Late in the game, Nafissatou Thiam, the Rio Olympic gold medalist at the heptathlon, decided to compete in the European Indoors in Belgrade. She had not focused her training on the pentathlon, so she was making a gamble.
It would prove to be a very good gamble.
Nafissatou Thiam wanted to perform, and perform she did.
She started off well, running the 60 meter hurdles in 8.23, for 1077 points. For Nafissatou, it was a PB!
Ivona Dadic ran hurdled 8.45, a PB also, scoring 1028 points, finishing fifth in her heat.
The second event, the high jump, is a strong event for Nafissatou, but it was also a strong event for the rest of the field. By the time she got to 1.96m, it was nearly two hours of competition, and she was tired, yet she cleared 1.96m for 1184 points. Her attempts at 1.99m were okay but tired. Toni Minichiello, coach of Jessica Ennis, told me that he was quite impressed with the Belgian gold medalist, and he was confident she would clear 2 meters in multi event competition soon.
Yana Maksimava, Belarus, jumped 1.87m, for 1067 points in second and Ivana Dadic, Austria, was third in a PB of 1.87m, also for 1067 points.
Nadine Broerson took the lead in first round with a 14.59m for 833 points. Gyorgiy Zvikoskiy-Farkas, HUN, then threw 14.95m ( as Nafissatou Thiam opened with a 14.11m. In round two, Broerson threw another 14.59m, and then, Thiam opened up and threw 15.29m, to take the lead, with 880 points. Zvikoskiy-Farkas came back with a 14.92m throw for her. Ivona Dadic was 9th overall with her PB of 13.93m.
Ivona Dadic, AUT, won this one, with a jump of 6.41m for 978 points. Gyorgiy Zvikoskiy-Farkas, HUN, was second in 6.38m for 969 points, and Nafissatou Thiam, BEL, was in third for 6.37m for 965 points. After the long jump, Thiam was at 4106, Ivona Dadic at 3862, and Gyorgiy Zvikoskiy-Farkas, HUN, was third in 3842.
In the second head, Ivona Dadic, AUT, won in 2:14.11. In third, Gyorgiy Zvikoskiy-Farkas, HUN ran 2:15.86 and in last, Nafissatou Thiam, ran 2:24.44 for 764 points.
Thiam was gutted. She had four strong events and the 800 meters wore her out, but those 764 points gave her 4,870, the fifth best performance by a European ever. Ivana Dadic set an Austrian NR of 4,776 for her silver medal and Gyorgiy Zvikoskiy-Farkas, HUN, took the bronze with a score of 4,723, a PB.
In the end, Nafissatou Thiam was concerned that she deliver a medal, and the gold medal at that, for her country, and she did just that.
There will be another time for a World or Championship record.