By Christian Radnedge
LONDON (Reuters) – Nafi Thiam of Belgium eased her way to heptathlon gold at the World Championships on Sunday to go with the Olympic title she claimed in Rio last year.
The Belgian went into the final event, the 800 metres, with a 172-point lead over Germany’s Carolin Schafer – roughly 12 seconds on the track in the London Stadium.
That meant Thiam could take it relatively easy and that is exactly what she did.
The 22-year-old has a personal best of 2:15.24 in the 800m but she fell towards the back of the chasing group in the third heat and came in last in a time of 2:21.42.
It was still enough to secure her first world title as she finished on 6,784 points.
“I’m super happy,” Thiam said.
Schafer was in a more perilous position and needed to make sure she did better than Anouk Vetter of the Netherlands, who was behind her in the standings by just three points.
Although Vetter achieved a season best time of 2:19.43, it was not enough to reel in Schafer who finished four seconds ahead of her to secure silver with 6,696 points, the German’s first senior medal.
Vetter thrilled the crowd earlier on Sunday with her championship best javelin throw of 58.41 metres which proved crucial in helping her win the bronze medal on 6,636.
(Editing by Ed Osmond)