Jessica Ennis of Great Britain competes in the Women's Heptathlon Long Jump on Day 8 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 4, 2012 (Getty Images) © Copyright
Many of the competitors fell back an enormous amount of points from their previous results, but at the top things were fine as usual. Briton Jessica Ennis, much to the delight of the home crowd, found a good 6.40m jump with her second attempt following a disappointing 5.95m start and then improved to 6.48m to a slight headwind, which was a really good effort in these conditions. The 26-year-old maintains her big lead in the heptathlon before the last two events having now scored 5159 total points, but unless there is a miracle in the Javelin, hopes of 7000 points are now gone. 6950p is still in her sights and she could still reach Carolina Klüft’s (SWE) 6954p total score which is the best result at the Olympics Heptathlon since 1992.
Behind the lone leader a few athletes dropped off the medal contention and given the nature of her first day, it really wasn’t a big surprise that one of these was the reigning Olympic champion Nataliya Dobrynska of Ukraine, who after two fouls didn’t get a proper result in round three and is out of the challenge for the top eight. Lithuanian Austra Skujyte is still in second place with 4901 points and had a good long jump result 6.25m, but she is not a fast 800m runner and would need a lot of points between her and the other contenders before the final event. Many of the athletes going for medals are almost equal in the javelin throw, so it will be very important to get a good result there.
Russian 2011 World champion Tatyana Chernova actually looked real happy for the first time in this competition having topped the Long Jump with a 6.54m season’s best result for 4869 points and she is a really good javelin thrower capable of well over 50m and a good 800m runner, who can run well under 2:10 and will be the best pick for the silver in the end. Chernova is closely followed by Lyudmyla Yosypenko (UKR), who had a season’s best in the Long Jump with 6.31m for 4848 total points. Dafne Schippers (NED) jumped 6.28m and is in in fifth with 4836p and German Lilli Schwarzkopf did extremely well reaching 6.30m season’s best and has 4798 total points for sixth. Russian Kristina Savitskaya was about half a metre below her best results and has lost her handle on a medal, she is seventh with 4782p. Beijing silver medallist Hyleas Fountain (USA) is in eighth place, but her recent javelin marks are nowhere near the standard needed here.
But there are still a lot of points available in the Javelin Throw and new names will come up to the top eight. One of these is the French European Champion Ida Antoinette Nana Djimou, who is in 11th place right now 157 points off the bronze, but did throw a 55.82m javelin result in Helsinki European Championships and could be back near medals after the next event. A decent 45m result will be more than enough for Jessica Ennis to secure the win before the last event, but javelin is not an event where results come easily, so there is still work to be done. German Lilli Schwarzkopf is a good javelin thrower and one of those who could push themselves in the top three with a good result in the next event.
Mirko Jalava for the IAAF