Multistars 2019: Preview
If the World Championships in Doha is the 1500m of a long decathlon season, then Multistars this coming weekend is the 100m that gets the action underway. The first meeting of the 2019 edition of the IAAF Combined Events Challenge has moved from its previous home in Firenze to the beautiful Tyrolean town of Lana.
Victory at Multistars in 2018 was significant for Martin Roe, not only because he set a Norwegian record, but because his winning mark qualified him automatically for the European Indoor Championships in Glasgow almost a year later. Roe was in great form eight weeks ago in Scotland and will be returning to Multistars for his opening decathlon of 2019.
So far in 2019 there have been four 8000+ scores, including the world lead of 8130 by 18-year old Puerto Rican Ayden Owens and 8112 from NCAA indoor champion Harrison Williams, both set at the recent Bryan Clay Invitational in California. But the honour of the first decathlete to score over 8000 this year belonged to Estonia’s Karl-Robert Saluri with 8060, and while he is aiming for Götzis, his Estonian teammates Kristjan Rosenberg, Taavi Tšernjavski and Risto Lillemets will be participating in Multistars. Between them, the trio emerged with eight personal bests during the 2018-19 indoor season, and Taavi in particular has a good record at Multistars, finishing third last year while setting his current best of 7873.
As is the case for Estonia, it can seem that there are simply not enough competitions to showcase the full range of German talent in decathlon. After an indoor season that witnessed the breakthroughs of Andreas Bechmann and Manuel Eitel, it is the turn of Tim Nowak and Mathias Brugger to bring the German challenge to Multistars. Tim also had a good competition at the German indoor championships in Halle in January, during his short indoor season.
As ever, Multistars enjoys a strong South American contingent, including 2017 winner Jefferson Santos from Brazil, and the monster throws of Colombian José Gregorio Lemus. British interest comes in the form of Scot Andrew Murphy, hot off his Scottish indoor record of 5628, beating the mark that had stood since 1999.
And 1999 is the year in which the youngest participant in the field, Austrian Moritz Hummer, was born and he competes for the first time at Multistars. With an eye to those in the field eligible to compete in the European Under 23 Championships in Sweden in July, the Belgian duo Jean Baptiste Nutte and Dimitri Montilla have also been in sparkling form in the last few weeks.
Multistars would not be Multistars in recent years without Simone Cairoli, and he is joined by fellow Italian decathletes Andrea Petazzi and Alex Verginer.
And of course, three of the Decathlonpedia team will be in attendance at Multistars for the first time, two competing, one writing. Our own Reinis Krēgers starts his outdoor season for 2019 and there is a welcome return to competition for Adam Sebastian Helcelet, heading a typically solid Czech team that also includes Jan Doležal and Marek Lukáš.
You can find Adam, Reinis, Jan and Marek enjoying the sunshine of Italy in the photograph above; and you can find the full start lists here.