En­nis-Hill on brink as Lopez breaks Chi­nese hearts

The China Post - - SPORTS - BY LUKE PHILLIPS

Jes­sica En­nis-Hill was on the brink of adding world hep­tathlon gold to her Olympic ti­tle on Sun­day, as Spain’s Miguel An­gel Lopez broke Chi­nese hearts in the men’s 20-kilo­me­ter walk.

En­nis-Hill, mak­ing her re­turn to ma­jor com­pe­ti­tion with some panache af­ter giv­ing birth last year and bat­tling a host of nig­gling in­juries, en­joyed a 30- point overnight lead on Bri­tish team­mate Kata­rina John­son-Thompson.

But there was drama in the first of three events when an as­ton­ish­ing show of bravado by John­sonThomp­son spec­tac­u­larly back­fired as she fouled out with all three ef­forts in the long jump, her strong­est dis­ci­pline.

The Bri­tish team ini­tially protested but with­drew their ap­peal af­ter view­ing the ev­i­dence and ac­cept­ing that her fi­nal jump was in­deed a foul.

That left En­nis-Hall atop the stand­ings on 5,706 points af­ter she leapt 6.43 me­ters in the long jump and threw a best of 42.51 me­ters in the javelin with only the 800-me­ters to be raced.

Dutch­woman Na­dine Broersen was sec­ond on 5,620 points, with Canada’s Bri­anne Theisen Ea­ton

third on 5,612 points.

An­gel Lopez Breaks

Chi­nese Hearts

Sun­day’s ac­tion had kicked off with the men’s 20-kilo­me­ter race walk, An­gel Lopez reel­ing in Olympic bronze medal­ist and home hope Wang Zhen, who had looked set to claim the host coun­try’s first gold medal in Bei­jing af­ter burst­ing clear at the 13-kilo­me­ter mark.

“The course was dif­fi­cult and com­pli­cated, plus the heat. My last 200 me­ters were an in­cred­i­ble sen­sa­tion — I re­mem­bered all the peo­ple who have helped me,” said the Euro­pean cham­pion.

An­gel Lopez timed a per­sonal best of 1 hour 19 min­utes 14 sec­onds, Wang tak­ing sil­ver (1:19:29) and Canada’s Ben­jamin Thorne claim­ing bronze in a na­tional record of 1:19:57.

Ja­pan’s world record holder Yusuke Suzuki failed to fin­ish, the hot gold medal fa­vorite pulling out just af­ter the half­way point in clear dis­com­fort, blam­ing his prob­lem on a pelvic in­jury.

Round one of the women’s 100 me­ters saw all the usual fa­vorites progress to the Mon­day’s semi­fi­nal.

Ja­maica’s dou­ble Olympic cham­pion Shelly- Ann FraserPryce be­gan her quest to win an un­prece­dented third sprint ti­tle with a new hair-do.

Her long mane braided and bright green, the pe­tite Ja­maican also boasted a gar­land of yel­low flow­ers as she ploughed through the line in 10.88 sec­onds, the joint fastest qual­i­fy­ing along with Amer­i­can Tori Bowie.

“I was able to re­fo­cus af­ter the false start, to fo­cus on what is im­por­tant,” she said.

“Win­ning a third world ti­tle? Well ev­ery cham­pi­onship is dif­fer­ent, this is a new cham­pi­onship. To­day is just about get­ting through the rounds.”

Bolt, Gatlin in Men’s 100m

Usain Bolt will later bid to re­tain his ti­tle as the world’s fastest man.

The Ja­maican and Amer­i­can ri­val Justin Gatlin, who set the fastest qual­i­fy­ing time of 9.83 sec­onds, still have to ne­go­ti­ate what prom­ises to be a fast semi­fi­nal to ad­vance to the 100 me­ters fi­nal sched­uled for 13:15 GMT.

There will be two medals for men in the field later Sun­day.

In the men’s shot put, Ger­many’s David Storl will be aim­ing for a hat-trick of world ti­tles, although Amer­i­can cham­pion Joe Ko­vacs looks a for­mi­da­ble ob­sta­cle hav­ing heaved a sea­son-best 22.56 me­ters in Monaco re­cently.

Poland’s hulk­ing ham­mer king Pawel Fa­jdek looks a solid bet to re­tain the ti­tle he won in Moscow, com­ing into the cham­pi­onships on the back of 15 suc­ces­sive vic­to­ries and mon­ster throw of 83.93 me­ters — 10th on the all-time list.

Hun­gar­ian Olympic and Euro- pean cham­pion Krisz­tian Pars is likely to be Fa­jdek’s main con­tender but he has failed to throw over 80 me­ters and may need to pro­duce some­thing spe­cial if he wants to im­prove on than the sil­ver medals he won in 2011 and 2013.

2. Bri­tain’s Jes­sica En­nis-Hill com­petes in women’s javelin throw hep­tathlon at the World Ath­let­ics Cham­pi­onships at the Bird’s Nest sta­dium in Bei­jing, Sun­day. 3. The Czech Re­pub­lic’s Zuzana He­jnova clears a hur­dle dur­ing the women’s 400-me­ter hur­dles round one at the World Ath­let­ics Cham­pi­onships at the Bird’s Nest sta­dium in Bei­jing, Sun­day.

AP

1. The United King­dom’s Jes­sica En­nis-Hill com­petes in the women’s long jump hep­tathlon at the World Ath­let­ics Cham­pi­onships at the Bird’s Nest sta­dium in Bei­jing, Sun­day, Aug. 23.

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