Daegu, KoreaJessica Ennis, the defending Heptathlon champion, ended the first day with an overall lead of 151 points over Tatyana Chernova - 4078 to 3927 – but she knows she will have to battle in the three concluding events, where the Russian usually makes big gains.
Ennis earned her first event victory of day one in the concluding 200m, where she clocked 23.27, but the closest runner to her was Chernova, who finished swiftly over the final 50 metres in the inside lane to earn a personal best of 23.50.
“I was very frustrated after the first two events but I was really happy to throw that pb in the shot,” said the 25-year-old Sheffield athlete. “It’s so tight and it’s going to be a tough day tomorrow.”
In Berlin two years ago, Ennis ended the first day with a lead of 307 points, having won all the events save the Shot Put, where she achieved a personal best of 14.14m.
Here, after unexpected defeats in the 100m Hurdles and High Jump, she had revived her challenge with a big personal best in the shot before concluding with the upper hand.
Ennis got away well in lane four in the first and strongest heat, and by the halfway mark was already well up on the woman outside her, Jessica Zelinka of Canada.
She entered the straight with a metre lead, challenged most strongly by Hyleas Fountain in lane six, but over the last 50 metres a challenge emerged on her left as the leggy figure of Chernova came charging through.
Karolina Tyminska of Poland was third in 23.87, one place ahead of Fountain, who had won the high hurdles and High Jump before dipping significantly in the shot.
The American clocked 23.96 to finish third in the overall ranking overnight on 3887, 191 points adrift of the Briton. Natallia Dobrynska, Ukraine’s Olympic champion, is in fourth place with 3868, one position ahead of Poland’s Karolina Tyminska, who has 3843.
A false start in the second heat saw Grit Sadeiko of Estonia being shown the yellow card – unlike athletes in other track disciplines, multi-eventers get one chance each before disqualification. Perhaps Usain Bolt may be turning his mind to a career move…
The race was won by Britain’s Louise Hazel in 24.25, with Sadeiko making the most of her second chance with a personal best of 24.39 in second place.
Mike Rowbottom for the IAAF