Götzis, Austria - 25-26 May
Photos kindly provided by Trackpic
The 45th annual edition of the famed Hypomeeting in Gotzis, Austria heralded the next step in the career of talented Queenslander Ashley Moloney. The world junior champion took on the world's best in the decathlon and after a stunning first day was in second place behind Olympic bronze medallist Damian Warner.
A solid second day saw him slip to 13th place overall, but not before amassing 8038 points to become just the ninth junior athlete in history to break the 8000 point barrier using senior implements.
Moloney almost scored an upset over national champion Cedric Dubler, leading his compatriot until the final event. However, with a 4:29.69 run over the 1500m Dubler shot past Moloney, but fell an agonising 15 points short of the qualifying standard for the World Championships in Doha, with a score of 8185 points.
The Hypomeeting is a mecca for multi-eventers and was earlier this month announced as a recipient of an IAAF Heritage Plaque at the same event that lauded the Stawell Gift. The town of just 10,000 people located in the west of Austria has hosted the world's best for 45 years and produces some of the best competitions outside of major championships, including the notable 9026 point World Record by Roman Sebrle in 2001.
The standard was high from the outset this year, with Damian Warner setting a new Decathlon 100m world best in the opening event with a run of 10.12 seconds. Moloney also made a sensational start, with his 10.41 second clocking one of three personal bests he recorded in the individual disciplines (the others being a 14.24 second run in the 110m hurdles and a 56.19m throw of the javelin).
At the end of the first day Moloney, capped off by a 46.97 second 400m, had a score of 4436 points, 185 points ahead of Dubler. But with a stronger second day, highlighted by a 14.21 second 110m hurdles run and a 4.90m clearance in the pole vault, Dubler was within striking distance come the 1500m and ran some 30 seconds faster than Moloney. It was Dubler's second best career performance behind his personal best of 8229 points set at last year's national championships.
Also in action was Celeste Mucci in the heptathlon. She opened the competition well with a personal best of 13.02 seconds in the 100m hurdles to move to equal fifth on the Australian all-time list. It's good company to share, with 1984 Olympic gold medallist Glynis Nunn-Cearns.
Mucci also recorded a personal best of 24.05 seconds in the final event of the first day of competition, the 200m, to have a score of 3592 points.
Unfortunately the second day didn't go as well for the 19-year-old Victorian, with a 6.06m long jump and 39.23m javelin throw being somewhat below her personal bests of 6.35m and 44.28m, respectively. Mucci did not start the final event, the 800m.
The event was taken out by Great Britain's Katarina Johnson-Thompson in a new personal best and world leading mark of 6816 points.