Thomas van der Plaetsen and Hanne Maudens raised the standard for the rest at the weekend as the duo set world-leading multi-event marks at the Belgian Indoor Combined Events Championships in Gent.
Now it is ‘next stop: Glasgow’ for the pair and they will head to the European Athletics Indoor Championships with the podium in mind after brilliant performances in the heptathlon and pentathlon respectively.
With 6132 points, van der Plaetsen was nearly back to his very best form as the 2016 European decathlon champion was only 127 points shy of his national record, eclipsing Jorge Urena's world-leading mark by eight points.
Van der Plaetsen’s score was also 22 more points than Czech Republic’s Adam Sebastian Helcelet bronze medal-winning score in Belgrade which stands him in good stead for Glasgow. The Belgian was particularly prolific in the pole vault, clearing an outright lifetime best of nine centimetres with 5.50m.
Over the weekend he won four events: long jump (7.67m), high jump (2.02m), 60m hurdles (8.22) and pole vault (5.50m). His other performances were 7.27 for the 60m, a shot put of 14.30m and a 1000m of 2:46.45.
Maudens moved to third on the Belgian all-time pentathlon list as she joined illustrious company after winning all five disciplines.
The 2016 world U20 heptathlon bronze medallist took her personal best from 4205 to 4569 to sit behind Olympic champions Tia Hellebaut (4877 points in 2007) and Nafissatou Thiam (4870 in 2017) on the Belgian all-time list.
Maudens’ individual marks were: 8.68 in the 60m hurdles, 1.76m in the high jump, 13.95m in the shot put, 6.37m in the long jump in 6.37m and 2:13.98 in the 800m.
There were good pentathlon and heptathlon marks at various national championships throughout Europe this weekend with the European Indoor Championships less than a month away.
Former world U18 champion Geraldine Ruckstuhl from Switzerland set a national record of 4489 points in Magglingen while Verena Preiner also put herself in contention for a qualifying position for Glasgow, winning the Austrian title in Linz with 4482 points ahead of former world U20 heptathlon champion Sarah Lagger with 4372 points.
Fredrik Samuelsson also surpassed the 6000 point-barrier at the Swedish Indoor Championships in Uppsala, winning the heptathlon with 6018 to move to fourth on the 2019 European lists behind van der Plaetsen (6132), Urena (6124) and Janek Oiglane (6085).
European U18 long jump champion Tilde Johansson won the pentathlon with 4201 points.
Storl surpasses 21-metre line in Rochlitz
Germany’s David Storl has the complete set of medals from the European Indoor Championships and regaining his gold medal will be his aim in Glasgow.
And his preparations took a giant leap towards repeating his success from Prague four years ago as the shot put star recorded a European lead of 21.26m in Rochlitz on Sunday.
That distance came in the second round of the special shot put meeting on what was a good day, too, for runner-up Bob Bertemes whose 20.85m was a national indoor record for Luxembourg.
The shot put will be a competitive event in Glasgow as the weekend showed. European U20 champion Marcus Thomsen won the Norwegian title with 20.36m in Haugesund, Asmir Kolasinac won Serbian title once again in Belgrade with 20.18m and world bronze medallist Stipe Zunic took the Croatian crown with 19.72m in Zagreb.
There could be double celebration for Germany in the shot put in Glasgow as Christina Schwanitz, who won European indoor gold in Gothenburg in 2013, showed good form with 19.12m from Sara Gambetta with 17.85m.
Another title contender for the women’s shot put in Glasgow is Radoslava Mavrodieva who won the Bulgarian indoor title with an outright lifetime best with 19.09m. Mavrodieva has made the podium at the last two editions of the European Indoor Championships but has yet to win the title.
Sprunger 52.19, Baumgart-Witan 52.13 over 400m
It was a busy weekend of adjustment on the women’s 400m lists. First in Magglingen on Saturday, Switzerland’s European 400m hurdles champion Lea Sprunger won in a world lead of 52.19 from Italy’s Ayomide Folorunso who ran an indoor personal best of 52.57.
But then on Sunday, Sprunger’s time was eclipsed as Poland’s Iga Baumgart-Witan won at the open meet in Spala in 52.13. This time could be the aim for Poland’s European 400m champion Justyna Swiety-Ersetic in Stockholm tonight.
Elsewhere, Can Ozupek stole the show on the second day of Turkish Indoor Championships in Istanbul on Sunday, winning the triple jump with a national record of 16.62m.