Norway’s Sander Skotheim dominated the heptathlon at the Tallinn 2024 World Athletics Combined Events Tour Silver meeting this weekend, winning in the Estonian capital for the second year in a row.
The European indoor silver medallist won with a total of 6281 points, the second best score of his career behind his Norwegian record of 6318 points from Istanbul 2023 last year when he won silver behind Kevin Mayer.
Skotheim excelled in the jumps again with individual performances of 7.83m in the long jump for an outright lifetime best, 2.09m in the high jump and 5.04m in the pole vault.
The 21-year-old, who led after the first day with 101 points, ended up winning by exactly 300 points from Czech Republic’s Vilem Strasky (5981 points) with Lithuania’s Edgaras Benkunskas third with 5871 points.
In the context of the Estonian Championships, Hans-Christian Hausenberg won the national title after finishing fourth overall with 5774 points.
In the pentathlon, Ukraine’s Yuliya Loban held on for the overall victory and was also rewarded with a lifetime best of 4537 points.
Loban gritted out an indoor lifetime best of 2:18.44 in the 800m which proved just enough to hold off Sweden’s Bianca Salming who clocked 2:15.87 to close the gap to four points.
The Swede’s overall score of 4533 points was also a lifetime best, smashing her previous mark of 4422 points which dated back to 2020.
Germany’s Vanessa Grimm was third with 4494 points while Croatia’s precocious all-round talent Jana Koscak - who still has two seasons left as an U20 athlete - finished sixth with a Croatian record of 4436 points.
Katrin Sofia Palm finished ninth overall and won the Estonian title with a lifetime best of 4315 points.
Wightman back on track with second in Boston
Following a year of competitive inactivity due to injury, 2022 world 1500m gold medallist Jake Wightman returned to the track at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in Boston with an indoor personal best.
The British athlete finished second in the 1500m in 3:34.06, just four-tenth behind world road mile champion Hobbs Kessler (USA) at the World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold event on Sunday (4).
Nonetheless, it was a satisfactory return to action for the British athlete - also a European 800m silver medallist two years ago - who will be looking to get back into the championship medal mix this summer.
Ireland’s European 800m bronze medallist Mark English took on the rarely run 600m and was rewarded with victory in a national record of 1:16:64, edging out Puerto Rico’s John Rivera by just 0.03.
In the field, Great Britain’s Jacob Fincham-Dukes, fifth at the Munich 2022 European Athletics Championships equalled his lifetime best, placing second in the long jump with 8.08m.
Elsewhere around Europe…
Belgium’s Pieter Sisk won the 1000m at the IFAM Indoor Meeting in Gent, a World Athletics Indoor Tour Bronze meeting, on Saturday (3) in a Belgian indoor record of 2:17.17. His time was a world lead until Canada’s Marco Arop clocked 2:14.74 in Boston on Sunday evening.
World 4x400m champion Cathelijn Peeters from the Netherlands won the individual 400m in 52.51 and Belgium’s Rani Rosius clocked 7.21 in the 60m heat before winning the 60m final in 7.29. There were also notable wins for Tibo de Smet in the 800m in 1:47.13 and 2021 European indoor champion Elisa Vanderelst in the 1500m in 4:07.96.
Zane Weir and Leonardo Fabbri took an Italian one-two in the men’s shot put at the Rochlitz Shot Put Meeting, a World Athletics Indoor Tour Challenger event, with 21.38m and 21.06m respectively.
China’s Gong Lijiao won the women’s shot put competition with 19.66m ahead of Germany’s world finalist Yemisi Ogunleye with 19.44m - the third best mark of her career.
At the Dutch Indoor Combined Events Championships in Apeldoorn, European U23 silver medallist Sofie Dokter scored 4553 points to win the pentathlon title while Sven Jansons won the heptathlon title with 6025 points.
Serbia’s Angelina Topic was the star on home soil at the Balkan Indoor U20 Championships, winning both the high jump (1.85m) and long jump (6.41m) titles.
Rising Croatian stars Roko Farkas - who is also a promising combined eventer - won the 60m title in 6.71 and Mia Wild took victories in both the women’s 60m (7.35) and 60m hurdles (8.21).