Damian Warner and Nafissatou Thiam lead this year’s merit rankings for decathlon and heptathlon

Once again Athletics International has been pleased to collaborate with Athletics Weekly in producing these annual statistics, writes Peter Matthews.

As always, our world top-10 merit rankings, compiled by an international panel of experts, will no doubt provoke discussion. There can be no definitive pecking order for 2021, but the panel has done its best by carefully applying the various criteria for judging athletes’ performances over the year.

Subscribers to AI are receiving this data with our compliments and we hope that AW readers will also find much of interest and value in this section. We wish all readers a happy, healthy, stimulating and peaceful Olympic year.

For our annual world merit rankings, the International selection panel comprised Mirko Jalava (FIN), Alfons Juck (SVK), A Lennart Julin (SWE), Stuart Mazdon UK) and Ed Gordon (USA) joined by Elliott Denman for the walks and this year by Mark Butler, with the editor of “Athletics International”, Peter Matthews.

After the extraordinary year in 2020 compilation there remained difficulties and cancellation of various meetings, particularly early on in 2021. However, the Olympic Games were held successfully as were most of the Diamond League fixtures and, vitally for depth of performance, US collegiate action returned.

Following each athlete’s name in these event-by-event rankings are: date of birth (day.month.year), and in brackets: number of years ranked and 2019 and 2020 top-10 rankings. Then their five/six best marks in 2021 and details of placings and performances in significant competitions. In these results marks in brackets were in qualifying, marks after w/ are best ‘wind legal’ marks in that competition.

» To read all our 2021 rankings – international and British in every track and field event – CLICK HERE

Damian Warner (Getty)

DECATHLON
1. Damian Warner CAN
4.11.89 (8y, 19- 2)
1 Götzis 8995
1 OG 9018
2. Kevin Mayer FRA
10.2.92 (7y, 20- 1)
2 OG 8726
3. Ashley Moloney AUS
13.3.00 (2y, 20- 2)
1 AUS Ch 8284
3 OG 8649
4. Garrett Scantling USA
19.5.93 (1y)
2 Athens GA 8476
1 USA Ch 8647
4 OG 8611
5. Pierce LePage CAN
22.1.96 (2y, 19- 4)
2 Götzis 8534
5 OG 8604
6. Zach Ziemek USA
23.2.93 (2y,
3 Athens GA 8213
3 USA Ch 8471
6 OG 8435
7. Ilya Shkurenyov RUS
11.1.91 (6y, 19- 5)
1 Adler 8429
8 OG 8413
8. Steve Bastien USA
4.3.94 (1y)
1 Santa Barbara 8008
2 USA Ch 8485
10 OG 8236
9. Harrison Williams USA
7.3.96 (1y)
1 Chula Vista 8439 (w)
4 USA Ch 8306
10, Lindon Victor GRN
28.2.93 (4y, 19- 6)
dnf Chula Vista
7 OG 8414
Warner was by far the outstanding man. Karel Tilga was a possible for 9-10.

HEPTATHLON
1. Nafissatou Thiam BEL
19.8.94 (6y, 19- 2)
1 OG 6791
2. Anouk Vetter NED
4.2.93 (4y)
2 Götzis 6536
2 OG 6689
3. Kendell Williams USA
14.6.95 (3y, 19- 6)
3 Götzis 6383
2 USA Ch 6683
5 OG 6508
4. Annie Kunz USA
16.2.93 (1y)
dnf Götzis
1 USA Ch 6703
6 OG 6420
5. Emma Oosterwegel NED
29.6.98 (1y)
7 Götzis 6308
3 OG 6590
6. Xénia Krizsán HUN
13.1.93 (4y, 20- 5, 19- 5)
1 Götzis 6651
13 OG 6295
7. Erica Bougard USA
26.7.93 (4y, 19- 4)
dnf Götzis
3 USA Ch 6667
9 OG 6379
8. Noor Vidts BEL
30.5.96 (1y)
3 Arona 6240
4 OG 6571
9. Zheng Ninali CHN
19.11.98 (1y)
1 Xi’an 6153
1 Arona 6358
1 Tallinn 6324
10 OG 6318
1 CHN NG 6026
10. Carolin Schäfer GER
5.12.91 (8y, 20 3, 19- 9)
7 OG 6419
Thiam ranked 1st as she had in 2016-18. Kunz had the second best score, but dnf Götzis and 6th at the Olympics.

» The Athletics International newsletter is edited by Peter Matthews and has for the past 26 years, been keeping readers in more than 50 countries informed of very detailed results (to at least world top 150-200 standards) and news items from around the world. It is available only by email, with at least 35 issues scheduled for 2022.

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» To read all our 2021 rankings – international and British – CLICK HERE