Germany’s 2013 European U23 decathlon champion Kai Kazmirek put together a world-leading heptathlon total of 6111 points to take the honours for the second year in succession at the annual International Combined Events Meeting, the seventh of this winter’s nine European Athletics Indoor Permit Meetings, in the Estonian capital of Tallinn this weekend.
He won his 60m heat in the second fastest time of Saturday morning, clocking 7.04 in the Lasnamäe Kergejõustikuhall and only behind the 6.84 recorded by his 19-year-old compatriot Manuel Eitel in a separate race; just 0.03 away from his personal best set in this meeting 12 months ago.
Kazmirek stayed in second place after the long jump as the prodigious Eitel, a likely medal contender in the decathlon at the world junior championships this summer, flew out to a personal best of 7.53m, although Kazmirek was not far behind with a solid mark of 7.47m.
In the shot put, Kazmirek reached 14.53m while Eitel achieved a career best of 13.19m with the senior implement, and the latter able to hang onto the lead with a total of 2561 but only by three points.
Kazmirek finally took the lead after the fourth and final event on the first day, when he cleared 2.08m – the equal second best height behind local multi-events specialist Mikk Meerentz, who went over 2.14m – to finish the day with a total of 3434 points.
Helped by the best shot put of the day at 15.20m and a 2.05m high jump, Mathias Brugger was second overnight but 105 points in arrears of Kazmirek while Eitel had a disappointing high jump and could only get over his opening height of 1.84m and slipped down to seventh place.
Kazmirek added to his lead at the start of the second day on Sunday when he was the fastest man in the 60m hurdles with 8.02, just 0.02 shy of his personal best, to take his tally to 4411 points after five events.
A 4.85 pole vault clearance, although disappointing by his own standards as he has a best of 5.20m, as good as clinched the win in Tallinn for Kazmirek with only Brugger better at 5.05m.
The German was then left to come home in the 1000m in 2:43:47, finishing fourth as Brugger put together another individual event win and crossed the line in 2:38:06, which reduced Kamirek’s advantage by 60 points but he still had to settle for second with 6060 points.
Kazmirek’s win in Tallinn should be enough to secure an invitation to contest the IAAF World Indoor Championships Portland 2016 heptathlon.
Two years ago, when the world indoor championships were held in the Polish city of Sopot, Kazmirek finished sixth.
In the women’s pentathlon in Tallinn, Kazmirek’s compatriot Claudia Rath romped to victory by more than 300 points with a personal best total of 4688 points, the second best in the world this year and an addition of seven points to her previous best which she set when finishing fifth at the last world indoor championships.
Rath quickly established her leadership credentials when she was the fastest 60m hurdler with 8.45, just 0.02 outside her personal best.
She was also the winner of the high jump competition, equalling her indoor best of 1.81m to consolidate her lead and give her 2019 points after two events.
After 12.85m in the shot put, her weakest event, Rath slipped back to third with 2736 points; lying behind Lithuania’s two-time world indoor championships bronze medallist Austra Skujyte, who won the shot put with 16.12m to take her total to 2828 points, and Switzerland’s Michelle Zeltner with 2763 points.
However, Rath is an outstanding long jumper and she showed it in Tallinn by leaping to 6.40m, just four centimetres shy of her indoor best while Skujyte could only manage a modest 5.84m.
It took Rath’s tally to 3738 points with just one event remaining, 109 points in front of Skujyte.
Like Kazimirek, knowing Rath’s talent in the final event relative to her rivals, only injury or a major surprise in the 800m could deprive her of victory.
However, nothing of this nature occurred as she sped around the four laps of the track in an indoor best of 2:09:19, more than nine seconds faster than anybody else, to secure a comfortable victory.
Zellner scored well in the final event, running 2:21:40 for fifth place, to finish second overall with 4369 points and equalling her national record set two years ago in Bordeaux.