Pentathlon gold and silver for GB
You sensed it was going to be a good day for Great Britain in the Pentathlon when Niamh Emerson set a PR in the 60m hurdles in the first event of the day. After all, we do have previous wins in women’s multi-events. Katarina Johnson-Thompson won this European Indoors in 2015 with 5000 points, the most ever at a Euro Indoors.
In the outdoor multi-events there was a certain Jess Ennis and before her Kelly Sotherton and Denise Lewis.
Niamh Emerson and Katerina Johnson-Thompson, photo by Getty Images/European Athletics
Katarina Johnson-Thompson dominated the day scoring a world lead 4983, scoring as follows:
60m hurdles 8:27 (1068 points)
High Jump 1.96 (1184)
Shot 13.15 (737)
Long Jump 6.53 (1017)
800 2:09.13 (977)
Her high jump – a Championship best mark of 1.96m – was just 1cm short of the British indoor record. It was her best jump since her British outdoor record of 1.98m at the 2016 Olympic Games. The rich form continued in the shot, with a first-round best of 13.15m – a personal best by 1cm. There was relief around the arena as the world indoor champion logged a mark of 6.53m in round two of the long jump following a first-round foul, which had raised the tension. In fact, that leap was her best out of three and was the leading mark of the competition, winning the long jump event overall to tighten her grip on gold.
Running hard in the 800m, she was timed at 2:09.13 to wrap-up the day with a world lead of 4983 points and second European indoor title to her name. In doing so, she became the third athlete to win two European indoor pentathlon titles following in the footsteps of Carolina Kluft and Nana Djimou.
She said of her day: “ItÂ´s been a great day, itÂ´s been amazing. I was going to say I couldnÂ´t really ask for more, but I felt in the long jump I could have maybe gone a bit more. I was really happy with how it went overall. 4900 points is a really good score – is my second best ever- so I am happy. I am really proud of myself. I am really happy with getting a PB in the shot put and a championship best in the 800m. The throwing has been something I have been working hard on.
If KJT’s win was expected, 19 year old Niamh Emerson’s silver medal was stunning. The 2018 World Junior champion, improved her PR from 4544 to 4731. Emerson said afterwards: “It was stressful before the 800m, I’m not going to lie. I’ve been training really hard but I don’t really know if I’d put it down to anything specific – I just got into my stride and kept it going really. There weren’t really surprises in any events – I knew the Shot PR was coming, I just had to get it done, and obviously knowing what you can do and doing it are different stories, so I just did it and was like ‘oh!’.
I was so surprised at the atmosphere because when you go to home events – in my experience at least – no-one really knows who you are and you just get a pity cheer, but when we came out for the 800m they actually cheered and I thought ‘oh my god, this is so cool’. The noise for Kat was amazing too.
She acknowledged the legacy of previous successful multi-eventers, commenting: “Each and every heptathlete is so different, there’s so many different ways to the same place, but they are such good role models”.
KJT took the time in her moment of glory to pay tribute to her young rival: “I’ve been so impressed. I’ve seen glimpses of it but we got to know each other well at the Commonwealth Games last year and since then I’ve been one of her biggest fans. I said to her before the competition that I believed in her, so I’m really pleased she’s come away with a medal”.