Barbara Nwaba kicks off international season with personal best 4661pts; Canada’s Brianne Theisen-Eaton wins Gold in thrilling fashion; Ashton Eaton leads indoor Heptathlon after day 1
PORTLAND, Ore.—In her 2016 international debut, America’s Barbara Nwaba of the Santa Barbara Track Club finished in 4th place at the IAAF World Indoor Track & Field Championships in the one-day, five-event Pentathlon. Nwaba put together a consistent day of competition scoring a personal best 4661pts, eclipsing by over 200pts her best that she set en route to winning the 2016 USA Indoor Pentathlon title earlier this year.
Nwaba would kick off the day in the 60m Hurdles with a season’s best 8.43 seconds. She would follow this up with a mark in the High Jump of 1.82m (5’11.5ft), less than three inches off of her personal best. In the Shot Put, the third of five events, Nwaba would launch a huge personal best of 15.00m (49’2.5ft) solidifying herself at the top of the leader board in 4th position overall. While she would then set a season’s best in the Long Jump at 5.84m (19’2ft), her 11th place showing would drop her two spots overall to sixth place heading into the 800m, the final event.
Nwaba would enter the 800m favorite needing to put eight seconds on Hungary’s Gyorgi Zsivoczky-Farkas as well as fellow American Kendall Williams to move back into 4th place overall. Canada’s Brianne Theisen-Eaton, who calls Santa Barbara home in the training build up to her outdoor season, sat in third place needing to put over eleven seconds on Ukraine’s Anastasiya Mokhnuyk to take home her first international gold medal.
Nwaba took out the race in 63 seconds through the first 400m with Theisen-Eaton tucked in close behind, putting meters on the rest of the field with every step. Theisen-Eaton would overtake Nwaba in the final home stretch winning in a season’s best 2:09.99, while Nwaba would also earn a season’s best of 2:10.07. Concluding the Pentathlon in thrilling fashion, Theisen-Eaton would put over eleven seconds on Mokhnuy and claim the gold, while Nwaba would finish over eight seconds ahead of Zsivoczky-Farkas and Williams to finish 4th, her highest finish on the world stage. Theisen-Eaton’s 4,881pts set a North American Pentathlon record.
America’s Ashton Eaton, who also trains in Santa Barbara in the spring with his wife Brianne, entered the indoor Heptathlon as the heavy favorite as the reigning world champion and world record holder. He would finish day one of the two-day, seven-event competition with 3564pts and the lead over Granada’s Kurt Felix. The Heptathlon concludes tomorrow with the opportunity for Eaton to win his third indoor Heptathlon title.
Saturday, 3/19: 6:30pm-8:00pm PST on NBC Sport sNetwork (NBCSN)
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