Thiam soars to the top of the world | 04.02.2013
At the age of just 18, Nafissatou Thiam is making quite an impression, a talent that transferred itself to the history books with a brilliant performance in Gent on Sunday.
The Belgian multi-eventer took the pentathlon to a new level as she broke Kluft's long- standing mark by 23 points with 4558 points.
Kluft, then 19, set the record score at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Vienna in 2002 when she won bronze, the first major medal of her glorious career.
Who knows? In a decade's time the sport could be looking back at this year's European Athletics Indoor Championships which start in Göteborg on March 1 as a significant moment in the medal collection of Thiam.
She was 14th in the heptathlon at last year's World Junior Championships in Barcelona but took her indoor exploits to the top of the rankings with five superb displays.
Thiam achieved 8.65 in the 60m hurdles, a high jump of 1.84m, 14m in the shot put, a leap of 6.30m in the long jump before running 2:21.18 in the final 800m.
Four of the five were personal bests with only her jump best of 1.88m being the event where she has achieved more.
The 4558 puts her fourth on the European Athletics rankings for 2013, a list which is topped by Belarusian Yana Maksimava's 4624.
But now Thiam has Kluft's lead to follow.
In Vienna, Kluft was beaten into third by Russia's Yelena Prokhorova who won gold with 4622 ahead of Naide Gomes, of Portugal, with 4595, but the Swede then became the dominant force.
Five months later she won the heptathlon at the European Athletics Championships in Munich, the first of nine major gold medals including the Olympic title in Athens in 2004.