Ukraine's Ganna Melnichenko hasn't led the field in any of the first six World Championship heptathlon events, but her consistency has her in the first place overall entering the final event, the 800 meters. Melnichenko opened a 120-point lead over Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands after the fifth event by leaping 6.49 meters (21 feet, 3½ inches) in the long jump this morning. Canada's Brianne Theisen-Eaton then moved into second place and cut the gap to 68 points by throwing 45.64/149-9 in the javelin, while Melnichenko managed 41.87/137-4. After six events, Melnichenko has 5,619 points, followed by Theisen-Eaton with 5,551 and Schippers at 5,492. Theisen-Eaton must beat Melnichenko by about 4.8 seconds in the 800 this afternoon to take the gold. The Canadian has a heptathlon personal best of 2:09.27, which is 3.27 seconds better than Melnichenko's. Neither Schippers nor fourth place Antoinette Nana Djimou Ida (5,481 points) is strong in the 800, so several athletes can maintain bronze medal hopes, including Katarina Johnson-Thompson (5,450), Claudia Rath (5,444) and Sharon Day (5,427).
Elena Lashmanova repeated her Olympic gold medal-winning performance in Tuesday's 20-kilometer race walk event, moving into the lead late in the race to bring home the gold medal. Lashmanova finished in 1:27:08, three seconds better than fellow Russian Anisya Kirdyapkina. Vera Sokolova suffered a late disqualification for her third lifting infraction, preventing Russia from sweeping the medals. China's Liu Hong inherited Sokolova's third place spot and hung on to earn the bronze medal in 1:28:10. Elisa Rigaudo of Italy and Anezka Drahotova of the Czech Republic were the early leaders, with Lashmanova and Kirdyapkina five seconds off the pace at the 10K mark. The Russians moved ahead about 4 kilometers later, with Lashmanova taking charge after 18 kilometers. At age 21 she's the youngest World Championship women's race walk winner at 20K.
Eight men's high jumpers qualified for Thursday's final by clearing 2.29/7-6, while four more slipped through at 2.26/7-5. The biggest name among non-qualifiers was American Jesse Williams, the defending World champion. Otherwise, the expected qualifiers all moved on to the final.
Muktar Edris led the 5000-meter qualifiers with a time of 13:20.82. Fellow Ethiopian Hagos Gebrhiwet won the other heat in 13:23.22. Galen Rupp and Mo Farah, who both ran in the 10,000 meters last Saturday, took it a bit easy Tuesday and placed fourth and fifth, respectively, in Edris' heat, to qualify for Friday's final. Three Kenyans, three Ethiopians and three Americans qualified on Tuesday.
Olha Saladuha of Ukraine leaped 14.69/48-2¼ Tuesday to lead seven triple jumpers past the automatic qualifying mark of 14.30. The event's favorites all qualified for Thursday's final. Keila Costa of Brazil was the top name among the non-qualifiers.
The Championships continue Tuesday afternoon with finals in the women's pole vault and steeplechase, the men's discus throw, 800- and 400-meter races, and the seventh heptathlon event.