Germany's Anna Maiwald in the heptathlon shot put (© Gladys von der Laage)
In a country as replete with top class heptathletes as Germany, Anna Maiwald will not be going to the IAAF World Championships in Beijing next month, but the University of Koln health economics research student proved to be top of her class in her event at the World University Games in the Korean city of Gwangju on Saturday (11).
It was by no means the dominant performance that might have been expected by Maiwald at the IAAF Combined Events Challenge competition.
She scored a personal beat of 6111 points when finishing second in the high-quality German domestic event in Ulm in May but her consistency over the two days in Korea, the penultimate day of athletics competition, eventually proved to be irresistible.
She opened her account with 13.75 in the 100m hurdles, the third fastest of Friday morning behind the USA’s Chari Hawkins, who clocked 13.59.
She slipped back to fifth overall after a relatively modest 1.66m high jump with Hawkins in the lead after two eventsfollowing her 1.74m clearance.
Maiwald moved up to second overall with her 13.39m shot put, although she would have been hoping to get closer to 14 metres following her recent personal best of 14.13m in Ulm.
New Zealand’s Veronica Torr took over in the lead after three events in the wake of her producing the best shot put performance of 14.08m. But Maiwald took over in pole position at the end of the first day after her flying 200m of 24.14, 0.31 better than any other athlete managed.
She led overnight with 3564 points and was never headed again on her way to the gold medal.
Her marks of 5.91m in the long jump, 42.78m in the javelin and 2:17.47 in the 800m didn’t win any of the three second-day disciplines – nor set any personal bests – but she finished third, second and third in these events and that was good enough to bring her home exactly 100 points clear of Norwegian international Ida Marcussen.
Marcussen started Saturday down in fifth place but gradually progressed and won the 800m in 2:11.70 to move up from bronze to silver with 5895 points.
Three more competitions remain in this year's challenge, the Pan American Games, the IAAF World Championships in Beijing and the famous Decastar competition in the French town of Talence, the latter on 19-20 September bringing this year's series to a conclusion.
Phil Minshull for the IAAF