Eugene (DPA) – Decathlon national coach Christopher Hollmann believes world champion Niklas Kaul could win a medal at the world championships in Eugene.
“He was always in top form at the peak. I am sure it will be the same this year as well,” he told the German press agency. “It could also be a season that goes in the direction of shooting the stars. I wish the same for him.” At the 2019 World Championships in Doha/Qatar, at the age of 17, Mainz’s man became the youngest world champion in decathlon history. Title defense begins on Saturday (6.50 pm CEST/sportschau.de).
Things have not gone well for Kaul this season. He had to break the first all-round in the injured Ratingen. At the meeting in Götzis/Austria he managed to score 8303 points, which places him 13th on the world’s best list for the year. When he won the World Cup, he set his current best of 8691 points. Three decathletes have already crossed the mark this season: Garrett Schentling (8867/USA), Damien Warner (8797/Canada) and Kyle Garland (8720/USA).
Scanling has been temporarily suspended for potential anti-doping rules violations. The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has announced that he is not allowed to debut in the World Cup. However, the 29-year-old’s name was not even in the registration list.
In the final competition test before leaving for the USA in Neuwied on 1 July, Kaul showed promising performances with 22.16 seconds over 200m, 14.34 in 110m hurdles and 47.13m with discus. “These are results that were really great,” Hollman said. “It’s a path that’s going up fast. I feel great that he’s up for it and he’s coming into the World Cup very well.”
The coach does not expect that there will be much pressure on Kaul in the World Cup as he is the defending champion. “I don’t think he’s being hunted. He stopped a contest and scored 8,300 points at Gotzis,” Hollmann said. World Cup competitors at Hayward Field Stadium are former World Cup bronze medalist Kai Kazmirek, 2019 World Cup tenor Tim Novak and World Cup newcomer Leo Neugebauer.
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