Why Spain will look to make a point in Monzon

Why Spain will look to make a point in Monzon
European Athletics

Spain's Pau Tonnesen finished second in last year's decathlon at the European Combined Events Team Championships in Inowroclaw.

The north east Spanish city of Monzon will stage the First and Second Leagues of the European Combined Events Team Championships in July - with the host nation proof of what a thrilling competition this is.

To qualify for the team event, each country has three men in the decathlon and three women in the heptathlon with the joint totals deciding who wins overall.

In 2015, when the combined events was last held, Switzerland won promotion as champions into the Super League with victory in Inowroclaw with 39,694 points, while the battle to join them in the top division was so close.

In the end, Poland just edged it with 39,229, beating Spain by only 160, a small margin considering the combination of six multi-eventers over 17 disciplines.

It is what makes the European Combined Events Team Championships a brilliant spectacle to watch because that one second in the 800m, that extra centimetre on the high jump or that minor foul on the long jump take-off can make such a difference.

Spain were so close and will be looking this time to make it into the top flight after a competition where Pau Tonnesen (7841) was second in the decathlon won by Norway’s Martin Roe (7875). His Spanish teammates Jonay Jordan (7377) and Vicente Guardiola (7240) were sixth and ninth respectively while their women finished seventh, eighth and ninth with Estefania Fortes (5608), Laura Gines (5516) and Yanira Soto (5487) in a heptathlon won by Poland’s Karolina Tyminska (6174).

Switzerland were the dominant force as Jonas Fringeli (7528) was fifth in the decathlon and Linda Zublin (6047) was second, Valerie Reggel (5894) was third and Michelle Zeltner (5782) was fourth in the heptathlon.

As they went up, relegated into the First League were the Netherlands and the Czech Republic, and along with Spain, they will be joined in Monzon on the weekend of 1-2 July by, among others, Italy and the two promoted teams from the Second League, Finland and Portugal as Sweden and Romania were relegated.

Joli Koivu led the way for Finland as he won the decathlon with a personal best of 7462 from countryman Tero Ojala (7226) and he will look to make an impression in the First League while in the Second League, the star of the heptathlon was one of the best multi-eventers in the sport - Latvian Laura Ikauniece-Admidia - and she could be back, too, in the same division.

Just a few weeks before winning bronze at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, Ikauniece-Admidia was first in Inowroclaw in a then national record of 6470 and then the 24-year-old increased that mark to 6516 in China before taking it to 6622 in Götzis this summer.

But despite her record-breaking performance in the Combined Events, it was not enough to earn Latvia promotion as they missed out by a mere 15 points on second place, as Portugal pipped them, 36,311 to 36,296.

Latvia's Laura Ikauniece-Admidia was the standout performer in Inowroclaw last year, winning the heptathlon with 6470 points.
Latvia's Laura Ikauniece-Admidia was the standout performer in Inowroclaw last year, winning the heptathlon with 6470 points.

Local Organising Committee