Dimitry Karpov in Desenzano (Ivano Catini) © Copyright
Report 7 May 2012 – Desenzano de Garda, Italy

Karpov and Ifadidou prevail in Desenzano del Garda – IAAF Combined Events Challenge

Desenzano de Garda, Italy Dimitry Karpov from Khazakistan scored his second win at the Multistars IAAF Combined Events Challenge meeting in Desenzano with 8172 points thanks to three more individual wins in the 110m Hurdles, the Discus Throw and Pole Vault.

Greek Sofia Ifadidou, sixth after the first day, caught up positions and thanks to three PBs - in the Long Jump, Javelin Throw and the 800m - she took a come-from-behind win with her new lifetime best of 6109 points.

The competitions were held in crazy conditions with weather changing many times during the day. The second day started in sunny conditions, then dark clouds hung over Desenzano during the afternoon. After the women’s javelin the competitions were broken by pouring rain and at the end of the day it was sunny again!

Men’s Decathlon -

Overnight leader Karpov picked up where he left off by winning the 110m Hurdles in 14.41 (922 points) over Great Britain’s Ashley Bryant (14.49) and second overall placer Luiz Alberto De Araujo (14.53). The hurdles event did not produced any changes to the first day’s overall ranking: Karpov was on course to win his second Multistars with 5175 points after six events. Behind the former Olympic and World bronze medallist followed last year’s winner De Araujo (5134 points), Great Britain’s John Lane (4892 points), Brent Newdick from New Zealand (4876 points) and Italian William Frullani (4876 points).

Karpov won the Shot Put and the High Jump on day one and added two more wins at the start of the second day. After the hurdles the Asian record holder threw the discus beyond the 50-metres barrier with a solid throw of 50.75m (886 points). He increased his gap over De Araujo (44.97m in the discus) to 161 points (6061 to 5900 points). The only major change was produced by Newdick who went into third place with 5667 points thanks to his 46.19m throw. Frullani (42.80m in the discus) followed in fourth place with 5598 points ahead of Lane (5510 points).

Karpov continued his domination in the Pole Vault by scoring his fifth win out of seven events (with a perfect record of three wins in the first three events of day two) with a clearance of 5.15m (957 points) and increased his lead over De Araujo (4.55m) to 343 points (7018 to 6675 points). Newdick cleared 4.45m but it was enough to defend his third overall place with 6413 points to Lane’s 6344 points. The Briton overtook Frullani for fourth place with 6344 to 6286 points.

Torrential rain affected the Javelin Throw which started after a short break. Karpov’s leading position was never under threat despite a best throw of 50.48m (596 points). The javelin produced a major shake-up to the overall ranking. Briton Ashley Bryant, fifth at last summer’s World University Games in Shenzhen, speared the javelin to 64.60m (807 points) and moved up into second place with 7044 points. Norway’s Hans Olav Uldal came from behind after placing eighth at the end of the Pole Vault and managed to climb into third place with 6894 points following his 58.21m in the javelin. Elmar Dabi Larusson from Iceland, sixth after the Pole Vault threw the javelin to 51.29m and moved up into fourth place with 6886 points.

Despite a slow 5:00.22 in the 1500m Karpov secured a solid win with 8172 points. Ashley Bryant clocked 4:45.72 (645 points) and defended his second place with 7689 points. Larusson won the 1500m in 4:36.34 and reduced his gap on Bryant to 99 points (7689 to 7590 points) and went to the podium in third place overtaking Uldal (7567 points). The decathlete from Iceland improved his previous PB set in Kladno last year by three points.

"It was a fine performance but I had some problems with the javelin. I need to qualify for the Olympics and I hope to improve my score in Gotzis", said Karpov.

Bryant was delighted with his performance. "I set new PBs in the Shot Put, 400 metres and the discus. It was a shame for the weather. I hope to qualify for London at the end of the month in Gotzis."

Women’s heptathlon -

France’s Blandine Maisonnier, third after the first day, won the Long Jump with 6.37m (965 points), not far from her 6.44m PB and overtook Brazilian Lucimara Da Silva for second place with 4540 points. Maisonnier came very close to Katarina Johnson Thompson who defended her first place in the overall ranking by just 15 points following her leap to 6.14m, the only valid jump. Da Silva finished runner-up with 6.18m (905 points) but lost her second place in the overall ranking. Yassmina Omrani from Algeria jumped 5.78m and remained in fourth place with 4329 points over Ifadidou (4270 points) who set a career best with 6.05m.

The Javelin Throw, aided by a very strong wind proved to be the crucial event once again and shook up the overall ranking. Ifadidou, sixth after the first day and fifth after the long jump with 4270 points, speared the javelin to an outstanding meeting record which she already owned from last year and a new PB of 55.72m (971 points) and climbed to the overall lead with 5241 points. Johnson Thompson set a new PB with 37.17m but lost the lead and was also overtaken by Maisonnier who also improved her PB to 40.32m. With one event to go Ifadidou led by 28 points over Maisonnier and by 73 points over Johnson Thompson.

Pouring rain fell shortly after the javelin causing a short delay to the programme before the final 800m.

The Greek heptathlete, who finished 15th at the European Championships in Barcelona, clocked 2:16.75 and managed to defend her first place by 27 points over Maisonnier with a new PB of 6109 points. Katarina Johnson Thompson clocked 2:18.89 but broke the 6000 points barrier for the first time in her career with 6007 points.

"Last year I set the javelin meeting record, so it was fine to break it again. I scored a big PB in the javelin and two career bests in the 800 metres (2:16.75), in the long jump (6.05) and in the high jump (1.72) and a new heptathlon PB. I came close to my 100 metres hurdles PB with 13.76. I am now qualified for the European Championships and hopefully for the Olympic Games," said Ifadidou.

"I achieved my first goal to qualify for the European Championships," said Maisonnier.

"Yesterday I had a dream start to the competition setting three PBs. Today was more disappointing. I come from Liverpool, so I am used to rain. I have to decide yet whether to compete in a second heptathlon. My top priority is to qualify for the Olympic Games on home soil. I enjoyed competing here as I love Italian food and the mountains in the background," said Johnson Thompson.

Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF

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