Shooting star Leo Neugebauer started strongly in the decathlon at the IAAF World Championships in Budapest, and was greeted from the top after three competitions. Despite his hip problems, European champion Niklas Kaul is in fine shape. Defending champion Kevin Mayer surrendered.
Neugebauer dominated the court in the long jump and shot put, with 8.00m and 17.04m being personal bests. This year’s World Player of the Year blasted across the court like a pinball after the first eight-meter jump of his career and put in a thrilling display all morning. With 2,908 points, the 23-year-old is now leading.
Driven by family and friends
“I’m happy and having a lot of fun,” said the German record holder, who studies and trains in the United States, of the athletic performance. “I’m just trying to enjoy it. My family and friends are finally in the audience, I have most of the competitions in America and I’m glad they’re there.”
No sign of pressure: With a wide smile, the college student, who has his own YouTube channel, paused to take selfies and easily attract fans.
Cowell: “I’m not at the World Cup yet”
Cowell ranks nineteenth with 2449 points, and when he won the World Cup in Doha 2019 he had only seven points at the same time. In contrast to Neugebauer, the man from Mainz has his greatest strengths on the second day.
The best athlete in Germany for this year was able to cover a distance of 14.85 meters in the shot put in the last attempt, which is a good performance, especially since the 2019 world champion suffered a slight thigh injury in the long jump (7.16 meters). “It was a bit difficult when jumping and now the physiotherapist will have to control it for the high jump later. It would be bad if the left hip got pinched,” explained the 25-year-old.
The European champions weren’t entirely happy with their performance so far. “I haven’t been to the World Cup finals yet, which bothers me a bit,” he added. “The performances are good, but it’s not enough for the World Cup.”
Manuel Eitel, who made his debut at the World Championships from Ulm (2616), takes 11th place. Fourth place at the European Indoor Championships with 8351 points at Götzis in May. Canadian Olympic champion Damien Warner (2812) finished second, almost 100 points ahead of the excellently shaped Neugebauer. The third is Pierce Lepage (Canada) with 2784 points.
title holder World record holder Meyer surrenders
Kevin Mayer withdrew after the long jump due to Achilles tendon problems. The defending champion and world record holder had already placed the probability of completing the decathlon at less than 50 percent. “I couldn’t be 100 percent fit because of this injury,” said the 31-year-old, who is looking forward to next year’s Olympics. “Paris is my top priority and I don’t want to risk anything.”
Neugebauer and Kaul medal contender
Neugebauer ran the 100m in 10.69 seconds and was therefore close to his personal best (10.61), while Cowell ran a season record of 11.20 seconds. Eitel started very well in his first major international competition with a time of 10.44 seconds. The day continues from 6:30 pm with the high jump (in the live feed on Sportschau.de), followed by the 400m sprint at the end of the first day.
Kaul and Neugebauer are among the German medal favorites in Budapest. His experience speaks for the collector of the title Kaul, and for the German record holder Neugebauer his negligence. With his national record score of 8,836 points, Neugebauer tops the annual world best, and Kaul is ninth with 8,484 points from Ratingen.
The record set by 39-year-old Jürgen Hengsen has been broken
With his home court coup in Austin/Texas at the beginning of June, which propelled him to eighth place in the all-time list of the best in the world in the top discipline, Neugebauer achieved personal bests in the 100m and 400m events as well as in the pole vault, long jump, discus and javelin throw He broke the 39-year-old German decathlon record set by Jürgen Hengsen. The 23-year-old said the competition showed him how much more he still had: “Simply because it wasn’t a perfect decathlete.”
After eight fights, Neugebauer is the best all-around fighter of all time in his best competition to date. In the unpopular disciplines javelin and 1500m, Cowell can snatch more than 600 points in the finish. The 2019 World Champion is strong in both and is always in contention for first place.
However, the challenge will not be easy for either of them. Eight decathlon riders have already crossed the 8,500-point mark this season. The second day on Saturday is broadcast live from 10.05am on the first day and on Sportschau.de.
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