Photo Credit: AP

Belgium’s Nafissatou Thiam set five Personal Bests (PB) to emerge the new Heptathlon Champion on Day 2 of Track and Field at the Olympic Games in Rio, upstaging defending champion Jessica Ennis-Hill who was favoured to retain her London 2012 title.

The 21-year old did not even come to the Games with the thought of winning a medal, but went on to set lifetime bests in the 100m Hurdles (13.56s), Long Jump (6.58m), Javelin (53.13m) and 800m (2:16.54)

Her most outstanding performance was in the High Jump where she and Great Britain’s Katarina Johnson-Thompson cleared a World Heptathlon Best (WHB) of 1.98m. She also topped the standings in the Shot put with a throw of 14.91m.

The 2014 European Championships Bronze medallist amassed a total of 6810 points – a Belgian Record, to secure her first global title. Speaking afterwards, the former European Junior Champion said:

“It’s crazy. I wasn’t expecting that – maybe top eight, but not the gold. It was very hard coming back from being injured. I wasn’t sure if I would even make these Games, but we did a lot of work with the physio and it worked.”

The fierce competition saw reigning World Champion Ennis-Hill take the Silver with a Season’s Best (SB) of 6775 points, her best mark since winning the Olympic title in 2012. World Indoor Champion Brianne Theisen-Eaton won Bronze with 6653 points, her best ever mark at a major championship.

It was not a good outing for Nigerian Record holder Uhunoma Osazuwa who finished 29th with a total of 4916, a far cry from her NR of 6153 points.

Uhunoma, who was the only African in the field, ranked 20th in the Shot put (13.15m), 17th in the 200m (24.67s), 28th in the Long Jump (5.72m), 29th in the Javelin throw (33.42m), 20th in the 100m Hurdles (13.75s), 21st in the High Jump (1.77m), and was subsequently disqualified in the 800m.

Photo Credit: AP
Photo Credit: AP

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