At the 27th World University Games Belgium’s Van der Plaetsen claimed the gold medal in the men’s Decathlon, the 3rd gold medal ever at the World University Games in Belgian history.
Van der Plaetsen, the European Junior and European U23 champion in 2009 and 2011 respectively, scored 8164 points to beat local Russian star Sergey Sviridov (7939).
After an outstanding first day with no less than 3 personal best performances in 5 events, Van der Plaetsen claimed the overnight lead with 4253 points, 44 points ahead of his PB score achieved when winning the European U23 Championships in 2011 and a lead of 118 points from Russia’s Sergey Sviridov.
On the 2nd day, the 22-year-old produced a solid performance in the 110m hurdles (14.77) but then lost some of his advantage in the discus (38m74). He then set another personal best in the pole vault with a 5m30 clearance, defending his leading position. In the javelin he had a distance of 62m43, less than 1m shy of his personal best. He finished off with 4.50.48 in the 1500m to set a new personal best tally of 8164 points. A superb result after being sidelined due to injury throughout the entire 2012 season.
By crossing the 8000 points barrier, Van der Plaetsen also claimed his spot on the Belgian team for the IAAF World Championships in Athletics scheduled for August 10-18th.The combined events at the World University Games are also part of the IAAF Combined Events Challenge.