Ehammer banishes his demons in Glasgow

Edwin  - CEO March 3, 2024
Updated 2024/03/05 at 11:41 AM
7 Min Read
Simon Ehammer in the heptathlon 60m hurdles at the World Athletics Indoor Championships Glasgow 24 (© Getty Images)/World Athletics
Simon Ehammer in the heptathlon 60m hurdles at the World Athletics Indoor Championships Glasgow 24 (© Getty Images)/World Athletics

Takes World Athletics Indoor Championships Glasgow 2024 heptathlon gold


🥇 Simon Ehammer 🇨🇭 SUI 6418 WL, NR
🥈 Sander Skotheim 🇳🇴 NOR 6407 NR
🥉 Johannes Erm 🇪🇪 EST 6340 PB
  Full results


The jumping events were the most significant turning points across the two days of heptathlon action at the World Athletics Indoor Championships Glasgow 24.

For Ken Mullings, who came into the championships as the world leader, the pole vault proved his downfall and ultimately cost him a medal.


But for Simon Ehammer, one giant leap in the long jump – something of a bittersweet event for him in recent years – signaled the potential dawning of a new era for the Swiss all-rounder, who went on to claim gold in a national indoor record of 6418.


It was much more than just a two-person contest, though. Four or five men had potential shots of challenging for a medal in the final discipline.


Ehammer took an early lead by winning the 60m in 6.73, but Mullings was close behind with an equal PB of 6.83. Estonia’s Johannes Erm also started well, clocking a PB of 6.90. In the earlier heat, Norwegian duo Sander Skotheim (7.06) and Markus Rooth (7.08) crossed the line almost in unison behind USA’s Harrison Williams (6.95), who later withdrew with an ankle sprain. Belgium’s Jente Hauttekeete also ran well, clocking 7.06.


All eyes were on Ehammer in the long jump, an event in which he holds a personal best of 8.45m and a world bronze medal from 2022. But it’s also the discipline that, within combined events competition, signaled his early exit from the Hypo Meeting in 2021 and 2023 and the European Indoors in 2023, recording three fouls on all those occasions.


No one was more relieved than Ehammer when he nailed his first jump in Glasgow with 8.03m—even though it was just 1.4cm away from the take-off line—and he backed it up with an 8.00m effort on his third attempt, increasing his overall lead.


Sven Jansons of the Netherlands held second place overall thanks to a 7.79m PB. Mullings (7.69m) and Rooth (7.68m) also set PBs, while Erm (7.71m) and Skotheim (7.75m) performed well.


As expected, Makenson Gletty of France excelled in the shot put, launching it at 16.95m to propel himself from eighth to fourth overall. Ehammer was further down the standings in the shot put (14.39m), but it was just enough to hold on to the lead from Erm, who threw a PB of 15.72m. Mullings maintained third place thanks to a throw of 14.49m.


But Ehammer lost his lead at the end of the first day when Mullings cleared 2.16m in the high jump, elevating the Bahamian to the top of the leaderboard. Ehammer’s 1.95m clearance was enough to keep him in second place, but Erm (2.01m) and Skotheim (2.13m) were just a few points behind.


Ehammer started the second day as he had done the first: with a victory. He was the fastest in the field in the 60m hurdles, clocking 7.62, but Mullings’ strong run of 7.76 kept the Bahamian on top at the end of that discipline.


Skotheim (8.05) and Erm (8.21) switched places in the overall standings after the 60m hurdles, with the Norwegian moving ahead of the tall Estonian. Gletty also had a good run in the sprint hurdles, his 7.82 runs moving him up to fifth overall, just ahead of Rooth.


The pole vault—as is often the case in combined events—significantly impacted the competition. Ehammer seized the opportunity to bank big points, soaring over 5.20m to top the field again for the fourth discipline in the competition.


It meant that going into the 1000m, Ehammer had a comfortable 140-point lead over the field.


Mullings was 43cm off his recent PB in the pole vault, making do with a 4.60m clearance. Skotheim and Erm cleared 5.10m to narrow the gap on Mullings and consolidate their positions in third and fourth, respectively. Their superiority at 1000m meant that Mullings’ medal hopes were over.


They still hoped to gain enough distance on Ehammer in the final event to challenge for gold.


The pole vault marked the end of the competition for Rooth, who picked up an injury in that discipline.


His teammate Skotheim took out the running in the 1000m with Erm close behind. The duo soon took a significant lead over the rest of the field before Skotheim won in 2:33.23. Erm crossed the line second in 2:36.15, and further behind, Ehammer did his best to ensure the lead duo wasn’t too far ahead, finishing in a PB of 2:46.03.


Thankfully for Ehammer, that proved to be enough. He was rewarded with the gold medal and a national indoor record of 6418, moving him to ninth on the world indoor all-time list.


Skotheim also set a national record in second place, scoring 6407, while Erm took bronze with a PB of 6340. Mullings, who clocked a PB of 2:49.35 in the 1000m, eventually finished fourth overall—the highest-ever by a Bahamian athlete in a global championship combined events competition.


Gletty finished fifth in 6187, while Vilem Strasky (6080) and Jansons (6076) recorded PBs for sixth and seventh.


“It feels amazing and unbelievable,” said Ehammer. “It was a tough, tough competition. I pushed and pushed and pushed (in the 1000m) because I so wanted to win this gold. Yes, I also do the long jump, but this proves I am a multi-eventer. This is where I belong. It’s the perfect start to the season for 2024.”


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