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European Athletics Championships: Short runs towards Paris: Kaul recognises weaknesses in the decathlon

European Athletics Championships: Short runs towards Paris: Kaul recognises weaknesses in the decathlon
European Athletics Championships: Short runs towards Paris: Kaul recognises weaknesses in the decathlon

Fourth place at the European Championships and a decent score provide Niklas Kaul with a solid basis for the Olympic decathlon. The former world champion knows what he has to work on.

Niklas Kaul still has a long way to go before he can achieve a strong result at the Olympic Games in Paris, which will take the dethroned European decathlon champion mainly over short distances.

After finishing fourth at the European Athletics Championships and competing in his first full decathlon this year, Kaul will be working on his sprints, among other things. That was not the only area where he lost a lot of points in Rome.

“I don’t know when I last got stuck on a hurdle like that, when I last jumped up so badly,” said the 26-year-old from Mainz. “These are things that simply must not happen again. And we will now work on making sure that things go better in Paris.”

Nevertheless, the former world champion took a lot of positive insights with him. No one was as strong as him in the discus and javelin throw. It was one mistake too many for a medal, Kaul stated. But he also stressed with regard to his score: “In the end, I got 8547, I’ve never started so well.”

The Olympic favorite is Neugebauer

In Paris, he even believes a personal best is possible, which has stood at 8691 points since his 2019 World Championship title in Doha. The European Championship title went to Estonian Johannes Erm with 8764 points. That is still almost 200 less than the German record of Leo Neugebauer, who became college champion in the USA last week with 8961 points and is therefore the Olympic favorite.

Kaul knows that too, of course. “A few more people will join us, but my plan is not to do eight fives again,” he explained with a smile. He attributed the weaknesses and uncertainties, especially on the first day, to a lack of competition practice.

Just sore muscles, no injury

And at least after the final 1500 meters he didn’t feel as tired as he did before. “Maybe it’s the endorphins now coursing through the body that tell you you’ve done it,” said Kaul, who came through his strenuous season debut healthy except for a sore muscle – but after winning gold in Munich in 2022, he’s leaving without a medal this time.

Source: Stern

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