Belgium’s Nafissatou Thiam and Poland’s Adrianna Sulek both improved the previous world indoor pentathlon record* after a thrilling day of competition at the European Indoor Championships in Istanbul, Turkey, on Friday (3).
In the same Ataköy Arena that saw Ukraine’s Nataliya Dobrynska set her world record of 5013 points in 2012, Thiam scored 5055 points and Sulek 5014 as they went up against each other and the clock.
After running 8.23 in the 60m hurdles and clearing 1.92m in the high jump, Thiam threw an outright PB of 15.54m in the shot put and leapt 6.59m in the long jump, putting the world record well within reach.
But Sulek put herself in the same position, after clocking a PB of 8.21 in the 60m hurdles, clearing 1.89m in the high jump, throwing a 13.89m PB in the shot put and soaring another PB of 6.62m in the long jump.
It all came down to the 800m. Thiam needed to run 2:16, Sulek 2:07, and they both achieved it – Sulek crossing the finish line in 2:07.17 to improve the world record by a point, but that lasted just a few seconds as Thiam was also having the indoor run of her life. The two-time Olympic and world heptathlon champion clocked 2:13.60, taking her overall tally to 5055 points.
Noor Vidts joined her Belgian teammate on the podium, claiming bronze with a score of 4823.
*Subject to the usual ratification procedure