Could another Eaton strike gold in the World Championship multi-events competition? American Ashton Eaton finished first in the decathlon over the weekend, but his wife, Canada's Brianne Theisen-Eaton, is now competing in the heptathlon, which began this morning in Moscow. Theisen-Eaton led all competitors in the 100-meter hurdles, finishing in 13.17 seconds to earn 1,099 points. Nafissatou Thiam of Belgium paced the field in the high jump, leaping a personal best 1.92 meters (6 feet, 3½ inches) to gain 1,132 points. Overall, however, Ukraine's Gann Melnichenko leads after two events with 2,135 points. Theisen-Eaton is second with 2,115, followed by Thiam (2,092), Great Britain's Katarina Johnson-Thompson (2,068) and Sharon Day of the United States (2,065). The heptathlon continues with the shot put and 200-meter run later today.
Men and women both held their 400-meter hurdles heats Monday morning. Michael Tinsley of the U.S. led the men with a time of 49.07 seconds. The biggest name among the non-qualifiers was L.J. Van Zyl of South Africa. Great Britain's Perri-Shakes Drayton led the women in 54.42, followed by Americans Dalilah Muhammad and Lashinda Demus. Olympic champion Natalya Antyukh of Russia hasn't been in top form this year, but ran near her season's best Monday, placing third in her heat in 55.29. It'll be interesting to see if she progresses further in tomorrow's semifinals. American Georganne Moline was a surprising non-qualifier Monday after striking a hurdle, while Kaliese Spencer of Jamaica was disqualified for swinging her trail leg around a hurdle, rather than over the obstacle.
Robert Harting, Piotr Malachowski and Gerd Kanter all topped the 65-meter automatic qualifying mark in Monday morning's men's discus throw qualifications. Harting led all competitors with a throw measuring 66.62/218-7. Benn Harradine, who was ninth in the 2012 Olympics, failed to make the field for Tuesday's final.
Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad of France led all competitors in the men's steeplechase heats, with a time of 8:15.43. Matthew Hughes of Canada was second to Mekhissi-Benabbad and a surprising second overall in a personal best of 8:16.93, although that race was easily the fastest heat overall. Evan Jager of the U.S. won the second heat in 8:23.76, while Kenya's Conseslus Kipruto took his heat in 8:22.31. All four Kenyans reached the final, which is scheduled for Thursday. Kenyans have won the last three men's steeplechase World Championship finals.
Monday's afternoon session includes finals in the men's pole vault, hammer throw and 110-meter hurdles, plus the women's 400 meters, shot put and 100 meters.