Thiam and Johnson-Thompson to clash in Eaubonne

Olympic champion Thiam’s gamble turns to gold in pentathlon
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World and Olympic heptathlon champion Nafissatou Thiam will open her season at the Meeting Feminin du Val d'Oise in Eaubonne on Friday

Reigning Olympic and world heptathlon champion Nafissatou Thiam from Belgium is due to open her indoor season at the Meeting Feminin du Val d’Oise, a European Athletics Area Permit Meeting, in Eaubonne on Friday (9).

Thiam will contest a three-event triathlon-style competition made up of the 60 hurdles, high jump and shot put. She will face Great Britain’s Katarina Johnson-Thompson, who preceded Thiam as the European indoor pentathlon champion in 2015 when she just missed Nataliya Dobrynska’s world record with 5000 points.

Thiam and Johnson-Thompson both memorably cleared 1.98m in the high jump at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Johnson-Thompson has a wafer thin margin on Thiam in the 60m hurdles - 8.18 to 8.23 - but Thiam has a two metre-plus cushion on Johnson-Thompson in the shot put - 15.35m to 13.14m.

Thiam made a late decision to compete at the European Indoor Athletics Championships in Belgrade last year and the Belgian will only commit to the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham after her national championships on 17 February when she will contest one or two events.

Two-time European heptathlon champion Antoinette Nana Djimou also competes.