THIAM (BEL) takes command of heptathlon with championship best in the javelin
BERLIN - Just at it looked as if Nafissatou THIAM's domination of major championship heptathlons could be coming to an end, the Belgian star responded on Friday afternoon with a stunning javelin performance at the Berlin Olympic Stadium.
The Olympic and world champion was second behind Great Britain's Katarina JOHNSON-THOMPSON before this penultimate event, trailing by 113 points after the Briton won the long jump with 6.68 metres.
But she has turned that deficit into a healthy lead after smashing the heptathlon championship best with a third round effort of 57.91 metres, worth 1014 points. JOHNSON-THOMPSON landed a lifetime best of 42.16m but is now 192 points adrift with just the 800m to come on Friday evening.
JOHNSON-THOMPSON is by far the faster 800m runner with a best of 2 minutes 7.64 seconds to THIAM's 2:15.24, but the Belgian’s lead looks too big to close.
Defending hammer champion Anita WLODARCZYK (POL) and France’s pole vault world record-holder Renaud LAVILLENIE ensured their bids for fourth European titles remain on track.
WLODARCZYK threw 75.10m with her second effort to qualify easily while LAVILLENIE cleared 5.61m to progress without trouble.
Great Britain’s event favourite Laura MUIR also wasted little energy making it into the women’s 1500m final after dominating the last 200m to win her heat in 4 minutes 9.12 seconds.
Reigning European triple jump champion Max HESS (GER) did not qualify in that event as Azerbaijan’s Alexis COPELLO (with 16.82m) and Spain’s Pablo TORRIJOS (16.79m) led the two groups.
But the crowd did have reason to cheer as one of Germany's other defending champions, Gesa-Felicitas KRAUSE, reached the final of the 3000m steeplechase, finishing third behind Switzerland's Fabienne SCHLUMPF and Albania's Luiza GEGA.
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