David Pintens photography

Favourite Nafi Thiam takes gold for Belgium

Belgium’s Nafi Thiam has lived up to her reputation as favourite and has taken gold in the heptathlon at the European Athletics Championships in Munich. Meanwhile, the other Belgian medal hopeful, Noor Vidts fell just short of a podium place. 

After the first day of the heptathlon competition on Wednesday gold already seemed a certainty for Nafi Thiam. The Belgian was dominent and she entered day two of the competition with a 200-point lead.

Wednesday’s effort’s seemed to have taken their toll on Thiam though and poor performances long jump and javelin saw the margin of her lead narrow. However, the Belgian’s lead was never really under threat. 

Mission impossible

Meanwhile, Noor Vidts dropped back into fourth place and had to go full steam in the closing event, the 800m. On a wet track in Munich, Vidts started the race energetically. 

She had to shake off the Polish athlete Sulek and the Swiss athlete Kälin to have another chance at a medal, but it soon became clear that this would be a hopeless task.  

Vidts fell short of the finish line and just like at the Tokyo Games and the World Cup in Eugene, she missed out on a podium place. The World Indoor Champion has as yet never been able to win a medal at a major outdoor international athletics tournament.

An impressive track record

Nafi Thiam’s track record becomes ever more impressive. After two Olympic titles and two world titles, she now also has two European outdoor titles to her name. 

However, her winning score in Munich of 6,628 points is her lowest score at a major tournament since her European Championship bronze in 2014.

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