European Athletics Championships: Thiam on track for gold medal in heptathlon

There were mixed feelings for the Belgian delegation on Friday after the first day of the European Athletics Championships in Rome. While Nafi Thiam and Noor Vidts lead the heptathlon competition, there was disappointment for the 4x400m mixed relay team, who just missed out on a medal.

Thiam finished the first day of the heptathlon competition in first place. She had 3,955 points after four events, the 100m hurdles, high jump, shot put and 200m. Vidts sits in second place, 35 points behind Thiam.

On Saturday, the heptathletes have three more events: long jump, javelin and the final 800m. If they win gold and silver, Thiam and Vidts will repeat their success at the European Indoor Championships in 2021.

Thiam, 29, is a two-time and reigning European champion. To qualify for the Olympics in Paris next month, and have a shot at a third consecutive Olympic title, she needs 6,480 points in Rome. Her personal best is 7,013 points. Vidts, the two-time and reigning world pentathlon indoor champion, has already qualified for Paris.

In the 4x400m mixed relay, Jonathan Sacoor, Naomi Van den Broeck, Alexander Doom and Helena Ponette finished in fourth spot after an exciting race won by Ireland. The Belgian team were competing without one of their strongest runners, Cynthia Bolingo, due to injury.


Nafi Thiam and Noor Vidts © BELGA PHOTO JASPER JACOBS

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