Belgium's Thiam retains Olympic goldFriday, August 06, 2021
TOKYO, Japan (AFP) — Belgium's Nafissatou Thiam successfully defended her Olympic heptathlon title on Thursday, a task made easier by the withdrawal of British world champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson.
Thiam amassed 6,791 points in the seven-discipline, two-day event made even more gruelling because of hot, humid conditions at Tokyo's Olympic Stadium.
Anouk Vetter of the Netherlands claimed silver with 6,689pts, with teammate Emma Oosterwegel taking bronze (6,590).
The 26-year-old Belgian Thiam registered 13.54 seconds in the opening 100m hurdles, 1.92m in the high jump, 14.82m in the shot put and 24.90sec on the first day of action.
That was followed up by 6.60m in the long jump, 54.68m in the javelin and 2:15.98 in the final, strength-sapping 800m.
“The first day was difficult for me,” said Thiam. “So on day two I had to really focus. I knew I had to do something really good in the long jump and javelin.”
Injuries and the COVID-19 pandemic meant it was the first time Thiam and Johnson-Thompson had contested a full heptathlon since their clash at the Doha world championships in 2019.
But the Briton, who suffered a ruptured achilles earlier this year but returned to competition at the end of June, pulled up with a calf injury in the 200m.