Erm establishes decathlon lead after three events in Gävle

Johannes Erm
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Estonia's Johannes Erm set a championship best in the long jump and just missed his lifetime best in the shot put at the Gavle 2019 European Athletics U23 Championships

The decathlon began with championship bests in both the 100m and the long jump on the third morning of competition at the Gavle 2019 European Athletics U23 Championships.

Fresh from setting a lifetime best of 20.79 in the 200m last week, Manuel Eitel took advantage of a 1.9 m/s tailwind to stop the clock at 10.42 - his second fastest time in a decathlon - ahead of Artem Makarenko (10.70) and France’s Makenson Gletty (10.73).

American-based Estonian Johannes Erm began his day with a lifetime best of 10.73 to finish fourth in the same heat as Eitel before flirting with the eight metre-line in the long jump, reaching out to a championship best of 7.97m which was only one centimetre shy of his lifetime best.

This took Erm, who studies engineering at the University of Georgia, into a 100-plus point lead after two events. He was also in near lifetime best form in the shot put with 14.66m in the second round (his PB stands at 14.69m) which brought his tally to 2744 points to further extend his lead.

Eitel performed solidly in the next two events - 7.13m in the long jump and 14.43m in the shot put - and he is second after three events with 2594 points. Eitel’s teammate Niklas Kaul, the reigning European U20 champion, isn’t the most renowned of first day performers but he climbed up to fifth on the leaderboard with 2500 points courtesy of a lifetime best of 15.19m in the shot put.

Kaul also set a 11.17 PB in the 100m and just missed his long jump PB with 7.26m.

Kpatcha smashes lifetime best in long jump qualifying

Only two athletes achieved the automatic qualifying distance of 6.40m in the long jump. It was not a surprise to see a French athlete at the top of the standings but unexpectedly it was Hilary Kpatcha who achieved the best result across the two pools with a twenty centimetre lifetime best of 6.81m. 

Kpatcha’s teammate Yanis David, who won the NCAA title with a European U23 leading mark of 6.84m, was the most surprising non-qualifier. The reigning champion’s best mark of the day was 5.82m.

By contrast all of the prospective medal contenders qualified for the men’s high jump with 2.16m, including European silver medallist Maksim Nedasekau from Belarus and Greece’s world U20 champion Adonios Merlos.

All of the leading teams qualified safely for the men’s 4x400m final. The two heats were won by Germany (3:05.72) and Italy (3:06.90) respectively while Switzerland set a national U23 record of 3:08.59 to qualify on time. 

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