The Estonian contingent prevailed at the European Combined Events Team Championships in Lutsk, Ukraine last July but the travelling Ukrainian cohort dominated the pentathlon at the Indoor Combined Events Meeting in Tallinn, a European Athletics Indoor Classic Permit Meeting, this weekend.
The lead in the pentathlon changed hands through the course of the day but Alina Shukh, the 2017 European U20 heptathlon champion, overturned a deficit of eleven points after the long jump to win the pentathlon with 4518 points. Still only 20, this was Shukh’s third victory in Tallinn after triumphing in 2017 with a world U20 record of 4542 points and in 2018 with 4375 points.
Shukh closed the programme by winning the 800m in 2:16.60, leading the Ukrainians to a clean sweep in the pentathlon. Former world heptathlon champion Hanna Kasyanova, who led after surpassing the 14 metre-line with 14.11m in the shot put, finished second with 4449 points. Now 36, this was the first time Kasyanova has completed a combined events competition since Talence in 2016.
Rimma Buinenko led proceedings albeit by a narrow margin after reaching out to 6.16m in the long jump but she fell behind her more illustrious compatriots in the last event on the programme, clocking 2:28.58 in the 800m to drop back to third overall with 4360 points.
In the heptathlon, only seventeen points separated European indoor champion Jorge Urena and Estonia’s Risto Lillemets after the pole vault but the Spaniard cushioned his margin with a 2:42.62 performance in the 1000m, finishing seven seconds ahead of second-placer Lillemets in 2:49.83.
Urena just missed Johannes Erm’s world leading mark of 6114 points, accruing 6091 points across the two days. Lillemets added almost 200 points to his lifetime best, although he fell short of the 6000 points-barrier by an agonising margin with 5996 points.
Even so, Lillemets might have been surprised to finish his two days as the leading Estonian finisher with world decathlon silver medallist Maicel Uibo making a late decision to compete in Tallinn. After travelling in from the Bahamas at short notice, Uibo finished fourth overall with 5924 points, topping the individual standings as expected in both the high jump with 2.11m and pole vault with 5.20m.
Ukraine’s former two-time world indoor silver medallist Oleksiy Kasyanov, the husband of Hanna Kasyanova who placed second in the pentathlon, finished in between the two Estonians in third with 5958 points.
Full results here.