Maria Vicente in the heptathlon high jump at the IAAF World U18 Championships Nairobi 2017 (Getty Images) © Copyright
Report Nairobi, Kenya

Report: heptathlon day one – IAAF World U18 Championships Nairobi 2017

The girls’ heptathlon started in similar fashion to the boys’ decathlon two days prior: with one of Germany’s medal hopes picking up an injury in the second discipline.

Marshella Foreshaw had hopes of making it on to the podium and started promisingly with a 13.94 clocking in the 100m hurdles. But after clearing 1.61m in the high jump, she was reduced to a limp, having seemingly injured her ankle.

After some rest and treatment, Foreshaw returned to action in the shot put, but was well down on her best with 12.81m. She ended the day on a high, though, after clocking 24.86 to win her 200m heat.

Fortunately for Germany, they have another strong contender in the form of Johanna Siebler. She started the day with a personal best of 13.82 in the 100m hurdles and came close to her PBs in the other events, clearing 1.58m in the high jump, throwing a solid 14.94m in the shot put and running 25.53 in the 200m.

Spain’s Maria Vicente looks set to be Siebler’s toughest opponent. Although she was the fastest in the 100m hurdles with 13.74, she lost her balance after clipping the seventh hurdle; had it not been for that, she would have likely got close to her PB of 13.38.

But Vicente, one of the youngest in the field, bounced back in the high jump by adding seven centimetres to her PB with 1.73m, followed by a PB of 12.79m in the shot. The highlight of her day, though, came in the 200m where she sped to a championship best of 24.00, a time that was bettered by just two girls in the opening round of the individual event earlier in the day.

The 16-year-old ends the first day at the top of the leaderboard by a comfortable margin with a tally of 3600. Siebler, currently in third with 3412, is a strong javelin thrower and could claw back most of the deficit in that event tomorrow.

Perhaps the biggest surprise performer has been Eliza Marija Kraule. The Latvian set big PBs in the 100m hurdles (13.86), high jump (1.79m) and shot put (11.32m) and clocked 25.58 in the 200m to end the first day in second place overall with 3414.

Lithuanian duo Beatrice Juskeviciute and Urte Bacianskaite, meanwhile, are locked in their own domestic battle. Juskeviciute was faster in the 100m hurdles, 14.50 to 15.07, while Bacianskaite was better in the high jump, 1.67m to 1.58m. Bacianskaite then unleashed a championship best of 15.65m in the shot put to boost her chances of challenging for a medal.

After running 26.06 and 25.18 respectively in the 200m, Bacianskaite and Juskeviciute ended the day in fifth (3346) and eighth (3257) places overall.

Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF