Torun 2021 Countdown: Risto Lillemets
Each day in the run up to the 2021 European Indoor Championships in Toruń, Decathlonpedia will feature some of the athletes competing in the heptathlon. Today we focus on the top Estonian in the decathlon in 2020, and indoors in 2021, Risto Lillemets.
This will be Risto’s first time at the European Indoors, and like Rik Taam and Simon Ehammer, he has recently added his first 6000+ score indoors to his first 8000+ score outdoors, becoming the 11th Estonian in history to go over 6000 points.
He had an excellent outdoor season in 2020, despite the lockdown. In August he undertook a solo decathlon at the Estonian championships and scored 8133. That was a revenge PB after he had been on track to go +8000 for the first time a few weeks earlier, but no-heighted in the pole vault. Later in the year, he finished in third place in Réunion behind Kevin Mayer with 7993 points.
The indoor season has continued where the outdoor season left off for Risto, and he leapt to the top of the world lists at the time with his 6089 points achieved when winning the Tallinn Combined Events competition in February.
Risto is a good high jumper (2.09) and vaulter (5.10) and an excellent thrower, with a 15m shot put indoors. And the 23-year-old is getting faster and faster, going under 7 seconds for the first time for the 60m this year, and likewise setting a PB of 8.07 in the hurdles in January.
While Risto has been in the top 4 in the world lists all season, initially it seemed that he would not be able to go to the European Indoors, since two Estonians - Maicel Uibo and Janek Õiglane - were already invited on the basis of their 2019 decathlon scores, and there is a cap of 2 athletes per country. However, both other men withdrew due to injury, giving Risto the opportunity to represent one of the world’s best decathlon nations in Toruń.
Original photo: Marko Mumm for Estonian Athletics