The six squads (as at men’s schedule) began participating in Heptathlon on lovely Saturday morning (10th September) at the National Stadium “Vassil Levski” in Sofia. Twenty four athletes from GDR, FRG, USSR, Bulgaria, Great Britain & Northern Ireland and Hungary were keen for releasing good performance, although the contest appeared at the end of active season and athletes seemed to be some tired.
When looking on the start lists, all the odds were ready to swear and predicted the firm victory of GDR team. The crowd saw the captain to lead her team - world champion Ramona Neubert, and also promising junior Sybille Thiele (European U20 champion and world junior record holder (6485). But absentees were also notable – Anke Vater and Sabine Paetz (third and second respectively at WC in Helsinki) didn’t arrive in Sofia. The hosts from Bulgaria pretended for second spot of rostrum, albeit the Soviet team was competitive and combatant (even without injured Natalya Shubenkova)... So all those odds could claim high performances and sharp controverce during the competition...
100 M HURLDES. Yet in first heat the winner Galina Bakhchevanova from Bulgaria took a good pb of 13.64 (0.5). The tall Kristine Nitzsche finished distant second (13.96). Another Bulgarian – Tatyana Stoycheva arrived like winner at second heat with another pb of 13.45 (1.2), a fraction ahead of Soviet Valentina Kurochkina (13.50) and Britain Kathy Warren (14.10). Host Yordanka Donkova missed the World Champs in Helsinki due injury, but was obliged and determined to help the host team here. Not fully recovered, the Bulgarian 100 m hurdles record holder had to bring valuable points to her team score….. Donkova started brilliantly and disposed great speed and rhythm. Yordanka finished first in 12.65 (0.5) (1054 points) and left far behind the blonde Heike Filsinger (FRG) (13.26) and another blonde – the British Kim Hagger (14.00). Youngster Sibylle Thiele (14.11) stood fourth in that heat. The last fourth heat gathered some favorites that promised strife. Soviet athlete Ekaterina Smirnova (with pb of 12.95 four years ago) was unhappy to attack the hurdles against the wind (-1.0). But nonetheless she was first at the line – 13.16, just edging the extravagant British all-rounder Judi Livermore (13.23). World record holder Ramona Neubert arrived third (13.39) beating FRG record holder Sabine Everts (13.47). Bulgarian record holder Valentina Dimitrova couldn’t reach her best (14.02 six years before) and finished fifth with 14.15. Rankings after first event individually: Donkova 1054, Smirnova 979, Livermore 969, Filsinger 964, Neubert 946, Stoycheva 938, Everts 935, Kurochkina 931, Bakhchevanova 912, Nitzsche 871, Hagger 866, Warren 853, Thiele 852, Dimitrova 847 etc. Team positions: Bulgaria 2904, USSR 2747, FRG 2738, Great Britain 2688, GDR 2669, Hungary 2451.
HIGH JUMP. The twenty four athletes were separated in two groups. In Group A the imposing colored athlete Judi Livermore surpassed 1.87 (some below compared with her pb of 1.92 set at WC in Helsinki). Smirnova ended with 1.84, Hagger, Thiele and Everts – 1.81. Thiele was also rather below her pb of 1.90 m. It happened danger accident with Donkova during HJ contest. At her first attempt at 1.75 Bulgarian hit the vertical riser with head and rifted badly her eyebrow. The blood streamed down on her face. The doctor was there and sealed the arcada..... Donkova stood up and coped with 1.75, after that succeed at 1.78 also.... After retiring the field, Donkova was rushed quickly to the hospital for treatment. In Group B very tall Kristine Nitzsche got the bar of 1.90 m, followed by Heidrun Geissler (GDR) & Birgit Dressel – 1.84. Neubert competed some unfocused and remained with “only” 1.78 (instead of her usual 1.86)….. More lucky was Bulgarian Bakhchevanova – another pb with 1.75 m. Soviet Nadezhda Vinogradova was also disappointed with only valid jump of initial 1.60 m. After second event: Donkova 2066, Livermore 2064, Smirnova 2047, Nitzsche 1993, Everts 1975, Neubert 1958 (6th), Fislinger 1918, Hagger 1906, Bakhchevanova 1895, Thiele 1892, Geissler 1886, Dressel 1860, Dimitrova 1859, Kurochkina 1856, Kolyadina 1849, Kuenster 1822…. Team standings: GDR 5843, Bulgaria 5820, FRG 5753, USSR 5752, Great Britain 5737, Hungary 5146.
SHOT PUTTING. Dimitrova set pb of 16.45 yet on her first try, and Nitzsche was also superb with 16.10 (pb). Soviets Lyudmila Kolyadina (15.64) & Ekaterina Smirnova (15.20) were strong and Neubert was near – 15.21 m. Young Thiele putted the shot less her abilities – 14.31, also Soviets Kurochkina 13.93 and Vinogradova 13.49. But Bulgarians Stoycheva (13.13 after two fouls), Donkova (12.80) and Bakhchevanova (12.11) just lost their good positions…… Smirnova went at top with 2953, 2.Nitzsche 2948, 3.Livermore 2876, 4.Neubert 2864, 5.Donkova 2834, 6.Dimitrova 2832, 7.Kolyadina 2779, 8.Thiele 2748, 9.Geissler 2704, 10.Everts 2694, 11.Kurochkina 2690, 12.Fislinger 2628, 13.Bakhchevanova 2621, 14.Dressel 2598. Team rankings after third event: GDR 8560 points, 2.USSR 8422, 3.Bulgaria 8287, 4.Great Britain 7923, 5.FRG 7920, 6.Hungary 7250 p.
200 M. Fourth event of Heptathlon provided some very good results. In first heat Vinogradova won with 23.69 (-0.3), followed by Nitzsche 24.28, Bakhchevanova 24.83, Laing 25.42 etc. Vinogradova’s teammate Kurochkina became the winner in second heat – 24.82 (0.0) before Stoycheva 25.01, Kathy Warren 25.16 and Geissler 25.29, Kuenster 25.73. The third heat saw “fast and furious” Yordanka Donkova to run through the final line with 23.25 (-0.2), “forgetting” behind her all the others - Thiele 24.67, Filsinger 25.09, Hagger 25.16, Kolyadina 25.42…. Ramona Neubert confirmed her constant shape with victory at the last fourth heat 23.52 (-0.2) – second best time. Slim West German Sabine Everts arrived second 23.89, followed by Smirnova 24.50, Dimitrova 24.59 (pb), Livermore 24.75, Hungarian Zsuzsa Vanyek 24.95…. Thus GDR athletes Nitzsche 3859 and Neubert 3848 outrun Donkova 3845 and Smirnova 3844 for head position. Livermore stayed fifth 3744 ahead of Valentina Dimitrova 3715, Everts 3642, Thiele 3624, Kolyadina 3589, Kurochkina 3552, Geissler 3525, Bakhchevanova 3482, Filsinger 3467, Vinogradova 3427, Stoycheva 3403, 16. Hagger 3398. After first day GDR team led with 11331 points, Bulgaria regained second spot 11042, some 57 points before USSR 10985, FRG 10477, Great Britain 10433, Hungary 9581 points
LONG JUMP. In the Sunday morning the spectators witnessed excellent leaps of the heptathletes. But in Group B Kurochkina was absent??? So the situation around USSR girls appeared to become rater complicated – each of three was due to finish the whole contest and not to make any failure. In Group A Ramona Neubert 6.69 (0.8) and Sibylle Thiele 6.64 (0.4) maintained their superiority. Donkova (6.37) and Livermore (6.32) were on their own, also Dimitrova 6.27…. But not the same happened with some of good jumpers. Sabine Everts (with pb of 6.66) sailed to 6.29 in second try. In her third attempt she landed at around 6.50 m, but the judge raised the red flag – foul! Sabine burst into disagreement, but referee was adamant. Smirnova made 6.21 in second try and also leapt at around 6.40 – 6.50 in third, but again red flag was shown….. In Group B (at the opposite side of field) Vinogradova perfected with 6.54 (-0.3) and Tatyana Stoycheva set pb of 6.42 (0.5). Geissler made 6.31 (0.3) and Bakhchevanova 6.28 (-0.2) was second Bulgarian to established another pb. World record holder Ramona Neubert extended her leadership in 4901 points, Donkova climbed to second with 4831, third Smirnova 4796, fourth Kristine Nitzsche 4787, fifth Judi Livermore 4719, sixth Dimitrova 4680, seventh Sibylle Thiele 4667, eighth Sabine Everts 4611, ninth Geissler 4498, tenth Kolyadina 4484, eleventh Bakhchevanova 4449, also eleventh Vinogradova 4449, thirteenth Stoycheva 4400, 14.Filsinger 4360, 15.Hagger 4341, 16.Zsuzsa Vanyek 4259, 17.Dressel 4226. Team standings after fifth event: 1.GDR 14355, 2.Bulgaria 13960 (231 points ahead of USSR), 3.USSR 13729, 4.FRG 13197, 5.Great Britain 13179, 6.Hungary 12053 points.
JAVELIN THROWING. None of 23 competitors could handle with her usual abilities in the sixth event. It is almost unbelievable that nobody in field could even to reach 46 meters. Best was … Hungarian Eleonora Teglasi with 45.36 m from Group B, followed with Ramona Neubert 45.30 m and Ekaterina Smirnova 43.62. Dimitrova in the same Group B could manage only a single valid throw – 41.62 (instead of usual 44 – 45 meters). All - Hagger (38.96), Kolyadina (38.90), Livermore (38.60), Everts 36.36, Thiele 36.32 looked bitter of disappointment…. In Group A Dressel (FRG) 41.92, Nitzsche 41.54, Vinogradova 41.24, Hungarian Szikszai 35.80, Geissler 35.20…. all they also remained disgruntled…. Bulgarians Bakhchevanova 33.54 and two fouls and especially Stoycheva 31.22 (as she had pb here over 44 meters!) fizzled out and and their failure inflicted lost of hopes for the second spot overall….. After sixth event current placement: 1. Neubert 5747, 2.Smirnova 5617, 3.Nitzsche 5577, 4.Dimitrova 5471, 5.Livermore 5463, 6.Donkova 5419, 7.Thiele 5374, 8.Everts 5319, 9.Vinogradova 5234, 10.Kolyadina 5233, 11.Geissler 5187, 12.Bakhchevanova 5110, 13.Hagger 5091, 14.Dressel 5022, 15.Stoycheva 5020, 16. Filsinger 4984, 17. Vanyek 4899, 18. Mandy Laing 4771 p. TEAM STANDINGS: 1.GDR 16698, 2.USSR 16084, 3.Bulgaria 16000, 4.FRG 15325, 5.Great Britain 15325, 6.Hungary 14231 points. So USSR led to rivals from Bulgaria with some 84 points!!!
800 M. All remained 22 competitors were separated in three heats on the track. In first heat (FRG & Hungary) Sabine Everts led from the start and arrived in solitude for 2:09.75, followed distantly from her compatriot Heike Filsinger 2:16.72, Vanyek 2:21.03, Dressel 2:21.76, Hungarian Margit Palonbik 2:21.99….. Second heat gathered Bulgaria and Great Britain. Valentina Dimitrova was or her own and won with 2:08.70, followed by teammate Galina Bakhchevanova 2:11.79 (pb), Judi Livermore 2:12.50, Tatyna Stoycheva 2:12.92, Yordanka Donkova 2:17.51 (pb), Laing 2:22.76, Hagger 2:24.02 and Warren 2:24.64…. Considering into count the personal bests of Soviet girls at 800 m, it was obvious that USSR athletes would have kept second spot in the final standings. From the start gun Nadezhda Vinogradova drove in front in furious pace, followed by world record holder Neubert… Nadezhda finished first in 2:05.72, Neubert second 2:06.70 and distant third Smirnova 2:13.91. Heidrun Geissler with 2:15.93 remained fourth, Nitzsche fifth 2:20.16, Thiele sixth 2:20.52 and Kolyadina seventh 2:22.68. Were the Soviets’ 800 m times sufficient for keeping second place? Yes, they were! Final individual position: 1. Neubert 6722, 2.Smirnova 6486, 3.Dimitrova 6416, 4.Nitzsche 6364, 5.Livermore 6353, 6.Everts 248, 7.Donkova 6240, 8.Vinogradova 6223, 9.Thiele 6156, 10.Geissler 6029, 11.Bakhchevanova 6010, 12.Kolyadina 5989, 13.Stoycheva 5903, 14.Hagger 5831, 15.Filsinger 5815, 16.Dressel 5789, 17.Vanyek 5675, 18.Laing 5526, 19.Teglasi 5470, 20.Warren 5428, 21.Palonbik 5324, 22.Szikszai 5231, 23.Kuenster 4050…… TEAM STANDINGS: 1.GDR 19242, 2.USSR 18698, 3.Bulgaria 18666 (only 32 points less), 4.FRG 17852, 5.Great Britain 17710, 6.Hungary 16469 points!
That was the story of the 6th European Cup of combined events held in Sofia on 10-11 September 1983. It was apparent that the late date for EC of combined events conduction is inappropriate for athletes, organizers and others…
Alexander Vangelov for Decathlon 2000