The penultimate event of the women’s Pentathlon here in Istanbul proved to be all about Natallia Dobrynska. The 29-year-old Olympic champion not only won the event in a season’s best 6.57 (1030 points), she also leapfrogged from third to first in the overall standings.
Dobrynska’s tally after four events now reads 4065 points; unexpectedly she is the only woman at this stage of the competition over 4000 points.
Dobrynska opened with a 6.41 effort which she backed up with her third and final attempt to now find herself 87 points ahead of Austra Skujyte of Lithuania. Skujyte couldn’t improve on her opening 6.24 effort, still good enough for 924 points and securely in second with an overall total of 3978 points.
Great Britain’s Jessica Ennis who had been in the lead since the beginning of the competition this morning suddenly found herself trailing in third with an overall score of 3972 points. Her poor 6.19 showing in the Long Jump was worth only 908 points and now the defending champion has a 93 points gap with the lead.
Ennis will have to fight hard to become the first woman ever to defend a Pentathlon World Indoor title although on paper she is a better 800m runner.
World leader Yekaterina Bolshova who has gone almost unnoticed in the morning events, improved her Long Jump personal best to 6.52 (1014 points) and is currently featuring in the top five positions with an overall tally of 3738 points.
Heptathlon World champion Tatyana Chernova’s day doesn’t seem to be improving, the imposing Russian jumping 6.25 today, half-a-metre off her personal best. She stands in fourth with 3807 points.
In the final event of the day, the 800m, we should expect Dobrynska and Ennis to go out strong, both athletes having similar personal bests at the distance.
Ennis will have no choice but to dictate the tempo, her 800m personal best being only 33 points better than Dobrynska’s.
Dobrynska needs to run faster than 2:12.69 to break the World Indoor record.
Laura Arcoleo for the IAAF