After a succession of near misses, Kai Kazmirek made it onto the podium at the IAAF World Championships in London with bronze in the decathlon and the German will be targeting a repeat performance at the European Championships in Berlin this August.
Kazmirek, who claimed the European U23 decathlon title in 2013, had finished fourth once and sixth three times in major competitions between 2014 and 2016 before making his podium breakthrough in London behind teammate Rico Freimuth and France’s Kevin Mayer, anointed as the world’s best male multi-eventer with Ashton Eaton now retired.
Their paths will cross again in the German capital this summer and Kazmirek will gauge how his preparations are progressing when he competes in the heptathlon at the Tallinn Indoor Meeting, a European Athletics Indoor Permit Meeting, which begins on Friday (2).
— European Athletics (@EuroAthletics) August 12, 2017
Kazmirek has already competed individually during the indoor season, clocking 8.06 in the 60m hurdles at the ISTAF Indoor in Berlin on Friday night before producing a 14.01m shot put and 1.99m in the high jump the following day in Ludwigshafen.
Kazmirek has the highest lifetime best score with 6173 points and the only entrant in the line-up to have broken the 6000 point-barrier.
Ukraine’s Alina Shukh set a world indoor U20 pentathlon record of 4542 points to claim victory twelve months ago and the 18-year-old could have aspirations of improving that mark in her final season as a junior.
Shukh won the European U20 heptathlon title in Grosseto in July - just missing the long-standing championship record with 6381 points - before finishing a creditable 14th at the World Championships in London less than three weeks later.
The pentathlon field includes another very promising teenager in Sweden’s Bianca Salming (4389 PB) while Germans Mareike Arndt (4210 PB) and Anna Maiwald (4208 PB) also compete.