Hanna Melnychenko in the pentathlon high jump at the 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot (© Getty Images)
Things can change quickly in a combined events competition and they really did in the high jump, the second event of the women’s pentathlon at the 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot.
Nadine Broersen was already good in the first event, equalling her personal best in the hurdles, but she shot up the standings after the high jump.
The 23-year-old Dutchwoman came to the competition having jumped 1.90m both indoors and outdoors before, and here she was really close with two of her attempts at 1.96m, six centimetres higher than her previous best.
A second-time clearance at a personal best height of 1.93m gave her a strong lead with 2202 after two events. She is also strong in the rest of the events and is now a real contender for the gold medal.
Yana Maksimava overcame a few early problems in the competition and got her pentathlon back on track with a solid 1.87m clearance. The European indoor silver medallist is now in sixth place with 2030 points after a disappointing hurdles race, but could move up later on in the competition.
World-leading athlete Sharon Day-Monroe was a bit disappointed after only clearing 1.84m compared to her season’s best of 1.88m, set in her American record and world leading series 4805 at the US Championships. She is in fourth place with 2061 points at the moment and is still a contender for the gold medal, but is now seriously challenged by Broersen.
Hanna Melnychenko, the world heptathlon champion, jumped 1.81m for a season’s best, but that was still not enough for her to be happy. The Ukrainian is now in third place with 2079 points after two events, but will have to do well in the shot put to stay in medal contention.
Brianne Theisen-Eaton was also disappointed in the high jump where she needed a better result to stay closer to the top. The Canadian is now in second place with 2129 points and avoided a total disaster with a third-attempt clearance at 1.78m and then went on to conquer 1.84m, but she too has to do extremely well in the shot put and long jump to stay in medal contention.
Ukraine’s Alina Fodorova cleared 1.84m for a season’s best and is in fifth place with 2042. German Claudia Rath jumped 1.78m for 1985 points and seventh place while Karolina Tyminska of Poland is in eighth place with 1933 points and a 1.75m high jump.
Mirko Jalava for the IAAF