Yesterday Toni started to give his views on the likely contenders for the Heptathlon, clearly contradicting the notion that it’s a two horse race between Jess and Katrina Johnson-Thomson. That said this is where, for Brits at least, it gets interesting,
“How do you rate Katrina Johnson-Thomson’s chances?”
There is no hesitation from Toni, “I think she’s a likely medalist. No-one doubts her potential and she keeps improving. You only have to look at her results in the high jump and long jump at the Anniversary Games.
“What about the others?”
“There’s a mix of others. Quite a few can perform on their day and make a case for the podium”.
“Schafer, the German is solid. She’s scored 6500 and is hoping for more. She withdrew from Ratingen because of weather so we didn’t really get to see what she’s capable of at the moment”.
Toni pauses, reviewing the names on the tablet in front of him,
“Barbara Nwaba is US champ and although she may not be the fastest, she’s a great field technician.
Nafi Thiam from Belgium is an interesting case. She’s going to get it right one day and then she could score big. Who knows? It may be this weekend”.
“Any other potential surprise packages?”
“Akela Jones from Barbados is, I think, one for the future. She’s only 21 yrs old. She’s a good sprinter, hurdler and high jumper. She’s also capable of a big long jump. At the moment her Javelin and 800 are weak but if she has a good first day she could exert pressure. Maybe she’ll be the surprise package”.
I attempt to pin Toni down, “Your top five?”
Toni smiles , “Top five? Let’s see. Brianne Theisen-Eaton from Canada, Jess, Laura Ikauniece-Admidina from Latvia, Carolin Schafer and KJT. I think they’ll be in the top five mix with two events to go. After that we’ll see”.
“A lot more than a two horse race then?”
“Absolutely. It’ll be Interesting to see who is going to cope with the timetable. It’s very late. Some will be running a two hundred at ten past ten and the eight hundred starts just before eleven in the evening.
“That’s a long day”.
“The first day starts at nine thirty-five and the high jump finishes around twelve. We then break for eight hours. That’s unusual. That said, even tough it’s a big break it’s more like six and a half hours once you’re warming up”.
So there you have it. Now we just have to wait until Friday for it all to happen.