The hosts are positioned well to clinch the overall title after the completion of the first day of the European Combined Events Team Championships Super League in Tallinn, Estonia.
With a particularly strong showing in the decathlon, Estonia accrued a first day total of 22,043 points at the Kadriorg Stadium ahead of Ukraine with 21,989 points followed by France with 21,755 points.
But Ukraine remain in close contention for both the individual and team titles in Tallinn and after five events, Oleksiy Kasyanov leads the decathlon standings by more than 100 points with a score of 4210. After opening his account with 10.76 in the 100m, Kasyanov came close to his season’s bests in the next three events - 7.31m in the long jump, 14.55m in the shot put and 1.98m in the high jump - before 49.00 in the 400m.
Kasyanov will be looking to improve on his second-place finish in this competition from two years ago but the Ukrainian is renowned for being stronger on the first day and six of his rivals are within 200 points of the leader heading into the second day.
Estonian athletes begin the second day in a strong position with Karl-Robert Saluri (4080 points) and Janek Oiglane (4078) in second and third respectively. Oiglane has some particularly strong events to come tomorrow, including the javelin in which he boasts a lifetime best of 71.11m.
While the most experienced multi-eventer leads the standings in the decathlon, 19-year-old Geraldine Ruckstuhl from Switzerland has a narrow lead after the completion of the first day in the heptathlon.
Ruckstuhl, the reigning world U18 champion, has a total of 3470 to lead from Belarus’ Yuliya Rout (3446) and Estonia’s Grit Sadeiko (3429) with Ukraine’s Alina Shukh also very much in contention with 3425 points after four events.
Ruckstuhl could lose her overall lead in the long jump but she is very much expected to take control of proceedings again in the javelin. The teenager broke the 32-year-old Swiss heptathlon record with 6291 points in the Gotzis Hypo-Meeting in May, producing a massive throw of 58.31m - also a senior record - in the sixth event en route to a record-breaking total.
But Shukh also has a very strong second day and will be looking to bolster Ukraine’s team chances with a push up the leaderboard tomorrow. The inaugural European U18 champion from last summer is proficient in the long jump (6.29m) and 800m (2:12.31) but like Ruckstuhl, her strongest event is the javelin. Shukh went out to 52.92m in Gotzis but she has since improved her lifetime best to 56.54m.
Full results can be found here and the action begins tomorrow morning at 10am local time in Tallinn with the decathlon 110m hurdles.
At the European Combined Events Team Championships First League in Monzon, Spain, the Netherlands are leading with 21,777 points from the hosts with 21,702 points while Lithuania lead the Second League standings with 20,360 points.