Schafer concludes season with heptathlon victory in Talence

Carolin Schafer
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Germany's Carolin Schafer finished her season with her second heptathlon victory of the summer campaign

There was also European success to toast in the heptathlon at the Decastar this weekend as Germany’s Carolin Schafer capped off another memorable season with victory in Talence.

Schafer led overnight in Talence and the European bronze medallist put together an accomplished second day to come away with victory with 6457 points. This also guaranteed Schafer her third successive victory in the season-long IAAF Combined Events Challenge.

After recording three no-throws in the shot put in Gotzis, Schafer rebounded with victory three weeks later in Ratingen with 6549 points. She followed that performance with bronze at the European Championships with a season’s best of 6602 points before underlining her consistency with victory in Talence with 6457 points.

After beginning her second day with 6.10m in the long jump, Schafer surpassed the 50 metre-line once again in the javelin with 51.58m before closing her campaign with 2:15.10 in the 800m - exactly one second shy of her lifetime best.  

Former world U18 champion Geraldine Ruckstuhl, 20, concluded her first season in the senior ranks by improving her Swiss record to 6391 points, finishing 10 points ahead of Czech Republic’s Katerina Cachova to ensure an all-European podium.

Hungary's Xenia Krizsan (6244), Estonia's Grit Sadeiko (6179) and Austria's Verena Preiner (6133) were also in excess of the 6000 point-barrier to finish fourth, fifth and sixth respectively.

Behind Kevin Mayer’s astonishing world record score of 9126 points, Germany’s Arthur Abele - the main beneficiary of Mayer’s faux pas at the European Championships - capped his season with a runner-up finish behind Mayer with 8310 points.

Abele has put together his most distinguished - and most complete season - at the age of 32. Having also won Ratingen with 8481 points as well as the European title (8431 points) on the road to Talence, Abele duly claimed the Combined Events Challenge title on the men’s side.

Abele’s teammate Tim Nowak - a former world and European U20 medallist in years gone by - finished third, improving his lifetime best to 8229 points.

Rocha improves to 2:25:27 in the Berlin Marathon

Portugal’s Carla Salome Rocha took the plaudits from a European standpoint in the BMW Berlin Marathon, a five-star certified road race by European Athletics Running for All, on Sunday (16).

Rocha ran a sizeable negative split of 71:46 to finish eighth in a lifetime best of 2:25:27, just missing Volha Mazuronak’s European-leading mark by two seconds.

Rocha’s time was the eleventh fastest time by a Portuguese athlete and she also came within two minutes of Rosa Mota’s national record of 2:23:29 which has stood since 1985.

On the men’s side, Bart van Nunen from the Netherlands was the top European finisher in tenth in 2:13:09.

At the Usti nad Labem Half Marathon on Saturday (15), another five-star certified road race by European Athletics Running for All, RunCzech regular Lilia Fisikovici was an excellent sixth in a Moldovan record of 70:45, the ninth fastest time by a European athlete in 2018.

Fisikovici, who won the Krakow Marathon earlier this season in 2:31:27, has also enjoyed ample success on the road of the Czech Republic this season. She won the Ceske Budejovice Half Marathon in June in 73:20 which was followed by a sixth-place finish in the Olomouc Half Marathon in a now-beaten national record of 71:43.

At the Balkan Half Marathon Championships in Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina on Sunday, there were individual titles for Turkey’s Aykut Tasdemir (68:01) and Serbian veteran Olivera Jevtic (74:46) as well as team success for their respective countries.

At the World Mountain Running Championships in Canillo, Andorra on Sunday (16), two-time European champion Maude Mathys from Switzerland was the only individual European senior medallist with silver in the senior women’s 12km behind Kenya’s Lucy Murigi - 1:04:55 to 1:06:00.

With three finishers inside the top-10 - including the Dematteis twins - Italy won team silver in the senior men’s race ahead of Norway and there were also silver and bronze medals for Great Britain and France in the senior women’s race.

In the U20 race, European U20 3000m steeplechase champion Lisa Oed demonstrated her versatility by winning individual silver behind Uganda’s Risper Chebet - 41:19 to 41:54.