Natallia Dobrynska became the first woman in history to break 5000 points after a phenomenal set of performances here in Istanbul where she scored 5013 points to win the pentathlon.
Dobrynska, the Beijing Olympic champion, arrived in Istanbul as the number one outsider and she cleverly kept well under the radar as the international media was focusing on the much awaited duel between defending Pentathlon champion Jessica Ennis and World Heptathlon champion Tatyana Chernova.
Following a strong display in each of the five events today, Dobrynska’s extra edge turned out to be the even strength of each of her performances as none of her marks earned her less than 948 points!
Coming into the final event of the day in the leader position, Dobrynska’s task was clear: she had to finish six-and-a-half seconds ahead of Ennis if she wanted to win her first World Indoor gold medal and she had to run faster than 2:12.69 if she wanted to break Irina Belova’s 4991 World record.
The defending silver medallist, Dobrynska had no choice but to smash her 2:14.85 indoor PB and as she lined up for the start, it was clear she was not afraid to set out fast.
Dobrynska positioned herself on Ennis’ heels and did not let the British champion make up too much ground up until the final bend when Ennis, a fastest runner, sprinted for the line. Ennis’ lead was increasing metre by metre but Dobrysnka held on brilliantly to finish in a personal best 2:11.15 (948 points) to Ennis’ equivalently brilliant personal best 2:08.09 (993 points).
After opening with a 8.38 (1044 points) display in the 60m Hurdles and a 1.84 (1029 points) clearance in the High Jump, Dobrynska held the overall fourth position. At the break she moved into third with a 16.51 (962 points) Shot Put but it was her Long Jump personal best 6.57 (1030 points) which catapulted her in the lead and first indicated that she was on World record pace.
Dobrynska’s incredible efforts will be rewarded by a World record bonus of 50,000US$.
Today’s was by far the best Pentathlon in the history of the event with obviously Dobrysnka making history as the first woman to break 5000 points, but also Ennis setting a national record 4965 points, the third best performance of all-time behind Dobrysnka’s and Belova’s former World record only!
In third, Austra Skujyte also set a national record 4802 points to become the 12th best performer of all-time.
With a 2:08.25 effort in the 800m, Poland’s Karolina Tyminska ended in a season’s best 4725 points in fourth, the same score amassed by Chernova in fifth.
What a better way than a World record for the IAAF World Indoor Championships to begin!
Laura Arcoleo for the IAAF
*pending the usual ratification procedures