The heptathletes opened the action on day two here in Istanbul with the 60m Hurdles and, as it was the case all day yesterday, all eyes were on Ashton Eaton, the American World record holder who has proven to be head and shoulders above the rest of the field.
Having left the Atakoy arena last night with a total of 3654 points, Eaton is still on pace with his own World record performance although he will have to be at his very best today if he wants to emulate Natallia Dobrynska’s fantastic achievement in the Pentathlon.
The 24-year-old Eugene-based, set off brilliantly in lane 6 and already it was a race against the clock for Eaton.
When he set his World record 6568 points in Tallin just over one year ago, Eaton had clocked the fastest time ever recorded in a Combined Events 60m Hurdles at 7.60. To measure the quality of that performance, none of the morning qualifiers in the individual 60m Hurdles this morning ran that fast here in Istanbul!
Eaton clipped the second hurdle before sprinting safely to the line the clock flashing a satisfactory 7.67. The time was rounded up to 7.68 worth 1064 points; the fastest ever recorded in a Heptathlon at the World Indoor Championships.
Eaton may have “lost” 21 points in the Hurdles but he’s still 55 points ahead of his record.
The remainder of the field was left behind in the 60m Hurdles, Russia’s Ilya Shkurenev being the next through the line in 8.10, just as it has been left behind in the overall standings. Ukraine’s Oleksiy Kasyanov, currently second with 4375 – 343 points off Eaton! – losing more ground after a poor 8.39 showing in the morning’s Hurdles.
The casualty of the event was Estonia’s Mill Pahapill who went down heavily at the second hurdle and had to be escorted out on a stretcher by the medical staff.
Eaton now turns to the most challenging of all events, history having told us that anything can happen in the Pole Vault. The American will have his 5.20m performance from Tallin as a target, which would keep on World record pace going into the final event of the competition.
Laura Arcoleo for the IAAF