The 2013-2016 IAAF Strategic Plan has six Core Values: universality, leadership, unity, excellence, integrity and solidarity, and a Vision Statement: “To lead, govern and develop the sport of athletics in all its forms worldwide, uniting the Athletics Family in a spirit of excellence, integrity and solidarity.”
The sixth event of the women’s Heptathlon, the Javelin Throw, was exactly as tricky as promised. Some athletes were well below, but some were absolutely top of their game.
The successful throwers included the leader Jessica Ennis. The Briton had failed in this event in Daegu last year, but in London her first throw of 46.61m should barring disasters in the last event ensure the gold medal for the 2009 World champion.
Ennis continued with a 47.49m personal best with her last attempt and can reach 6950 total points in the competition with a 2:09 800m result, having scored 5971 points after six events. For 7000 points she would need a 2:05.65 800m and that is simply a result out of reach for the athlete who has run 2:08.09 indoors this season and 2:07.81 PB in Daegu last season.
Behind Ennis there was a lot of movement and one to lose a lot of points was the reigning World champion from Daegu 2011, Tatyana Chernova of Russia. The 24-year-old was way behind her previous marks with a 46.29m first round effort she was unable to better in the competition. 53.21 this season and a 54.49 PB suggested she should have done a lot better, but the Russian is still within touching distance of the medals.
Chernova went down to sixth place after six events, but is only 44 points from the bronze medal and will win a medal here if she runs a 2:07-2:08 800m race. Austra Skujyte (LTU) did really well in the javelin with a 51.13m season’s best, the second longest throw of her career and best since the Osaka World Champs PB 52.63m in 2007. The Lithuanian is now in second place with 5783 points, but is easily the slowest of the athletes aiming for a medal in the 800m. Her personal best is 2:15.92 from the Athens Olympics, where she won the silver medal, but she hasn’t come close to that mark in years. A 2:20 run will not be enough for a medal and she has to be able to at least aim for 2:18 in order to have a chance.
Lyudmyla Yosypenko of Ukraine is in a surprise third place following a 49.63m season’s best with 5701 points and could be on her way to a medal. She has only run a 2:15.28 800m this season, but has a much faster 2:12.51 personal best from August 2011. That kind of result here would mean a medal for her.
The javelin competition was the best ever at the Olympics with the Olympic best in the heptathlon javelin broken twice. First it was the European Champion Ida Antoinette Nana Djimou with a 55.87m personal best surpassing 1996 Olympic Champion Ghada Shouaa’s (SYR) 55.70m mark from Atlanta. Then Sofia Ifantidou of Greece hit the jackpot with a 56.96m personal best which added 6cm to her previous best, which brought her the second place at the Greek Javelin Championships, but she is not going to be at the top half in the Heptathlon here. The Frenchwoman is still close to the medals in fourth place with 5696 points, but her 800m ability does not match that of Yosypenko’s ahead of her and that of German Lilli Schwarzkopf’s who is just 4 points behind. The 28-year-old threw 51.73m, which was maybe a bit less than she expected, but still enough give her a chance for a medal in the 800m.
Projected points according to the athletes result in their best heptathlon in the last two years: Ennis 6950, 2:09.00 Götzis 2012 (PB 2:07.81 2011, would be +18p) Chernova 6650, 2:08.04 Daegu 2011 (PB 2:06.50 2008, +23p) Schwarzkopf 6605, 2:13.57 Götzis 2012 (PB 2:09.63 2006, +57p) Skujyte 6594, 2:20.94 Götzis 2012 (PB 2:15.92 2004, +69p) Yosypenko 6590, 2:15.28 Götzis 2012 (PB 2:12.51 2011, +39p) Nana Djimou 6547, 2:17.99 Helsinki 2012 (PB 2:16.49, +21p)
Skujyte leads Yosypenko by approx 5.8 seconds, Nana Djimou is about 6 seconds behind the Lithuanian, Schwarzkopf is about 6.5 seconds from Skujyte and Chernova is almost 9 seconds from the silver medal at this stage.