Czech make their mark to earn a Super promotion

Czech make their mark to earn a Super promotion
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Czech Republic's Adam Helcelet led his country to the team title with victory in the decathlon at the European Cup Combined Events First League in Madeira on Sunday.

A year on from just missing out on promotion to the Super League, the multi-eventers from the Czech Republic have made it this time after a brilliant victory in Ribeira Brava, Portugal.

The municipality on Madeira was host for the First League and Second League of the European Cup Combined Events at the weekend and there were a series of outstanding performances.

As the Czech won the First League, there were celebrations for Romania who took the honours in the Second League.

This time 12 months ago, as his country finished third in the First League, Czech decathlete Adam Helcelet was preparing for one of the best months of his life as he made the podium at the European Athletics Under-23 Championships in Tampere.

And from that success Helcelet, 22, has moved towards the individual glory here with victory with 7955 points ahead of teammate Jiri Sykora, who is still a junior at 19, in second with 7927 and Sweden’s Fabian Rosenquist, third with 7844. The latter two both achieved personal best scores.

The Ukraine, who were relegated last year, regained their place in the Super League, and while they had so much strength in depth in their women’s team led by World champion Hanna Melnychenko, it was the Czech Republic’s Eliska Klucinova who beat them all.

The European Athletics Junior silver medallist of 2007, Klucinova enjoyed one of her best results since then as she won with 6191 points followed by a trio from the Ukraine - Alina Fyodorova, who was second with 6090, Anastasiya Mokhnyuk, third with 5982, and Melnychenko, fourth with 5937.

Due to their strong combined team performance, the Czech Republic won the event with 40,384, a total that would have brought them fourth place in the weekend’s Super League event in Torun, a position achieved there by Belarus with 40,152.

Ukraine were second behind the Czech team with 40,056 with Sweden third with 39,753 but Finland and Portugal were both relegated.

FINAL TABLE
1. Czech Republic 40,384
2. Ukraine 40,056
3. Sweden 39,753
4. Spain 38,962
5. Norway 38,777
6. Italy 38,032
7. Finland 37,845
8. Portugal 36,686

Romania are the champions

Romania won the team title in the European Cup Combined Events Second League but it was Belgian Niels Pittomvils who really caught the eye.

He won the decathlon in emphatic fashion with a personal best of 8000 points, with Romania’s Ionel Irinel Cojan second in 7142 and Ireland’s Michael Bowler in third with 6997.

Greece’s Sofia Ifantidou took the heptathlon crown with 5806 as she beat Slovakia’s Lucia Mokrasova with 5789 and Iceland’s Sveinbjorg Zophoniasdottir with 5641.

Over the weekend, Pittomvils won the long jump with 7.35m on Saturday and then on Sunday, he took three of the five events, with victory in the 110m hurdles in 14.59, the pole vault with 5.00m and the javelin with 57.75m to land the title.

Ifantidou impressed throughout, including winning the javelin with a first round throw of 54.53m.

FINAL TABLE
1. Romania 35,532
2. Iceland 34,618
3. Turkey 29,968