Arles winner Marisa De Aniceto (Lorenzo Sampaolo) © Copyright
General News 7 June 2009 – Arles, France

Sweep for France in Arles – IAAF Combined Events Challenge

Arles, FranceFrench combined events specialists Rudy Bourguignon and Marisa De Aniceto claimed a double win for the hosts at the IAAF Combined Events Challenge meeting in Arles.

Bourguignon scored 7699 points beating Algerian Decathlon champion Morad Souissi (7658) and Frenchman Franck Logel (7464 points). De Aniceto set a new PB of 5945 points beating Margaret Simpson from Ghana (5872) and Francesca Doveri from Italy (5840).

Bourguignon comes from behind - Decathlon

Overnight leader William Frullani of Italy clocked 14.72 (884 points) in the 110m Hurdles and increased his lead to 66 points over Logel (14.79). The ranking did not undergo significant changes in the top three positions with Frullani leading with 4888 points over Logel (4822) and Souissi (4812). Roger Skeed from Great Britain produced the fastest time with 14.39 to move into fourth (4704). 

Frullani lost his lead after his 34.50m in the discus and was overhauled by Souissi who threw 41.64m and went to the lead with 5516 points to Frullani’s 5442. The Discus Throw went to France’s Rudy Bourgignon who brought his total score to 5396 thanks to his 46.36m throw to move up to third.

Bourguignon cleared 4.95m (895) and reached Souissi (4.55m) at the top of the ranking with 6291 points. Logel also vaulted 4.95m and moved up from fifth to third with 6219. Frullani escaped a major scare clearing the opening height of 4.25m only on his third attempt but then managed to advance to 4.35m. 

Bourgignon, sixth after the first day, completed his catch-up competition taking the overall lead after winning the javelin with 59.28m. With one event to go Bourgignon led with 7018 points ahead of Souissi (56.48m, 6976 points) and Skeed (55.43m, 6779 points).

Bourguignon secured the overall win after running the 1500m in 4:39.89 (681 points). Logel finished second in the 1500m in 4:36.68 and notched up third place with 7464 points behind second placer Souissi (7658).    

For Bourgignon the Arles win was a comeback after a 2008 season plagued by a virus problem. “I came here to peak my form for the European Cup in Poland. It will my first goal of the season,” Bourgignon said. “Here I faced a lot of problems especially in the pole vault but I managed to find the energy to win in very difficult conditions. I hope to settle a lot of things before the European Cup. Berlin is in my head but it’s not my first priority. If I qualify for Berlin, it would be a big bonus. Otherwise I will prepare for another competition before the end of the season. Last year I picked a virus and I missed the Olympic Games. I thought about giving up but my coach convinced me to continue.”

Heptathlon -

After a very close competition with three women split by two points, Italian indoor pentathlon record holder Francesca Doveri took the lead with 4392 points thanks to her good 6.18m leap, aided by a tailwind of +2.3 m/s (905 points) in the Long Jump, which was close to her fresh outdoor lifetime best of 6.20m set in Desenzano del Garda in May. Yassmina Omrani from France, fourth after the first day, improved her position to second with 4308 points. De Aniceto (5.81m) defended her third place with 4278.

The javelin produced a dramatic change to the overall ranking. Simpson, the 2005 World Championships bronze medallist, threw the javelin to 49.93m (859) in her favourite discipline and moved up from sixth to first with a total score of 5052, with a close margin of 12 points over 2003 World Youth Champion De Aniceto who finished second with a44.92m throw (762). Omrani lost one position but remained in contention for the podium with 4929 points following her 37.56m overtaking Doveri who threw 32.91m in one of her weakest events.

De Aniceto produced a strong performance in the 800m where she finished third in 2:14.16 behind Doveri (2:13.35) and Sand Kangni Thiebaud (2:13.85). Thanks to this time the young French athlete, who was born in Angola but lives in Paris, overtook Simpson who finished second with 5872 points in her comeback season after physical problems and an operation she underwent in 2008.

De Aniceto tried the  Pole Vault (PB 3.52m) and started with combined events at the age of 16 and emerged on the world stage in 2003 when she won the World youth title in Sherbrooke. 

“I am happy especially with my performances in the 100m hurdles and the high jump,” De Aniceto said. “My goal this season is to score 6100 points to qualify for the World Championships. I have still one more chance at the European Combined Events Cup in Poland.”

Simpson was happy with her second place. “I was sidelined by a stomach problem which needed an operation and I was forced to take rest for two and a half months,” she said. “I have one more competition in Mauritius on 27-28 June to try to qualify for Berlin.”

Doveri showed some good performances in her strongest events (100m Hurdles, 200m, 800m and the Long Jump) to tally 5840 points, just 45 points off her PB set in Desenzano del Garda.

“My competition had ups and downs,” Doveri said. “I came close to my long jump PB (6.20m outdoors and 6.29m indoors). My hurdles were also good but my weakest disciplines remain the throwing events. I will have two more competitions (the European Cup and the University Games) to try to qualify for Berlin. The qualifying standard set by the Italian Athletics Federation is 6100 points. The B standard is 5900 points but it may not be enough.” Doveri competed at the European Club Championships in Castellon, Spain, last week in the 100m and in the High Jump for the Italian Army athletics team.

Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF

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