Tendencies in combined-events for Munich
In light of the European Championships in Munich (6-11 August) the stamping ground for decathlon and heptathlon has already been demarcated with the "ruhrgas DLV (German Athletics Association) combined-events in Ratingen as well as the contest in Götzis at the beginning of June and the favourites have also been cast. Most of the athletes are now concentrating on the main continental event of the season.
Roman Sebrle (Foto: Chai)World record holder, Roman Sebrle, left no doubt about his role as favourite with his double victory and 8,800 points in Vorarlberg and 8,701 points in Ratingen. The ambassador of the European Championship emphasised: "For me the European Championship is the only thing that counts this year. I'm getting ready for it. I want to be on top form and really want to win. In the current European top list Serble is followed by the Ukrainian Alexandr Yurkov (8,226), Lev Lobodin from Russia (8,433) and Jon Arnar Magnusson from Iceland (8,390.); all three are likely medallists in Munich.
Tomas Dvorak stood in the shaddow
In Ratingen world record holder Tomas Dvorak stood in the shaddow of his fellow countryman Roman Sebrle. In the end his 8,226 points only served to achieve the EC norm. "I haven't reached my best condition yet, he reflected self-critically. "I have to train over and over again. But by no means should the 29-year-old be written off.
The same applies to the Olympic champion Erki Nool. He set his stakes too high in Ratingen and only achieved a "salto nullo with his best discipline, pole vault. If everything had gone smoothly he could have ranked second after Sebrle with between 8,500 and 8,600 points. On the other hand, the European Championships as a home game for the German Frank Busemann must be called off. Once again he injured himself in Ratingen and will probably only appear in the role as a co-commentator on TV.
German women are top
The German ladies heptathlete team is currently the measure of all things in Europe after the Russians Yelena Prokhorova and Natalja Roshchupkina injured themselves as did Eunice Barber (FRA); the British Olympic champion, Denise Lewis, gave birth in the spring.
Sabine Braun (6,299) who - after she had come first in Ratingen - had her ticket for the European Championship safely tied up, Kathleen Gutjahr (6,222) and Sonja Kesselschläger (6,205) are top of this year's European ranking from first to third position after they fulfilled the DLV norm of 6,200 points. The Portuguese athlete, Naide Gomes, comes fourth with her country record of 6,160 points before the aspiring Julie Hollman (6,135) from United Kingdom.