Nwaba concluded her two-day, seven-event competition with a win in her 800m heat and finished 12th overall with 6309pts; Theisen-Eaton wins the bronze medal for Canada after strong second day
Last Update: Friday, August 13 @ 7:45pm PDTRio de Janeiro, Brazil – Barbara Nwaba of the ABEO / Santa Barbara Track Club, hosted at Westmont College competes in the two-day, seven-event Heptathlon competition at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, her first such honor for Team USA. Below we have provided event-by-event recap of the competition. For SBTC’s complete Heptathlon preview please click here.
800m – Saturday, August 13 @ 6:50pm PDT (Heat 2)
In the last event of the grueling Heptathlon competition, Nwaba would line up for the 800m in heat 2 of 3. As one of the better half milers in the field she would win her heat in 2:11.61 (941pts) just out distancing Hungary’s Gyorgyi Zsivoczky-Farkas who ran 2:11.76 (939pts). Nwaba’s mark was the 7th fastest of the evening.
Entering the competition as the 12th ranked Heptathlete by personal best score, her 800m time would move her up to 12th position in the Heptathlon at her first Olympic Games. Nwaba also finished as the top American. Americans Kendall Williams and Heather Miller-Koch would finish 17th (6221pts) and 18th (6213pts) respectively.
In the race for the Olympic podium, Belgium’s Nafissatou Thiam would cross the line in the 800m just fast enough in 2:16.54 (871pts) to win gold over reigning Olympic champion Jessica Ennis-Hill who ran 2:09.07 (978pts). They would score 6810pts and 6775pts respectively.
Brianne Theisen-Eaton, who trains in Santa Barbara part-time, had a great second day as she moved her way up to the Bronze medal position after the first two events. In the 800m she would run 2:09.50 (972pts) to capture her first Olympic medal in the Heptathlon with 6653pts.
The Men’s Decathlon will get underway on Wednesday, August 17 with the 100m dash at 5:30am PDT. American Ashton Eaton who also trains in Santa Barbara part-time will be seeking to defend his Olympic gold medal from 2012. Eaton is the world record holder in the Decathlon with a score of 9,039pts.
Javelin – Saturday, August 13 @ 5:18pm PDT (Group B)
On her first attempt, Nwaba let fly the Jav out to 46.85m / 153’8 (799pts), which allowed her to move up two positions to 14th overall in the Heptathlon with 5368pts. 171pts separates her from a top 10 finish with one of her best events remaining, the 800m. Each second is 15pts in the Heptathlon and she is certainly capable of putting 8-12 seconds on particular Heptathletes.
At the top of the leader board, Thiam continued to lead reigning Olympic champion Ennis-Hill with 5939pts to 5797pts. Theisen-Eaton also threw near her personal best in the Javelin with a toss of 47.37m / 155’4 (809pts) to move into bronze medal position with 5681pts.
Long Jump – Saturday, August 13 @ 7:45am PDT
Another nerve rattling start to her morning, Nwaba would scratch her first two jumps in the Long Jump competition. However, it has been a position she has been before and on her third jump she leaped out to 5.81m / 19’0.75 (792pts), just slightly below her mark in Eugene earlier this year. Her overall total of 4569pts would drop her to 16th place with two events to go.
In the overall standings, Thiam moved into the lead with 5018pts over Ennis-Hills’s 5013pts. Theisen-Eaton moved up one spot into 5th place overall (4872pts) with a good jump of 6.48m / 21’3.25 (1001pts).
200m Dash – Friday, August 12 @ 6:05pm PDT
To conclude day 1 of the Olympic Heptathlon competition, Nwaba would run a 24.77 (908pts) and finish the four events with 3777pts. While she would move back out of the top 10 and conclude day one in 11th place overall, Nwaba finds herself only 159pts out of the top 5. Reigning Olympic gold medalist leads the two-day, seven-event competition with 4057pts and Canada’s Theisen-Eaton is in sixth place with 3871pts.
Shot Put – Friday, August 12 @ 4:35pm PDT
Competing in the A ring of the women’s Heptathlon Shot Put, Nwaba would unleash an outdoor personal record of 14.81m / 48’7.25 (848pts) to win her group and finish third overall in the event. Traditionally not an event where she moves up in the rankings, her throw would move her into the Top 10, into ninth place overall with 2869pts and close the gap from the Top 5 to less than 50pts.
Thiam would maintain her lead in the Heptathlon with 3107pts over Ennis-Hill’s 3027pts. Theisen-Eaton through three events found herself in fifth place overall with 2908pts.
High Jump – Friday, August 12 @ 6:50am PDT
In the second event of the day Nwaba pushed through the early heights, eventually clearing 1.83m / 6’0 (1016pts). Her height clearance of 6’0 is a go-to height and matched or bested her seasonal records from 2014 and 2015. 11 jumpers in the field cleared 6’0 and Nwaba’s score moved her up 10 spots to 12th place overall with 2021pts.
Katarina Johnson-Thompson (GBR) and Thiam both cleared 1.98m / 6’6 (1211pts) setting World and Olympic Heptathlon records. Their event scores also catapulted them to first (2264pts) and second (2252pts) through two events respectively.
100m Hurdles – Friday, August 12 @ 5:35am PDT
What SBTC’s Tom FitzSimons, Jr., reporting from Rio called a “Santa Barbara light rain”, welcomed the Heptathletes on Day 1 of the Heptathlon at Olympic Stadium. A nerves rattling start also welcomed those in Heat 2 of the 100m Hurdles. After a false start was charged to the field when Germany’s Jennifer Oeser false started in lane 2, Nwaba would get a first warning after also false starting on the second attempt. With the Heptathletes finally off she would run a clean race until she clipped the 10th and final hurdle, but was able to maintain her composure to cross the line in 13.81 (1005).
Nwaba would be in 22nd place after event number one, which is just slightly below the expected result. In the light Rio rain only four Heptathletes would record personal or season’s bests. Theisen-Eaton, who trains in Santa Barbara part-time during the year would run well in heat 4 with a 13.18 (1097) and was in sixth place overall. Williams, in her strongest event, led the U.S. in the 100m Hurdles with a 13.04 (1118) and was in fourth entering the High Jump.