Laurien Hoos (NED) moved out to an even bigger lead at the end of the first day of the women's heptathlon with a
24.61 run in the 200m while fighting a headwind of 1.7m/s. With a first day total of 3773 points, her advantage
going into the second day is 242, but it is Hoos' own teammate who has now moved into second place.
Jolanda Keizer used a 24.87 run, plus a disastrous 25.87 by the erstwhile second placed Lilli Schwarzkopf (GER),
to lift herself into the runner-up spot at 3531.
Schwarzkopf now holds fourth place with 3509, just behind teammate Maren Schwerdtner, whose 24.60, the best time
of the day, produced an aggregate 3516.
Only nine points separate the next three places, currently occupied by Olga Levenkova (RUS) with 3498, Sara Aerts
(BEL) at 3494, and Viktorija emaityte (LTU) with 3489. Although Hoos may prove to be impossible to catch for the
Gold, the other medals are still clearly undecided.
The men's decathlon saw a pair of classy performances late in the programme, results which proved significant in
assigning the top places as the competitors retired for the night.
In the high jump, Aleksey Sysoyev (RUS) leaped a PB of 2.16 to move from fourth to first with 3448 points after
four events. His teammate, Aleksey Drozdov, likewise came up with an outdoor PB of 2.07 to maintain his hold on
second with an overall 3385 score. Matthias Cerlati (FRA) and Norman Müller (GER) both peaked at 1.95 and remained
virtually deadlocked for third and fourth at 3298 and 3296 respectively.
In the day's last event, however, it was the Müller who brought a roar from the spectators with a gritty 47.68 run
in the 400m. It was a supreme effort, lowering his previous best from 49.16. With Sysoyev able to run the one lap
event in only 50.62 (14th best of the 20 remaining competitors), Müller made up almost all of his deficit and ended
the first day in second with 4221, only 13 points behind the Russian's leading 4234.
Drozdov's PB of 50.67 held third overall at 4169, while Cerlati's 52.00 was the slowest time of the day. Still,
the Italian slid only to fourth place with 4023, as 59 points now separate him from fifth placed Lassi Raunio (FIN) at 3964.
An injury sustained by Ivet Lalova (BUL) in June robbed the weekend of a true star, and with only half of the current
season's Under 23 top ten in the women's 100m going to the start line in Erfurt, María Karastamáti's status as the
favourite became even more pronounced. The Greek's powerful 11.29 heat win, against a headwind of 1.2m/s, was in a
class by itself. Running behind Karastamáti with the second-best time of the evening was Bydgoszcz finalist Jeanette
Kwakye (GBR) in 11.66.
Interestingly, five more sprinters clocked identical 11.77 times to advance to Saturday's final. Included in this
group from the U23 top ten were Lina Jacques-Sébastien (FRA) and Verena Sailer (GER).
Falling out of the competition from the top group were Monika Ivanova (BUL), who finished sixth in her heat with
11.90, and Yelena Novikova (RUS), who failed to finish.
The men's 100m qualifiers were led by James Ellington (GBR) with a season best 10.42. Following Ellington into
the finish in the first of only two heats was Koura Kaba Fantoni (ITA) in 10.52.
The year's best U23 sprinter, Eddy de Lépine (FRA), took one of the time qualification spots for the final with
10.52, the same clocking as that of Stefan Wieser (GER).
The second heat was won by Oudere Kankarafou (FRA) in 10.52 against a headwind of 2.0m/s, ahead of Marius Broening
(GER) with 10.56 and Andrew Matthews (GBR) at 10.59, as all three advanced.
Kristof Beyens (BEL), fifth on the U23 year list with 10.37, was the most notable non-qualifier, as he stopped
his run after only a few steps.
France was the big winner in the qualifying of the men's pole vault as all three entrants advanced to Saturday's
final. Vincent Favretto and Damiel Dossevi both qualified at 5.30, while Jérôme Clavier saw a 5.25 suffice.
Russia's sole entrant, Artem Kuptsov, the seventh placer at last winter's European Athletics Indoor Championships,
advanced, as did a World Junior finalist from last season, Jesper Fritz (SWE), both at 5.25.
Fabian Schulze (GER), the Bronze medallist at the last European Juniors, used a 5.30 leap to move forward, and he
will be joined by teammate Alexander Straub, who jumped 5.25.
The year's top U23 vaulter and reigning European Junior champion, Vladyslav Revenko (UKR), took one unsuccessful
jump at 5.10 and then retired. No explanation was given regarding his condition. However, Revenko's teammate,
Maksym Mazuryk, a former World Junior champion, did qualify with a 5.25 performance.
The women's triple jump qualifying was beset with a headwind from start to finish. Simona La Mantia (ITA), the
Silver medallist two years ago in Bydgoszcz, dominated the competition, just as she has controlled the year's
stat list, with a 14.12 on her only attempt.
In all, six of the 12 finalists exceeded the automatic qualifying level of 13.50, even under adverse jumping
conditions. Included in the elite dozen are the reigning World Junior champion, Anastasiya Taranova (RUS),
with 13.77, and her teammate, Svetlana Bolshakova, the Bronze winner at the last European Juniors, at 13.75.
Theresa N'Zola with 13.54 and Nelly Tchayem at 13.21 both qualified for France, as did the Polish pair of
Aleksandra Fila and Agata Kosuda, with 13.37 and 13.21, respectively.
The men's 800m was another of those predictable events, as the year's dominant exponent of the two lap race,
Manuel Olmedo (ESP), qualified for Saturday's final in a pedestrian 1:50.85, actually being pipped at the finish by
René Bauschinger (GER) in 1:50.66.
French runners won the other two heats, Antoine Martiak in 1:49.54, and Kevin Hautcur with the day's fastest
time of 1:48.87.
Andreas Freimann, running on his home track in Erfurt, qualified in 1:49.08, just ahead of Jaroslav Rua (CZE)
Olympic finalist Radoslaw Poplawski (POL) confirmed his position as a strong favourite in the men's steeplechase
with the fastest heat time of 8:41.77. His main challenge is expected to come from Halil Akkas (TUR), a finalist
in last month's Mediterranean Games, whose 8:43.36 qualifying performance was just behind the other heat winner,
Mark Buckingham (GBR), with 8:43.20.
Poplawski's other countrymen, Lukász Parszczynsk and Tomasz Szymkowiak, also advanced with times of 8:43.50
This year's Polish champion in the women's steeplechase, Katarzyna Kowalska, was the leading qualifier in that
event with a PB 9:55.17. Season U23 leader Valentina Gorpynich (UKR) and Bydgoszcz seventh placer Verena Dreier
(GER) were right behind in 9:56.55 and a PB of 9:56.70, respectively. The tight scramble at the end also brought
spots in the final to Türkan Erismis (TUR) in 9:56.73 and Dobrinka Shalamanova (BUL) with 9:56.75.
The other heat saw a more leisurely pace, won by Daneja Grandovec (SLO) with 10:10.60. Two of the year's top
four steeplers followed her into the finish, as Svetlana Ivanova (RUS) and Valeriya Mara (UKR) will again see
action after their respective 10:11.51 and 10:12.30 times.