Theisen-Eaton Finally Grabs World Gold Medal
PORTLAND – Brittney Reese and Brianne Theisen-Eaton secured gold medals after delivering late, but Asafa Powell suffered yet another global meeting heartbreaker at the IAAF Indoor World Championships on Friday night.
Theisen-Eaton used a brilliant indoor personal-best run of 2:09.99 in the 800m to snatch the women’s Pentathlon title after scoring a world-leading mark of 4881 points to strike gold and ended a streak of three consecutive global silver medals.
Needing a winning margin of 10.7 seconds over Anastasiya Mokhnyuk of Ukraine to have a shot at winning the gold medal, The Canadian, watched closely by her husband Ashton Eaton, went out hard from the start and did exactly what was required to bag her first world title.
Mokhnyuk finished with the silver medal with a personal best tally of 4847 points while Alina Fodorova of Ukraine ended third with 4770pts.
Theisen-Eaton had led through the first two events of the competition before being overtaken by the Ukraine pair heading into the final event.
Meanwhile, Brittney Reese saved her best jump for last after the American returned to the IAAF World Indoor Championships to win another long jump title with a world-leading 7.22m effort on her final jump of the battle.
Reese, who trailed Ivana Spanovic for most of the competition, matched the Serbian’s best mark in the fifth round when she produced 7.00m to take the advantage.
However, Spanovic grabbed back the lead with her fifth attempt — leaping to 7.07m to put the pressure on the American.
Reese asked for assistance from the crowd and the home fans responded immediately with the clap support for the two-time winner, who impressively and confidently stretched out to the fourth-longest jump indoor all-time.
Spanovic failed to match the leading mark with her last attempt and had to the settle for silver, with Britain’s Lorraine Ugen grabbing the bronze with a national indoor record of 6.93m.
Over in the sprints, Asafa Powell was once again left disappointed after he failed in his bid to win a major championships gold medal.
The Jamaican made lots of noise in the heats and semi-final, after producing back-to-back 6.44 seconds performances heading into the final.
However, the former 100m world record holder got a poor start in the title race and was edged out by American Trayvon Bromell, who celebrated the title with a personal best of 6.47 secs.
After a long delay because of computer problems, Powell was handed the silver in 6.50 and Ramon Gittens of Barbados got the bronze with a national record of 6.51.
Defending champion Nia Ali of USA successfully retained her women’s 60m hurdles title and led an American 1-2 finish in the process.
Ali crossed the finish line in 7.81 to defeat compatriot Brianna Rollins (7.82) and Britain’s Tiffany Porter, who repeated as the bronze medalist in 7.90.
Kendra Harrison (USA), a strong gold medal contender, crashed into the second barrier and finished last.
The other final on day two saw Tomas Walsh of New Zealand throwing a world-leading 21.78m to take the men’s Shot Put over Andrei Gag (ROU), 20.89, and Filip Mihaljevic (CRO) 20.87m.