Great Britain’s Jessica Ennis got off to a superb start in her World Indoor title defence campaign as she clocked the fastest time ever recorded by any woman in a Pentathlon and just four hundredths of a second off her personal best at 7.91.
The much anticipated head to head competition between Ennis, the defending champion, and Russia’s Tatyana Chernova, the woman who defeated her to claim the World Heptathlon title last year in Daegu, got underway as expected; that is to say with Ennis leading after the first event the 60m Hurdles.
It is no surprise to see the 26-year-old Ennis in the lead at this stage of the competition considering the sprint hurdles is her strongest event; what is a little more surprising is to find Chernova trail by no fewer than 76 points following her 8.29 display in the 60m Hurdles, a full 2 tenths of a second slower than her personal best time.
Chernova found herself trailing from the gun, her sluggish start an unexpected sight especially alongside Ennis’ tremendous reaction from the blocks. The tall and powerful Russian only just managed to recover her tempo in the final stages of the race to cross the line in second ahead of Olympic champion Natalia Dobrynska of Ukraine at 8.38 while Ennis’ display was as fluid as ever.
As expected, the three women who stepped on the podium at the last edition of these championships in Doha two years ago, already feature in the lead with Ennis scoring 1150 points, Chernova 1064 and Dobrysnka 1044.
Ennis is still on course to establish a new World Indoor record; if she was to equal her personal bests in all the remaining events, her projected score would be 5068 points; Chernova’s projected score at this stage of the competition would be 4990 points!
Laura Arcoleo for the IAAF