Stronger second day from Theisen-Eaton strikes world silver in heptathlon
A night’s rest seemed to do the trick for Brianne Theisen-Eaton, who had a strong second day to win heptathlon silver at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics.
In fourth place after the opening day of competition Saturday, Theisen-Eaton was disappointed – at the very least – saying “right now I think I would be happy with any medal after the atrocious day I had today. I couldn’t get into a rhythm.”
Theisen-Eaton started Day 1 strong enough, setting a personal best of 12.98 in the 100m hurdles. But her troubles began when she couldn’t clear higher than 1.80m in the high jump, leaving valuable points on the mat. She kept pace with leader Jessica Ennis-Hill in the shot put, and could have made up for the high jump with a fast 200m. However, there too the Canadian was six tenths of a second shy of her best running in 23.94 seconds.
“I felt really great going into the 200 then, I don’t know, I don’t have words. I’ve got to figure it out.”
The heptathlete continued, saying she needed some sleep and get her “mind right” for Sunday and that’s exactly what Theisen-Eaton did.
With the fifth event on Sunday being long jump, the world leader set the pace early with a 6.55m leap. Although one competitor did beat her, mental errors from Katarina Johnson-Thompson of Great Britain (who scratched on all three attempts) elevated Theisen-Eaton to second place prior to her admittedly weaker event, the javelin, after which the Canadian dropped to third, only eight points from silver with one event remaining. It was later learned that Theisen-Eaton competed in the final two events with a groin injury.
At this point British Olympic Champion Ennis-Hill was virtually guaranteed gold so long as she stayed under six seconds behind Theisen-Eaton in the 800m. The challenger kicked early, carrying out the lead for more than three quarters of the race but Ennis-Hill wouldn’t be subdued, finishing ahead of Theisen-Eaton both in the final event and on overall points.
Nadine Broersen of Netherlands, who had pulled ahead of Theisen-Eaton after the javelin, finished well enough back to secure a silver medal for the Canadian, her second straight trip to that step of the podium at the World Championships. Broersen dropped to fourth overall.
At conclusion of two days and seven events, Ennis-Hill won with 6669 points to Theisen-Eaton’s 6554. Latvia’s Laura Ikauniece-Admidina was third with 6516.
Theisen-Eaton entered IAAF worlds as the favourite after winning the Hypo Meeting in Gotzis this year, her second time achieving that feat. There she set a personal best of 6808 points. Ennis-Hill has returned from injury and taking time to have a child. At London 2012 the Brit won with 6955 points. Meanwhile, Johnson-Thompson has great natural talents and can run up the score in multiple events. All three make for exciting possibilities at the Olympic Games in Rio next year.
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