30 August 2011A personal best 800m time from Jessica Ennis was not enough to prevent Tatyana Chernova relieving her of the World Heptathlon title as the Russian finished with 6880 points, with the defending champion having to settle for silver on 6751. Jennifer Oeser of Germany, silver medallist in Berlin two years ago, took bronze here with 6572 after also running a personal best.
The 23-year-old thus becomes only the eighth athlete to have won World Youth, World Junior and World Senior titles. For Ennis there was a less comforting statistic – this was the first championship Heptathlon she has completed since 2003 where she has not improved her personal best.
Although Ennis finished a couple of strides clear of her far taller opponent in 2:07.81, she needed a margin more akin to half the finishing straight if she was to reverse the position established after a javelin event where Chernova had performed close to her limit with 52.95 but she had fallen almost seven metres short of her best with 39.95.
Ennis, drawn in lane one, did the only thing she could by setting off fast, and by the time the field converged, Chernova, who had started in lane six, was a couple of metres behind her.
The Russian had looked all smiles before the race, saying hello to the cameras and doing little waves with both hands.
But the champion, even if she knew it would be unlikely she would remain a champion for much longer, was going for it.
By the time she heard the bell, clocking 1:00.88, she had a five metres lead, but already Poland’s Karolina Tyminiska was moving up to bridge the gap, and she passed the diminutive Briton halfway down the back straight.
As the runners came around the final bend, it seemed for a few seconds as if Chernova, who had not responded to Tyminska’s initiative, might be about to lose touch and a hugely unlikely finale was in prospect.
But by the time she arrived in the final straight the 6ft 2in Russian was already marshalling what power she had left in her long legs and she finished the final 50 metres far more swiftly than Ennis, who was clearly paying for her earlier enterprise.
Tyminska won in a personal best of 2:05.21, but her final total of 6544 was not quite enough to get her onto the medal podium.
She finished one place above Ukraine’s Olympic champion Natallia Dobrynska, who totalled 6539 after finishing fifth in a personal best of 2:11.34, one place below Oeser, who clocked 2:10.39.
Mike Rowbottom for the IAAF