Brianne Theisen-Eaton after winning the pentathlon at the IAAF World Indoor Championships Portland 2016 (© Getty Images)
Brianne Theisen-Eaton ran the race of her life in the 800m to win her first global title, smashing the North American pentathlon record with a winning score of 4881.
Knowing that she needed to run 10.7 seconds faster than Ukraine’s leader Anastasiya Mokhnyuk, the Canadian did exactly that with an indoor personal best of 2:09.99 to Mokhnyuk’s 2:23.19 to finally savour her first world crown after three consecutive global silver medals.
A leader after the first two events, Theisen-Eaton was overtaken by the Ukrainian duo of Mokhnyuk and 2014 world indoor bronze medallist Alina Fodorova after the shot put. With four personal bests today, Mokhnyuk cemented her lead with a massive 6.66m personal best in the long jump to earn a 114-point lead over her countrywoman Fodorova. Theisen-Eaton sat in third, 150 points behind.
A better 800m runner than the Ukrainians, the 27-year-old Canadian followed USA’s Barbara Nwaba, who led her through the first three laps (30.22, 63.35 and 1:36.47), before she sprinted away with 120 meters to go to seal the victory overall.
Her husband, USA’s world and Olympic champion and world record-holder Ashton Eaton, was the first person to congratulate her after she became the winner by 34 points.
“Thank you so much so to all heptathletes for cheering me on with 150m to go,” were Theisen-Eaton’s first words after she learned of her victory.
Alina Fodorova had to settle for third again with 4770, while Nwaba’s 800m run propelled her to fourth place overall with a personal best of 4661.
Javier Clavelo Robinson for the IAAF
In February 2018, Mokhnyuk was found guilty of two separate doping offences, the first of which was for a banned pharmaceutical in her sample at Portland 2016. She was stripped of the silver medal, meaning that Fodorova and Nwaba were upgraded to silver and bronze.