Katarina Johnson-Thompson is set to win her first global outdoor title after establishing a big lead in the World Championships heptathlon in Doha.
The 26-year-old Briton, who has previously never won an outdoor medal at this level, has a 137-point lead over defending champion Nafissatou Thiam going into the 800m at 22:05 BST.
Her 800m personal best is nearly eight seconds faster than Belgian Thiam’s. Johnson-Thompson has 5,976 points overall with Thiam second on 5,839.
Austria’s Verena Preiner is third with 5,579.Barring injury in the 800m, Johnson-Thompson seems certain to secure gold.
The omens looked good for her in the first event on day one as she won the 100m hurdles in 13.09 seconds – taking 0.21secs off her previous best.
The Briton’s high jump of 1.95cm was matched by Thiam, before she scored a huge personal best in one of her weaker events, the shot put. The distance of 13.86m was 71cm further than she had ever gone before.
After the 200m, Johnson-Thompson had a 96-point overnight lead over the Belgian, nine better than her advantage at last year’s European Championships where she eventually finished second.
The pattern continued on Thursday as Johnson-Thompson’s consistency paired with a below-par Thiam saw the Liverpool athlete extend her lead.
In the long jump, another of her strong events, she leapt to 6.77m. Thiam, who managed 6.86m in Birmingham in August and defeated the Briton, only went out to 6.40m.
Then came the moments that effectively clinched gold for Johnson-Thompson as first she recorded another PB by throwing the javelin to 43.93m before Thiam, who had been struggling with an elbow injury, only managed 48.04m – her best is 59.32m – and skipped her final throw.
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