Hanna Melnychenko’s season’s best of 41.87m in the Javelin has suddenly made it very hard for anyone to catch her during the 800m, the final event of the Heptathlon.
The Ukrainian has scored 5619 points after six events and is 68 points ahead of Brianne Theisen Eaton. The Canadian has a similar 800m season’s best to Melnychenko this year, but her personal best is 2:09.27 from last year’s Olympics.
The Ukrainian has a personal best 2:12.54 from this season. To win gold, Theisen will need to finish 4.69 seconds ahead of Melnychenko, more than a second above the differential in their PBs, so it will be a real race for the gold in the last event.
Theisen Eaton produced a Javelin season’s best of 45.64m and has scored 5551 points so far. As a fast 800m runner, she can be assured that she has a medal, but of course has to compete for the gold in the last event.
Dutchwoman Dafne Schippers is still in third after a Javelin PB of 41.40m, but she will need to considerably lower her 2:15.52 personal best in the last event to get among the medals. European champion Antoinette Nana Djimou is in fourth place with 5481 after the second-best Javelin mark of the competition, 52.47m, but will likely be overtaken by Katarina Johnson-Thompson during the 800m.
The European under-23 champion was delighted with a 40.86m personal best in the Javelin and now has 5450 points for fifth place.
Germany’s Claudia Rath threw 39.04m and is in sixth place with 5444. Both she and Johnson-Thompson are expected to pass Schippers and Nana Djimou in the last event, racing for the World Championships bronze medal.
If Johnson-Thompson finishes within 0.41 of Rath in the 800m, then she will rank ahead of her in the overall standings. The Briton will also need to be 2.92 seconds ahead of Schippers, while Rath has to be around three seconds quicker than the Dutchwoman. It is a tough job as Rath has a personal best of 2:08.68 from this season, while Johnson-Thompson’s best is 2:10.76 from the London Olympics.
Behind this duo, Sharon Day is only 17 points behind Rath in seventh place with 5427 points after another scare in the Javelin. After two sub-par throws, the US world leader came up with a 47.17m throw with her third attempt.
With a PB of 2:11.31 from last year’s Olympics, Day will have a tough time catching Rath, but a good 800m performance could see her finish in the top five.
Mirko Jalava for the IAAF