Before the penultimate event of the heptathlon, the gold and silver medals already seemed decided. Now, after the conclusion of the javelin, the bronze medal looks to have been secured – provisionally, at least.
Katarina Johnson-Thompson of the host nation was up in the first group and gave herself a fighting chance of a medal by throwing 41.72m, the second-best throw of her life and her best ever within a heptathlon.
But she then had to watch as the other podium contenders threw in the second group. European champion Anouk Vetter of the Netherlands was the star performer of that pool, sending her spear out to a championship best mark of 58.41m.
It meant Vetter moved from fifth to third overall with just one event remaining with 5805 points. She is just three points behind Carolin Schafer, who threw a solid 49.99m, and a comfortable 169 points ahead of Yorgelis Rodriguez, who managed 47.41m with her one legal throw.
Johnson-Thompson is currently fifth with 5565. She is a stronger 800m runner than the four women ahead of her on the leaderboard, but the deficit might be too much to make up to get on to the podium.
Overall leader Nafissatou Thiam put together a solid series, her best being 53.93m in the final round to bring her total to 5980. Her 172-point margin over Schafer roughly translates to 12 seconds in 800m terms, which will be nearly impossible for the German, given their 800m personal bests are just one second apart.
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF