After heartbreaking fall in 100m Hurdles on Day 1, Barbara Nwaba sets personal bests in the Shot Put and Javelin in the IAAF World Championships Heptathlon

From Santa Barbara Track Club

IMG_0063The Santa Barbara Track Club (SBTC) uses the phrase “Park It” to get through the grueling two-day combined events competitions. Excelling at speed, strength and endurance, getting through seven Heptathlon events is a test not only of physical, but mental fortitude. For Barbara Nwaba competing at the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China, her first major international championship, the phrase “Park It” would be of particular importance after a difficult fall in the 100m Hurdles, the first event of the Heptathlon.

Nwaba, who excels at the 100m Hurdles with a personal best of 13.38 set earlier this year at the Sam Adams Combined Events Invitational, lost out on valuable points by not completing the first event. However, in a show of resilience she went on to not only complete day one of the Heptathlon well, but notch a personal best in the shot put with a toss of 14.64m (48’0.5″). Her mark was good for fourth overall in the event of the 33 women competing.

On Day 2 of the World Championships Nwaba kicked things off with a good Long Jump of 6.08m (19’11.5″) just six inches short of her best. She then followed it up with another personal best in the Javelin Throw, throwing the spear for the first time over 150 feet in her career going 46.59m (152’10”). While no longer in contention for a World Championship medal, Nwaba was rallying well on the second day of the Heptathlon heading into the final event.

With the 800m heats racing from lowest to highest Heptathlon point total, Nwaba was placed in Heat 1 along with another medal contender, Katarina Johnson-Thompson (GBR), who scratched out in the Long Jump earlier in the day. Taking the opportunity of the moment in Bejing’s Birds Nest, site of the 2008 Olympic Games, Nwaba went for a big personal best crossing the half-way mark in just over 61 seconds. She slowed off the blistering first lap pace, but would hold strong to take the Heat 1 win in 2:12.20, a time which would have been close to a personal best just a year ago. Nwaba would place 5th overall in the 800m out of the 28 women still competing.

Viewers can watch the replay of the 800m Heptathlon final during coverage of Day 2’s evening session at 10am PST on NBC and again at 4pm PST on Universal Sports. The IAAF World Championships continue through Sunday, August 30. Santa Barbara fixture, Ashton Eaton of the Oregon Track Club, will begin the two-day journey to defend his 2013 World Championship gold medal on Friday, August 28 (television coverage is in the evening of August 27 in the Pacific Time Zone).

OTHER SANTA BARBARA RELATED NOTABLES

  • Scott Smith (USA – UCSB / Northern Arizona Elite) – Marathon, 28th place, 2:24:53
  • Brianne Theisen-Eaton (CAN – Oregon Track Club) – Heptathlon, Silver Medal, 6554pts

SUPPORTING SBTC

As a non-profit organization, we rely on the support of donors and our community outreach programs. We’re proud to have one of the only track clubs in the country in which our athletes play a vital role in giving back and mentoring youth through our SB Youth Track Club and its various local programs throughout the year. They do more than simply train in Santa Barbara. They create a positive impact in the lives of area youth while we as coaches and you as donors get to support and inspire the Olympic dreams of some of the United States top heptathlon and decathlon hopefuls. You are helping athlete’s dreams come true!

As we prepare to head into the championship season and the 2016 Olympic year, we would greatly appreciate your support of these fine athletes within the Santa Barbara Track Club for their travel, living expenses and training needs. All donations are tax deductible and will go towards the athletes we support.

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ABOUT SBTC

The Santa Barbara Track Club aims to create a progressive and cohesive Track & Field experience for members of our community from youth to masters as well as the development of Olympians and Olympic hopefuls alike. The professional athletes are composed of combined events athletes and middle distance athletes who also work within the community by serving as coaches and mentors to youth.  The coaching and personal training efforts of the athletes help to fund the continued growth of Santa Barbara as an international training hub as well as to promote cultural exchange and shared education.