Nadine Broersen of the Netherlands earned the first gold medal of the 2014 World Indoor Championships by hanging on for victory in the pentathlon. Broersen opened a 116-point cushion after the first three events, during the day’s early session. She was third overall in the 60-meter hurdles with a personal best 8.32 seconds, then topped all competitors by leaping a national record 1.93 meters (6 feet, 4 inches) in the high jump. She finished her morning by placing fourth overall in the shot put (throwing 14.59/47-10¼) for a total of 3,035 points. Sharon Day-Monroe of the United States was second overall at 2,919 while Canada’s Brianne Theisen-Eaton – wife of American heptathlon champion Ashton Eaton – was third at 2,914. Broersen is not always strong in the final two pentathlon events – the long jump and 800-meter run – so the gold medal appeared to be up for grabs during the afternoon session.
Broersen leaped a respectable 6.17/20-2¾ in the long jump, good for fourth overall, which helped protect her lead. The 902 points she scored left her with 3,937, giving her a 101-point advantage entering the 800 meters. Ukraine’s Alina Fodorova was second in the long jump at 6.26/20-6½ to move into second place with 3,836 points, while Theisen-Eaton remained in third at 3,804. Day-Monroe leaped just 5.94/19-5¾ and fell to fourth with 3,750 points.
Broersen ran sixth overall in the 800, finishing in 2:14.97, but that was enough to give the 23-year-old a winning total of 4,830 points. Theisen-Eaton was second in the 800, running 2:10.07 to pass Fodorova in the standings and take the silver medal. Theisen-Eaton earned a national-record 4,768 points while Fodorova finished third with a personal-best 4,724. Day-Monroe rallied and led all runners in the 800, with a time of 2:09.80, but she fell six points shy of the bronze medal.
Valerie Adams was a huge favorite in the shot put, and the New Zealander lived up to all expectations. Adams threw all five legal attempts past the 20-meter mark – a third-round foul was her only mistake of the day – to win her third World Indoor title with a fifth-round attempt of 20.67 meters (67 feet, 9¾ inches). Germany’s Christina Schwanitz settled into second place after round 1 and stayed there, eventually reaching 19.94/65-5 in the fifth round to take the silver. China’s Gong Liljao moved into third place with a fourth-round toss measuring 19.24/63-1½, which stood up for the bronze medal. Russia’s Evgeniia Kolodko (19.11/62-8¼) and American Michelle Carter (19.10/62-8) both threw season bests but fell short of a podium finish.
Not surprisingly, Adams led all qualifiers earlier in the day, securing her place in the final with a first-round toss of 20.11/65-11¾. Schwanitz, Yuliya Leantsiuk of Belarus and Carter also beat the automatic qualifying mark of 18.70/61-4¼.
More from the 2014 World Indoor Championships: