As expected, Brianne Theisen Eaton of Canada grabbed the lead in the Heptathlon after the first event. The 24-year-old clocked 13.17 in the 100m Hurdles into a -0.6 m/s headwind, just 0.04 from her season’s best and is leading the Heptathlon with 1099.
She is one of several genuine medal favourites in the competition in the absence of several key names from past championships.
The No.1 favourite for gold here, USA’s Sharon Day, started well with a 13.51 personal best in the opening event and is in equal eighth place at the moment. Day is the 2013 world leader with a 6550 personal best winning mark at the US Championships in Des Moines in June.
She should move much closer to the lead in the next event, the High Jump, as she jumped a season’s best of 1.90m in her series at the US Championships and has the highest personal best in that event with 1.95m.
Another medal contender, Hanna Melnychenko, also started well with 13.29 in the 100m Hurdles and is in second place with 1081. Multitalented 21-year-old Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands is in third place with 1080 following a 13.30 season’s best. The European under-23 100m champion has a 100m PB of 11.09 and she too should be near the medals here.
In fourth place is the 2012 European champion Antoinette Nana Djimou, who is one of the athletes that can challenge Sharon Day for the win. The Frenchwoman has not shown good form in all of the events this season, but her 13.36 opener suggests she is going to be better here than her 6104 season’s best.
Estonian Grit Sadeiko hurdled to a 13.40 season’s best and Karolina Tyminska of Poland clocked 13.48, while young Briton Katarina Johnson-Thompson, the European under-23 champion from Tampere, opened at 13.49. All of these are looking for a place in the top eight with Tyminska even with an outside chance for a medal.
A few athletes have already dropped out of medal contention, with Dutch Nadine Broersen crashing to the ground after hitting the last hurdle. With her personal best 6345, she was looking for a medal here. Germany’s Julia Machtig also had problems in the first event, finishing in 14.38, but still has a chance for a medal here should she pick up the pace in the next events.
Mirko Jalava for the IAAF