 10.65 but he was aided by a strong tailwind of +5.2 m/s.

Logel, another Frenchman, who ran 10.66 in the 100m (+8.9 m/s), took the overall lead after winning the Long Jump with a leap to 7.54m (tailwind +3.1 m/s). After two events Logel led with 1883 points ahead of New Zealand’s Brent Newdick (1826 points) and France’s Nadir El Fassi (1821 points).

El Fassi, who ran the 100m in 10.85 (+ 8.9 m/s) and leapt to 7.47m in the long jump (+5.8 m/s), took the overall lead with 2523 points after the Shot Put where he produced a 13.57m throw. Tunisia’s Hamdi Dhouibi moved from seventh to second place after his 14.55m in the shot, just 14 points behind El Fassi. Favourite Romain Barras, seventh at the World Championships in Osaka last year, won the event with a 14.65m effort, moving into third place after three events with 2505 points. 

In the High Jump both El Fassi and Logel cleared 2.05m. El Fassi managed to keep his lead defending a gap of 20 points over compatriot Franck Logel before the 400m (3373 to 3353 points). Barras did not jump higher than 1.96m but managed to mantain his third place with 3272 points.

El Fassi ran the 400m in 51.22 losing first place to Logel who won his heat crossing the finish-line in 50.16. Five French decathletes took the first five places with Nicolas Moulay in third place with 4077 points followed by Julien Choffart (4068 points) and Barras (4053 points).

Women’s Heptathlon:

In the women’s contes Zelinka, who competed last week in the Hypo Meeting in Götzis, was the fastest woman in the 100m Hurdles with 13.01 aided by a +4.0 m/s tailwind.

Zelinka cleared 1.68m in the High Jump and was overhauled by Blandine Maisonnier who won this event with 1.80m. The French athlete, who started the first day with 13.64 in the hurdles,  led by 55 points over Zelinka (2008 to 1953 points). Sarah Cowley moved from tenth into third place with 1939 points thanks to her 1.77m clearance. 

Maisonnier’s 12.68m enabled the French girl to defend her first position in the overall ranking by just two points (2714 to 2712 points) over Zelinka (13.48m). The Shot Put event went to Dutchwoman Laurien Hoos who moved into third place overall with 2696 points thanks to her solid release of 14.72m.

Zelinka came close to her 200m PB running 23.96 (tailwind +4.0 m/s) to clinch the overnight lead overhauling Maisonnier (who clocked 24.72) by 70 points (3697 to 3627 points). Hoos finished day one in third place with 3601 points. .

“I felt pretty good,” said Zelinka. “I competed in Götzis where I did not perform well. I’m happy with the 100metres Hurdles and the 200 metres where I came close to my PB but I still need to work on the High Jump. Tomorrow I will try to keep positive.”

Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF

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