Lithuania’s Austra Skujyte Takes Lead In The Heptathlon.
The evening’s session of the first day of the women’s Heptathlon once again saw the field split between the two sets of women but unlike the High Jump earlier in the day, Liverpool’s Katrina Johnson-Thompson had to settle for a place in group B alongside Louise Hazel. In group A, and in the lead after two events was Britain’s other athlete Jessica Ennis.
It was Group A as was to be expected where the intrigue lay and after the first round of throws all the women were psyching themselves up to take on the Sheffield athlete and where her first putt was possibly below par he second putt put her back again in the top four for the event behind Skuyjte, Machtig and the Canadian Zelinka. Austra Skujyte impressed with registering the first putt over 15 metres in this competition. It also meant a huge 112 point lead after two throws for the Lithuanian athelete.
One of the rivals for the title, Dobrynska managed with her third throw to also break the 15 metre mark but still lay a good 90 centimetres behind the leader. Germany’s Machtig also failed with her last attempt to take the lead of Austra Skujyte. The Lithuanian scored 17.31 with her final throw and from there the rest of the field capitulated under the pressure from one of the tallest women on the circuit.
The Shot Putt is by no means the best event for Jessica Ennis, or indeed the other two women on the Great British team but she would have been bitterly disappointed to lose by such a large margin and such a large distance to Skujyte. A difference of 203 points between the two women in one event might not sound a great deal but in these games, a gold can be won even by the narrowest margins of one point.
Top three positions after three events.
1st Austra Skujyte (Lithuania) 3126 points
2nd. Jessica Ennis (Great Britain) 3062 Points
3rd. Lilli Schwartkopf (Germany) 2947 points
Ian D. Hall