On 28 August 2017 In Athletics News

Alex Clegg 2nd in Decathlon Champs - Event Report

Over the weekend, Alex Clegg competed in the U20 Decathlon Champs at the Yorkshire Combined Events Championship. This is a report on how the 10 events went by Nigel Clegg.

The Yorkshire Combined Events championships takes place over two days at the Dorthy Hyman track in Cudworth, Barnsley.


There are combined events for all age ranges from under 13 up to seniors. Alex Clegg was competing in only his second ever decathlon and was aiming for a total of 6000 points (to beat his previous best of 5905).

Day one started well enough with a new pb of 11.86 in the 100 metres and another pb in the long jump - unlike ‘normal’ competitions where you get six attempts, in the decathlon you only get three, so having fouled on his first jump the pressure was on in the second round but thankfully he managed to steady his nerves and hit the board in the right spot for a leap of 6.10m - which was the furthest of all the under 20 group.

Shot put came next and Alex was just 4cm down on his pb with a throw of 11.35m, again in the second round.

By the middle of the afternoon the high jump competition began. It can take quite a while as athletes can choose to come in at whatever height they want to, so with a start height of 1.60m meant that Alex had to try and keep stretched and ready for nearly 45 minutes before he got to jump. Clearing 1.69m gave him victory in the discipline but he was down on his pb of 1.75m which meant that he wasn’t able to stretch his lead over the Edinburgh athlete, Cal McClennan.

The final event of day one, the 400m saw Alex come home in third place in a time of 53.91, whist McClellan won in just over 51 seconds to him a 60 point lead going into day two.

The trick to the decathlon is trying to rest up and get your body ready to go again the following morning and with the first event of day two being the sprint hurdles then any stiffness in the legs is soon found out. 

Alex ran well out of the blocks but just clipped hurdle number three which lost him some momentum and he eventually came home in fourth spot nearly 1.5 seconds behind McClellan who further extended his lead. Event seven was the discus - Alex’s second round throw drew applause from fellow competitors who recognised that it had gone some distance..however, the field official seemed to run to the wrong spot as the measurement was called at 32.57 even though throws by other competitors, which had landed in similar positions the field, were called at 35/36m. Unfortunately it wasn’t picked up at the time so points were lost.

Pole vault came next and after a nervy third attempt at 3.10m, Alex got first time clearances at 3.20, 3.30 and 3.40m leaving him with an attempt at a new pb of 3.50m. His second vault was the closest but it wasn’t to be and McClellan stretched his lead once more.

The javelin is probably Alex’s favourite individual event and his throw of 44.15m saw him claw back some points on McClellan and also gave him a valuable lead over Nathan Langley in third spot.

And then finally, after all that, you are asked to stand at the top corner of the track at the 1500m start line and run the race as fast as you can to gain those vital final points! It’s the one event which decathletes hate the most. Two days of competition, with your arms, legs and torso being twisted and turned in all directions and then you have to go out and put yourself through 1500m.

Thankfully Alex likes the race and after letting McClellan lead through the first 400m in 67 seconds, he then took over and stretched the field to win by almost the length of the home straight in a very respectable 4min 29 seconds.

This wasn’t enough to take overall victory which went to Cal but a points total of 5851 was a decent effort and leaves Alex ranked 10th in the UK this year.

Pictured are the top four competitors on the rostrum all looking very relieved that it’s all over.
Read 271 times Last modified on Monday, 28 August 2017 18:05