Thiam opens her season in excellent form in Eaubonne

Nafissatou Thiam
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In her first competition since September, reigning world and Olympic heptathlon champion Nafissatou Thiam from Belgium didn’t display any visible signs of rustiness at the Meeting Feminin du Val d’Oise in Eaubonne on Friday (9) evening.

Competing in a triathlon-style competition over the 60m hurdles, shot put and high jump, Thiam won by over 200 points ahead Brit Katarina Johnson-Thompson, who preceded Thiam as the European indoor pentathlon champion in Prague in 2015.

Thiam and Johnson-Thompson were evenly matched in the 60m hurdles (Thiam 8.35, Johnson-Thompson 8.36) and Johnson-Thompson eclipsed the Belgian in the high jump with an excellent 1.93m clearance to Thiam’s 1.90m.

But Thiam’s winning margin came courtesy of an outright lifetime best of 15.52m in the shot put, adding 17 centimetres to her previous mark set last February. Johnson-Thompson gave away more than four metres on Thiam with a modest 11.49m.

Thiam was a convincing winner, accruing 3052 points across the three events with Johnson-Thompson second with 2820 points. Her training partner Antoinette Nana Djimou from France was third with 2744 points.

Thiam will return to competition at the Belgian Indoor Championships next weekend before making a decision on the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham which begin on 1 March.

Sidorova extends win streak

One of the few athletes to defeat Ekaterini Stefanidi in a major event in recent seasons is Anzhelika Sidorova and the former European indoor and outdoor champion is back in top form after no-heighting at the World Championships in London last summer.

Sidorova already holds the European-leading mark at 4.86m from Moscow earlier this month and the 26-year-old converted that form internationally with a 4.72m clearance to maintain her unbeaten start to the season.

There was a European-leading mark in the seldom run 200m with Poland’s Anna Kielbasinska stopping the clock at 23.19. Elsewhere on the track, Finland’s Nooralotta Neziri won the 60m hurdles in 8.07 and Melissa Courtney took a good win over Poland’s Sofia Ennaoui over 3000m, 8:57.33 to 8:57.53.

Latvia's Lauma Griva also won the long jump on countback from France's Eloyse Lesueur. Both of them went out to 6.52m but Griva recorded a superior second best mark, 6.46m to 6.38m.