Doha 2019 Countdown: Part Four

Doha 2019 Countdown: Part Four


Devon is one of two athletes in the World Championships field from Georgia’s “Decathlon Academy”. He didn’t have the greatest start to his first decathlon of the year in Götzis, finishing 19th with 7924, but by the time he got to the US Championships in Des Moines a few months later he was able to add over 350 points to blaze past the Doha qualifying with 8295, winning the competition ahead of Harrison Williams and Solomon Simmons.  His ten events in Des Moines included new marks in pole vault, discus and javelin, and he participated in the hurdles, shot and long jump at the Paris Diamond league “triathlon” in August.  There might be two Williams in the Doha decathlon field but there is also a Williams in the heptathlon field – Devon’s sister Kendell – and the siblings will be embarking on a parallel hunt for medals. 

Photo credit: Michel Fisquet, Team Photo


This is Janek’s third world championships, and his high point was in the 2017 competition in London where he finished 4th, beyond his expectations, with a PB of 8371.  2018 was a write-off with injury but in 2019 he has returned faster and stronger and determined to chase down a qualifying mark to make the trip to Doha. Götzis, his first decathlon since the World Championships brought 8050 points, Lutsk a few weeks later was 7996 while helping Estonia to the overall match win, but finally the 8200+ score came at the Estonian Championships at the end of July with 8251, along with a PR double in the shot (15.38) and the javelin (72.38).

Photo credit: Olavi Kaljunen, Trackpic


After an indoor season that was curtailed with injury and an ongoing achilles niggle, Kai’s season has gone from strength to strength.  A qualifying score in 2019, as required to make the German team, was achieved in Götzis, but a snapped pole affected his competition from that point forward and he had to make do with 8224 in 6th.  No such problems the following month in Ratingen, however, as he laid down a big 8444, which included a long jump PB of 7.74 and a 400m of 46.81 to beat Erki Nool’s stadium record, to end up 6th in the world this year going into the World Championships. Kai joined Tim Nowak for a few test events at the recent Thorpe Cup competition, participating in discus and pole vault, achieving 5.10 in the latter. This is also Kai’s third world championships – he was 6th in Beijing in the year that Ashton Eaton scored 9045, and he took home the bronze medal in 2017 in London.

Photo credit: Bjorn Paree


Vitaly has had a busy year, competing at the European Indoors in March, Götzis, Talence and Lutsk. He had already qualified for Doha on the basis of his score when winning bronze at the European Championships in Berlin in 2018, but has used the 2019 season to improve his sprints, setting new 100, 200 and 400 PBs, and his throws, with new marks in the shot and discus.  Vitaly’s jumps brought more drama, however, as the solid Belarussian no-heighted in the high jump in Götzis and no heighted in the pole vault in Talence. He won the thrilling individual decathlon competition in Lutsk ahead of Maicel Uibo, competing alongside the legendary Andrei Krauchanka in the Belarussian team.

Photo credit: Michel Fisquet, Team Photo

• 2019 European Indoors review
• 2019 Götzis preview
• 2019 Götzis review
• 2019 Talence preview
• 2019 Talence review
• 2019 Ratingen preview
• 2019 Ratingen review
• 2019 Thorpe Cup review



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