Nafissatou Thiam was on course to break the European heptathlon record after five events in the Gotzis Hypo-Meeting but even though the world and Olympic champion fell away in the last two events, Thiam was still rewarded with a world-leading score of 6806 points - and with more to come later this summer at the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships.
With 7013 points, Thiam became just the fourth multi-eventer in history to surpass the 7000-point barrier twelve months ago. She ended the first day with 4056 points last year but Thiam was ahead of that schedule this year, finishing day one with 4112 points.
Thiam began with 13.45 in the 100m hurdles before adding a massive 1245 points to her overall total after clearing a world best and world-leading mark of 2.01m on her second attempt in the high jump. For posterity, this was the second biggest individual score ever recorded in heptathlon history behind world record-holder Jackie Joyner-Kersee’s 7.27m long jump from the 1988 Olympics in Seoul for 1264 points.
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After 15.29m in the shot put and 24.61 in the 200m, Thiam was ahead of lifetime best schedule after four events and Carolina Kluft’s European record of 7032 points came further into view as Thiam began day two excellently, with a lifetime best of 6.62m in the long jump.
It was the sixth event - the javelin - which was the key last year as Thiam added six metres to her lifetime best with 59.32m for 1041 points but the same event proved her undoing this year. Thiam could only muster a best throw of 47.20m before finishing her day with 2:18.62 in the 800m.
The javelin and the 800m might require a bit of fine-tuning ahead of Berlin but even so, her score of 6806 points was still a world-leading mark and only four points down of her gold medal-winning score from the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. She also surpassed her tally from the IAAF World Championships in London last August.
Nafissatou Thiam slipped off European record schedule after the javelin but the Olympic champion won back-to-back titles in Gotzis with a world-leading 6806.
HJ 2.01m (WB)
800m 2:18.62 pic.twitter.com/NGruiHy2yv
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Cuba’s Yorgelis Rodriguez set a national record of 6742 points to finish second with Erica Bougard from the United States third, also in a lifetime best of 6725 points. There were also PBs for Austria’s Verena Preiner in fifth (6308), Belgium’s Hanne Maudens in sixth (6252), France’s Esther Turpin in eighth (6230) while world U20 champion Sarah Lagger, 18, improved to 6156 points on home soil.
World bronze medallist Anouk Vetter from the Netherlands was fourth in 6426 points but world silver medallist Carolin Schafer’s campaign came to an abrupt end after failing to record a valid throw in the shot put.
In the decathlon, Canada’s Damian Warner improved his national record to a world-leading 8795 points, moving to tenth on the world all-time lists.
Estonia’s Maicel Uibo had to cede his world lead to Warner but Uibo, who won a bronze medal in the heptathlon at the IAAF World Indoor Championships, improved his decathlon lifetime best again to 8514 points. Uibo was excellent in the vertical jumps again: 2.12m in the high jump and 5.30m in the pole vault.
The Netherlands’ Pieter Braun was third with a lifetime best of 8342 points while Kai Kazmirek was the best of the Germans in fourth with 8329 points ahead of Mathias Brugger (8304).
On his senior decathlon debut, reigning world and European U20 champion Niklas Kaul, 20, was sixth with 8205 points.
Fajdek sets world lead in hammer; Wlodarczyk only ninth
Poland’s Pawel Fajdek moved to the top of the world lists with a winning throw of 80.70m in Halle on Saturday (26) but teammate Anita Wlodarczyk had to relinquish her unbeaten streak which dated back to June 2014.
Wlodarczyk, who is the only woman in history to break the 80 metre line in the hammer (something which she has achieved 17 times including ancillary marks), had an uncharacteristically off day, only finishing ninth with a best of 65.71m from her three throws in a competition won by China’s Lua Na with 75.02m.
Christina Schwanitz continued her excellent return from maternity leave, surpassing the 19 metre line for the third time in as many competitions. The reigning European champion won here with 19.19m.
There were also excellent performances from German athletes in the javelin and discus. Christin Hussong was second in the javelin with 66.36m as China’s Lu Huihui extended her Asian record to 67.69m in the sixth round and reigning European U23 champion Claudine Vita was second in the discus with a 65.15m PB.
Nabokau breaks through with 2.36m clearance in Brest
Reigning European U23 champion Dzmitry Nabokau improved his outright PB from 2.28m to 2.32m during the indoor season and in his first outdoor competition of the season in Brest on Friday (25), the 22-year-old cleared 2.36m on his first attempt.
Nabokau added two centimetres to the long-standing Belarusian record and he moves to second on the world lists behind Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim.
The strength of Belarusian high jumping was on display as Maksim Nedasekau, who won the European U20 title in Grosseto last July, cleared 2.32m after one attempt at 2.28m and 2.30m.