Nadine Broersen of the Netherlands earned the first gold medal of the World Indoor Championships by hanging on for victory in the pentathlon. Broersen took a 116-point lead after the morning events, then leaped a respectable 6.17 meters (20 feet, 2¾ inches) in the long jump, giving her a 101-point lead entering the final event, the 800 meters - one of Broersen's weaker events. She placed sixth overall in the 800, finishing in 2:14.97, but that was enough to give her a winning total of 4,830 points. Canada's Brianne Theisen-Eaton was second in the 800, passing Alina Fodorova of Ukraine in the standings to take the silver medal. Theisen-Eaton earned a national-record 4,768 points while Fodorova finished third with a personal-best 4,724. American Sharon Day-Monroe led all runners in the 800 but fell six points shy of the bronze medal.
American Ryan Whiting won a stirring duel with Germany's David Storl in the shot put, giving Whiting the day's second gold medal. The defending champion led after his first throw, which reached 20.89/68-6¼, before Storl answered with his first-round attempt of 21.35/70-½. Whiting threw 21.47/70-5¼ in the second round but Storl reached 21.79/71-5¾ to maintain the lead. After both throwers fouled in round three, Whiting found more distance in the fourth round, tossing the shot 22.05/72-4. Storl had no more responses and had to settle for the silver. New Zealand's Tomas Walsh set two Oceania records in the final two rounds, topping out at 21.26/69-9 to gain the bronze.
Ashton Eaton has 3,653 points and is just one point behind his 2012 world record pace after four events in the heptathlon. Eaton threw the shot 14.88/48-9¾ and cleared 2.06/6-9 in the high jump as he tries to defend his championship. But the big story of the afternoon session was Andrei Krauchanka of Belarus, who was second overall in the shot (15.42/50-7) and first in the high jump (2.21/7-3, a World Indoor Championship heptathlon record) to finish the day with 3,583 points. Ukraine's Oleksiy Kasyanov sits in third with 3,516 points. Tomorrow's events include the 60-meter hurdles, pole vault and 1,000-meter run.
Sally Pearson of Australia led all qualifiers in the women's 60-meter hurdles, running a season-best 7.79 seconds. Other heat winners included American Nia Ali, France's Cindy Billaud and Great Britain's Tiffany Porter. Eight competitors ran under eight seconds in advance of Saturday's semifinals.
Great Britain's Richard Kilty ran a personal best 6.53 seconds to pace qualifiers in the men's 60 meters. Another British runner, Dwain Chambers, also won his heat, as did Lucas Jakubczyk of Germany, China's Su Bingtian, Gerald Phiri of Zambia and Jason Rodgers from St. Kitts and Nevis. The semifinals are scheduled for Saturday evening.
In a surprising high jump qualification, Poland's Adrian Strzalkowski thrilled the home crowd with an indoor national record of 8.18/26-10 to qualify on his first attempt. Four more jumpers topped the automatic qualifying distance of 8.05/26-4¾, while event favorite Alexandr Menkov of Russia just 1 millimeter behind. The non-qualifiers included 2008 Olympic champion Irving Saladino and American Tyron Stewart, who seemed a very likely finalist after jumping 8.00/26-3 in the first round. Indeed, Stewart passed in the second round but returned in the third after finding his position threatened, but he couldn't improve and finished ninth, 1 millimeter behind the final qualifying spot for Saturday's final.
Event favorite Abeba Aregawi of Sweden won her 1500-meter heat in 4:08.74. American Heather Kampf was a surprise in her heat, leading almost all the way until Morocco's Rababe Arafi passed her to win in 4:10.95. But Kampf held on to the second qualifying spot in a personal best 4:11.27. American Treniere Moser won the final heat in 4:12.63 to qualify for Saturday's final.
Kenyans Caleb Ndiku (7:42.75) and Augustine Choge (7:44.85) won the men's 3000-meter heats. Ethiopians Hagos Gebrhiwet and Dejen Gebremeskel, plus Americans Bernard Lagat and Galen Rupp, are among the notable qualifiers for Sunday's final.
American Francena McCorory was the fastest in the women's 400-meter semifinals, winning her heat in 51.35. Jamaica's Patricia Hall won the first semi in 52.82. An on-track collision knocked the Czech Republic's Denisa Rosolova out of the first race and slowed American Joanna Atkins, who finished fourth and didn't qualify for Saturday's final. Russian champion Kseniya Ryzhova was a surprising non-qualifier in the other semifinal. On the men's side, Pavel Maslak of the Czech Republic won the initial semifinal in 45.79 while 35-year-old Chris Brown of the Bahamas took the second semi in 46.19. Americans David Verburg and Kyle Clemons will both race in the final.