Feature photo: Brianne Theisen-Eaton celebrates becoming a world champion in the pentathlon at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Portland, Oregon on March 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Brianne Theisen-Eaton won her first IAAF World Indoor Championships title and Canada’s first medal on Friday night in Portland, Oregon.
Theisen-Eaton staged an impressive comeback in the women’s pentathlon, to win her first world indoor championships gold medal, secure a personal best and set a new national record of 4881 points. This was the London 2012 Olympian’s second straight world indoors medal, after winning silver two years ago in Poland.
Theisen-Eaton – world silver medallist in the heptathlon – led the competition after the first two events, clocking 8.04 seconds in 60m hurdles, for a personal best and the fastest time in the competition. Next up, was high jump where she cleared 1.85 metres, the same mark as four of her competitors to hold onto to the first place position.
After throwing 13.70m in shot put, one of Theisen-Eaton’s weaker events, the Canadian was ranked third behind Ukrainian leaders Anastasiya Mokhnyuk and Alina Fodorova. In long jump the Canadian registered a leap of 6.42m, a season’s best performance, to remain third overall heading into the last event.
It all came down to the 800m, one of Theisen-Eaton’s strongest races. With the crowd on her side, the Canadian needed to beat her Ukrainian opponents by approximately 11 seconds in order to take the lead. After an impressive run of 2:09.99s, Theisen-Eaton beat Mokhnyuk – who finished second overall – by just over 13s to win gold.
Georgia Ellenwood also represented Canada in the women’s pentathlon, placing 10th with a score of 4324.