Beijing World Champs, Day 2, Session One: Jessie Ennis Hill astounds, KJT has disaster in LJ, by Alex Mills

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Ennis_JessicaLJ-Beijing15.JPGJessie Ennis-Hill, Long Jump, August 23, 2015, photo by PhotoRun.net

By now, it is incredibly clear that Jessie Ennis Hill is back, in shape and competitive as 2012. Her coach, Toni Minchiello and her have been quite careful about committing her to Beijing until they felt ready. Well six events into the heptathlon, Jessie is on route to gold and the battle continues....

Here is the round up of session one, Day two from Alex Mills.

Spain's Miguel Angel Lopez denied China their first gold medal of the IAAF World Championships as he came through to take the 20km race walk title and stop Wang Zhen from winning on home soil.

Lopez_MiguelFV1-Beijing15.JPGMiguel Angel Lopez, 20k winner, August 23, 2015, photo by PhotoRun.net

Having seen Lijiao Gong bring home silver last night, it looked as though Zhen might go one better as he broke away from the leading pack 14km into the race, but Lopez, a bronze medallist in 2013, had other ideas. He stayed close to the his heels of his rival before eventually pulling away for a comfortable victory, crossing the finish line in 1:19.14 PB with Wang clocking 1:19.29. Canadian Ben Thorne was a clear third, clocking a national record 1:19.28.

"This is the best moment in my life," Lopez said post race. "The course was difficult and then there was the heat. It was a tactical race but I kept calm. I have worked very hard for this and I am so proud of it."

"At 14km the race broke somehow and it was an important moment for the leading group. The last 200m (when he entered the stadium) was an incredible sensation. I remembered all the people who have helped me."

Jessica Ennis-Hill looks almost certain to win heptathlon gold after two more solid performances gave her an 86 point lead going into the final event of the competition this evening. With her position as leader potentially in threat as she went into her two weakest events on Sunday morning, she made sure that her rivals would not gain little ground on her. First the Olympic champion leapt out to an impressive 6.43m in the long jump before throwing 42.51m in the javelin. She now leads second placed Nadine Broerson by 86 points, with Canda's Brianne Theisen-Eaton a further 8 behind. The pair will have to beat her by around six seconds if she is to be defeated, which looks unlikely given the Brit has the strongest PB.

Johnson_KatarineLJoffical-Beijing15.JPGKaterina Johnson-Thompson, August 23, 2015, LJ Horrors, photo by PhotoRun.net

There was however disaster for Katerina Johnson-Thompson who dropped out of medal contention after failing to register a measurement in the long jump. The 22 year-old went into day two in silver medal position and looked set to go into the lead with a good result in her strongest event. After overshooting her first two jumps, it looked as though she had nailed her final attempt only to be given the red flag after a long period of delegation, having appeared to hit the board by the smallest of margins. Though she appealed against the decision, her quest was ultimately unsuccessful.

It may have only been the first round of the men's 400m but that did not stop the field from producing some outstanding performances, particularly in heat two where amazingly two men broke 44 seconds and Martyn Rooney's 44.45 PB only good enough for fourth!

With eighteen men breaking 45 seconds it was a great sign for things to come both in terms of the standard and the outcome of the next two rounds, especially with reigning champion LaShawn Merrit and Olympic champion Kirani James only the 7th and 10th fastest qualifiers.

Leading the way were Yousef Ahmed Masrahi and Rusheen McDonald of Jamaica, who both ran 43.93s to break their area and national records respectively. With Diamond League leader Wayde Van Niekerk and US champion David Verburg among the other winners.

In the heats of the women's 400 metre hurdles Usa's Cassandra Tate was incredibly impressive as she made tomorrow's semi-final as the fastest qualifier running 54.27 for victory. Reigning champion Zuzana Hejnová and Commonwealth champion Kaliese Spencer also won their races easily.

Big guns David Storl and Joe Kovacs both threw over the 21 metre to easily qualify for the final of the men's shot put where they look set to have a mouth watering battle.

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