Norwegian youngsters Rooth and Skotheim dominate the Multistars decathlon

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Still only 20, Markus Rooth smashed the Norwegian decathlon record at the Multistars in Grosseto on Sunday (1), a World Athletics Combined Events Tour Gold meeting.

Rooth tallied a European-leading score of 8307 points to lead a Norwegian one-two in the decathlon with his compatriot Sander Skotheim, 19, finishing a close second with 8298 points in his first decathlon as a senior. 

Both athletes surpassed the previous Norwegian record of 8228 points set by Martin Roe in 2018 and also achieved the European Athletics Championships qualifying standard which was set at 8100 points.

“I had a great decathlon with some ups and downs. I am super excited, especially with my PB in the long jump and in the pole vault. I came from behind. I am not a first-day guy, but I tried to catch up at the end. I have now qualified for the European Championships in Munich and I would be excited with a good performance there,” Rooth told World Athletics.

Skotheim led overnight with 4370 points and showed excellent prowess in the jumps, achieving the best marks of the day in both the long jump (7.77m) and high jump (2.16m), the latter the best result of the competition by 12 centimetres.


Rooth was third overnight but the European U20 and U23 medallist moved up the leaderboard courtesy of brilliant marks in the discus (45.80m) and the pole vault (5.05m) and the 20-year-old held off a late charge from Skotheim in the 1500m for the biggest win of his career thus far.

Rooth set individual lifetime bests in five events while Skotheim achieved a near full house, coming away with nine individual personal bests. His score of 8298 points was also the second best mark achieved by a teeanger in a senior decathlon, bettered only by East Germany’s Torsten Voss with 8397 points.

After missing the vast majority of the 2021 season due to a back injury, Annik Kalin made a brilliant comeback with victory in the heptathlon with 6398 points to eclipse Geraldine Ruckstuhl’s previous Swiss record by seven points.

Kalin led overnight with 3715 points and the 2019 European U20 bronze medallist extended her lead handsomely with a 6.55m long jump and a 49.11m javelin before concluding her campaign with 2:20.45 in the 800m to win by almost 400 points from Italy’s Sveva Gerevini with 6011 points.

Kalin easily surpassed the qualifying standard for the European Athletics Championships which stands at 6250 points and the 22-year-old will be hoping to achieve the World Athletics Championships qualifying standard of 6420 points in Gotzis later this month. 

Both winners were presented with their trophies by Ukrainian multi-events greats Hanna Kasyanova and Oleksiy Kasyanov.

Elsewhere around Europe...

Recently crowned world indoor long jump champion Miltiadis Tentoglou from Greece opened his season with a leap of 8.05m into a 1.2 m/s headwind at the Greek Inter-Clubs in Athens. World indoor fourth-placer Marija Vukovic from Montenegro also cleared 1.90m in the high jump.

British international discus thrower Lawrence Okoye threw 65.49m on his season's opener in Winchester and European indoor 4x400m silver medallist Jessie Knight clocked 36.96 in the 300m hurdles and 55.46 in the 400m hurdles in Carshalton

Notable performances by European athletes on Saturday included Linda Olivieri clocked an Italian best in the non-standard 300m hurdles of 38.86 in Milan while Olympic Games 4x100m gold medallist Fausto Desalu won the 150m in national best of 15.07 (+1.3), although the Italian legend Pietro Mennea ran a hand-timed 14.8 back in 1983.

In the Spanish city of Lleida, long jumper Jaime Guerra added 12 centimetres to his personal best with a leap of 8.08m while further south in Andujar, reigning European 20km race walk champion Maria Perez set a Spanish record in the 5000m race walk on the track with 20:28.17 and Cyprus’ Filippa Fotopoulou reached 6.61m for a long jump personal best.

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