Athletics Athletics

Thiam lurks as Schafer leads heptathlon after first day

Belgium’s Nafissatou Thiam competes in the high jump of the women’s heptathlon at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London on August 5, 2017 © AFP / Andrej ISAKOVIC

LONDON, United Kingdom, Aug 5Germany’s Carolin Schafer, with Olympic champion Nafi Thiam breathing down her neck, will head into the second day of heptathlon at the IAAF World Championships in London on Sunday in pole position.

Schafer amassed 4,036 points thanks to a strong 200m, leaving her 22pts ahead of Thiam.

But the Belgian university student will be favourite for the second day.

Thiam clocked 13.54sec in the opening event of the day, the 100m hurdles, the 11th fastest time.

She then cleared 1.95m in the high jump to end the morning’s session on 2,215 points, eight ahead of Cuban Yorgelis Rodriguez, who improved her high jump best by 8cm as she matched Thiam’s height.

Britain’s Katarina Johnson-Thompson was sixth in the hurdles, but flopped badly in the high jump, managing a best of only 1.80m, far off her personal best of 1.98m.

Thiam then turned the screw with a leading 15.17m in the shot put, before Schafer easily trumped her 24.57sec in the 200m for a narrow overall lead.

The heptathletes compete in the long jump, javelin and 800m on Sunday.