GOTZIS: -31May04- Kluft, Sebrle brilliant winners

Kluft and Sebrle Prevail in 30th Hypomeeting
Monday 31 May 2004
Götzis, Austria - Carolina Kluft and Roman Sebrle maintained their leadership on the second day of the 30th edition of the Hypomeeting Götzis, but it took Sebrle’s second best score to win the competition.

At the end of the first day of competition, Sweden’s Carolina Kluft was a clear leader, with a 269 point advantage over her nearest opponent, Ukraine’s Natalya Dobrynska, three events later, the young Swede had improved her margin to 414 points, with Great Britain’s Kelly Sotherton moving ahead of Dobrynska to take second place.

Natalya Dobrynska High Jumps 1.80

Throughout the women’s competition, Kluft had asserted her supremacy over the rest of the field, never once ceding the pole position as she performed well within her own limits and well ahead of the rest of the field.

Starting with a clear win in the 100 hurdles on Saturday (13.24 for 10.89 pts), Kluft went on to win the High Jump with 1.89m (1093 pts), take third in the shot put with a second attempt of 14.20 metres ((807 pts), first in the 200 metres with 23.27 (1052), first in the long jump with a magnificent second jump of 6.72 worth 1079, fifth in the javelin throw with a second round throw of 45.20 worth 767, topping off her heptathlon with a third place overall in the 800 m, running the two laps in 2:12.21 for a final 933 points and a final total of 6820.

Great Britain’s Kelly Sotherton was a credible second with 6406 points, while the surprise of the day was Ukraine’s Natalya Dobrynska with 6387.

Roman Sebrle Javelin throw

“I am very happy,” said Kluft afterwards. “It was a great competition with a fantastic crowd and great competitors. If anything, I was not happy with my javelin throw, but overall everything went well. The other girls are fantastic and it is a wonderful atmosphere here.

“Now I am looking forward to getting home to celebrate with my sister who graduated yesterday and then to my first Olympics.”

Kelly Sotherton scored a personal best of 6406 points to finish second to Kluft. Sotherton recorded lifetime bests in five events to improve sensationally on her previous best of 6059 points from last season’s Spar European Cup and to move up to second place in the current world lists. Her most noticeable improvement was a 40.81m javelin throw. “Unbelievable, considering it’s a week since she extended her personal best to 35m and it’s only two years since she threw 27m at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester,” said Sotherton’s coach Charles Van Commenee, speaking to UK Athletics web site. “This is the result of really hard work throughout the winter. She has been working with Denise Lewis, getting inspiration from the Olympic Champion, and I think this result shows she is going in the right direction.”

Tom Pappas Pole vaulting in Goetzis

Equally impressive, 22 year old Ukrainian Dobrynska, who improved her personal best from hr August 2002 PB of 5936 (Donetsk, 19 August) to 6387.

Although the men’s competition was a lot more closely fought throughout the two days, with the lead changing a number of times, the final winner, Czech Republic’s Roman Sebrle, the 29 year old World record holder was very happy with his performance as her recorded the second highest score of his career, with a total of 8842 points.

The Czech was particularly impresive in the Javelin throw, with a 71.10 metre throw that hauled him back to the front of the pack after an impressive pole vault (5.20) by Pappas, and a below-par performance by Sebrle in that event had momentarily put the American in the lead.

Dmitriy Karpov in the 100m Hurdles

“I am very pleased overall,” he said. “Any score over 8800 is always good and generally I am pleased with the way that I performed over the weekend.

“2003 was not such a good year, I had injury problems and was unable to perform at my best, but this year is going very well: I am healthy and that is what counts.

“I am happy to win here and very happy with my score. There are certain areas that are not 100% - for example I was running faster and jumping further in Budapest – but I have improved my throws, I feel a lot stronger there.

“Now I need to do some more speed work. I have become stronger, but I do not want to increase my strength any further. Now it is important to get faster.

“So far as Athens is concerned, no problems. I came back from altitude training in South Africa rather late now, so that is something that I know for the future. Now I will be training in Tata. I know that so long as I stay healthy, I will be able to produce a much better performance in Athens and that is what I am looking forward to.

“ I was very impressed by Dmitriy Karpov. He has a few problem areas – for example he has a very poor javelin throw, but that is something that he can work on, and I am sure that he can be a real danger in the future.”

Tom Pappas was happy overall with his second place performance.

“Generally I am very pleased with the way things went. My score was good and I had no major problems.

“I think that the only things that went really wrong for me were my foul in the long jump and the 400 metres, where I went out way too fast and paid for it in the finish where I was just done completely. I am very pleased with my pole vault after the operation that I had on my shoulder and my javelin went well too, so now I can look forward to Athens.”

All in all, this was a thrilling edition of the Hypomeeting and a worthy celebration for Konrad Lerch and his team.