Kevin Mayer and Nafissatou Thiam took a double in the combined events at the Belgrade 2017 European Athletics Indoor Championships and they have both expressed an interest in challenging for more continental honours in Torun from 4-7 March.
Mayer broke the European indoor heptathlon record in the Serbian capital four years ago with a score of 6479 points, one year before he reached the pinnacle of his career by breaking Ashton Eaton’s world decathlon record in Talence, France with 9126 points.
His following two seasons might have been curtailed by injury but Mayer secured the Olympic qualifying standard for Tokyo just before Christmas in Reunion with a 2020 world leading score of 8552 points. These will be Mayer's third Olympic Games after London 2012 and Rio 2016 when he won silver behind Eaton.
Based on the combined 2019 and 2020 European decathlon list, this score also handsomely qualified Mayer for the heptathlon in Torun along with the Estonian duo of Maicel Uibo and Janek Oiglane, Kai Kazmirek from Germany and Pieter Braun from the Netherlands.
Thiam followed up her Olympic heptathlon triumph in 2016 with her first European senior title in the pentathlon in Belgrade the following winter. Thiam scored a still-standing lifetime best of 4870 points in the Kombank Arena, setting a championship best of 1.96m in the high jump en route to the title.
Other qualified athletes for the pentathlon in Torun include world bronze medallist Verena Preiner from and her Austrian teammate Ivona Dadic, the silver medallist behind Thiam in Belgrade four years ago. Hungary’s Xenia Krizsan and Nadine Broersen from the Netherlands are also due to compete in Torun.
The remaining places shall be allocated to athletes based on their position on the 2021 European pentathlon and heptathlon list as of ten days prior to the first day of the European Athletics Indoor Championships.
The full list of qualified athletes and the qualifying process for the combined events in Torun 2021 can be found here.