Tom Pappas, of the United States, looked to be building a seemingly unassailable lead at the halfway point in the Heptathlon at the 9th IAAF World Indoor Championships here in Birmingham today.
Victory in the High Jump, the fourth of the seven disciplines, stretched the American's advantage to nearly 200 points over defending champion, Roman Sebrle, of the Czech Republic.
Pappas's 2.17m clearance gave him 963pts and a first-day total of 3700. Sebrle could only manage 2.08, for 878pts and 3503, as he moved back into second place ahead of the Russian, Lev Lobodin, whose 2.05m jump yielded 850 and a 3499 total in a close battle for the lesser medals.
Iceland's Jon Arnar Magnusson could still figure on the podium, as he lies in fourth on 3486, after a 2.02m jump (822).
The Heptathlon continues on Sunday with the 60m Hurdles, Pole Vault and 1,000 metres. Erki Nool, the Olympic champion from Estonia, will not be involved, having withdrawn from the event after three no throws in the Shot Put.