Late entrant Uibo poised to challenge Urena in Tallinn

Jorge Urena
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Spain's Jorge Urena celebrates his victory in the heptathlon at the Glasgow 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships

An already strong field for the heptathlon at the Indoor Combined Events Meeting, a European Athletics Indoor Classic Permit Meeting, in Tallinn this weekend has been further embellished by the late inclusion of world decathlon silver medallist and home favourite Maicel Uibo.

Uibo didn’t contest a heptathlon last year but the Estonian was ultra-consistent at a very high level during the outdoor season, finishing on the podium in his three decathlons. 

After finishing third in Gotzis (8353 points), Uibo improved to second at the European Combined Events Team Championships Super League in Lutsk (8181 points) before winning silver at the World Championships behind Germany’s Niklas Kaul with a lifetime best of 8604 points.

Uibo will be looking to follow in the footsteps of teammate Janek Oiglane who won this meeting twelve months ago but the 25-year-old will face two international rivals who are especially proficient across the indoor seven event format.

The line-up includes Spain’s reigning European indoor heptathlon champion Jorge Urena and veteran Ukrainian Oleksiy Kasyanov, who won silver medals behind world record-holder Ashton Eaton at the 2012 and 2016 World Indoor Championships.

Based on lifetime bests, only 16 points separate the three leading protagonists: Uibo (6265 points), Kasyanov (6254 points) and Urena (6249 points). The line-up also features two more performers who have surpassed the 6000 point-barrier in Karl Robert Saluri from Estonia (6051 points) and France’s Ruben Gado (6014 points).

There is a strong Ukrainian theme to the pentathlon line-up with Hanna Kasyanova (4748 points), Alina Shukh (4602 points), Rimma Buinenko (4323 points) and Daryna Sloboda (4322 points) among the leading six entrants based on lifetime best performances.

Kasyanova has the best lifetime best score from this quartet, although her mark does date back some eight years in terms of antiquity. By contrast Shukh, the 2017 European U20 heptathlon champion, achieved her lifetime best score only seven days ago. 

The leading non-Ukrainian entrant in the pentathlon is the highly rated Spaniard Maria Vicente, who succeeded Shukh as the European U18 and U20 heptathlon champion. 

Vicente surpassed Shukh’s world U18 heptathlon best at the 2018 European Athletics U18 Championships in Gyor and the Ukrainian’s world indoor U20 record of 4542 points could also be within Vicente’s capacity. Two of her best events are the 60m hurdles (8.35) and the long jump (6.49m).

World U20 heptathlon bronze medallist Adrianna Sulek from Poland is another standout international performer in action this weekend.

Last year’s pentathlon was won by Latvia’s Laura Ikauniece with a score of 4454 points. 

The event will be streamed live here and on the Estonian Athletics Association Facebook page. The timetable and live results can be found here.