Leffler has narrow lead in heptathlon thriller in Bydgoszcz

Heptathlon in Bydgoszcz
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There is some battle developing in the heptathlon at the European Athletics U23 Championships in Bydgoszcz.

After the first day of competition, Germany's Celina Leffler leads with 3713 points from European U20 champion Caroline Agnou from Switzerland with 3704 and their duel is far from over.

In the end, it was the final discipline, the 200m, which saw Leffler snatch the overall top spot having gone into the fourth event trailing Agnou by 27 points. Leffler was in the opening heat and it proved to be the quickest of the four, with the German banking 982 points as she finished second in 23.99 behind Czech Republic's Barbora Dvorakova, the daughter of former world decathlon record-holder Tomas Dvorak, in 23.89.

Next to race was Agnou and she could hardly have done more to keep the pressure on Leffler in her pursuit of the gold medal. She won her race in a personal best of 24.36 for 946 points - just not enough to stay in front overall as they head into the second day.

But Leffler and Agnou are the only athletes to break the 3700-point barrier in the competition so far, with Austria's Verena Preiner third overnight with 3625.


The heptathlon was the event which started off the championships and the first heat of the 100m hurdles provided a good picture of what was to follow. As France's Esther Turpin won in 13.54, she was followed home by Agnou (13.61) and Leffler (13.74).

In the high jump, it was Belgium's Noor Vidts who took the overall lead as she finished second overall on countback with 1.78m behind Belarusian Yuliya Rout.

With 953 points, it took Vidts to 1947 followed by Leffler, who cleared 1.75 for a total of 1931 with Agnou fourth with 1.72m for 1913 points. But Agnou then flexed her muscles and out came a personal best in the shot put with a second round effort of 14.77m.

How she needed it and how important it was because Leffler had reached 14.09m with her opening throw and as a response from Agnou, it was pretty impressive.

It brought her 845 points to take the lead after the third event with 2758 from Leffler with 2731, with Vidts, the previous leader, now back in fourth, with 2673, before the 200m set the stage for the second day tomorrow.