Nafissatou Thiam Stands Tall in 800m to Win World Heptathlon Gold


Belgium’s double Olympic champion Nafissatou Thiam reclaimed the world heptathlon title in emphatic style on Monday when she produced a personal best in the final 800 metres to see off the challenge of Dutch rival Anouk Vetter.

Vetter, who won silver behind Thiam in Tokyo last year, had gone into the final event 19 points ahead, equating to 1.3 seconds over 800m, but her personal best was more than two seconds slower than Thiam’s.

She was never able to pose a serious threat though, looking tired from the start, while Thiam showed her class by posting a massive personal best by more than two seconds of 2:13.00 to claim a second world gold after 2017.

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“I worked really hard on the 800 so knew I could do a good time but think I needed that extra push of someone behind me,” Thiam said.

Thiam had lead at the end of Sunday’s action as she tallied her best-ever first day’s points total.

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Vetter hit back with a personal best long jump and a strong javelin on Monday morning to edge into that slender lead.

American Anna Hall, 21 and a great prospect for future titles, took bronze and also had the pleasure of being cheered home as the winner of the 800m.

Britain’s defending champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson, who edged out Thiam in the 2019 worlds, was below-par throughout and finished eighth.

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