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Nafi Thiam sets world record in greatest ever pentathlon

Nafi Thiam sets world record in greatest ever pentathlon

Belgian multi-eventing superstar narrowly sees off Adrianna Sułek in Istanbul as they go first and second on the all-time list

Adrianna Sułek held the world pentathlon record for six seconds but Nafissatou Thiam now claims that coveted crown.

It was without a doubt the highest standard in pentathlon history as these two heavyweights battled it out for gold at the European Indoor Championships in Istanbul on Friday (March 4).

The result, and the fashion of it, could be remembered for generations.

In the final of the five events, which is the 800m in the pentathlon, Sułek crossed the line first and clocked 2:07.17. Such was the gap in the standings going into it, Thiam would’ve had to finish eighth to relinquish her grip of the title she won in Torun two years ago.

The Belgian though placed fourth with a time of 2:13.60. It meant, incredibly, that Sułek first broke Nataliya Dobrynska’s world record of 5013 points – set at the same Ataköy Arena back in 2012 – before Thiam took both the record and the gold medal.

“Coming here, I felt very confident, I have done a lot of good work and of course, the world record was in my mind,” said Thiam, who is now a triple European indoor champion.

“But you need a good competition, to feel good and to perform well. It is a good information for me that I managed to show this result despite the fact that not all events were perfect today.

“After the 60m hurdles however, I already felt like, ‘oh, this can be my day’. When you have good competitors like we had today, they just push you to show your best.”

It’s not a surprise Thiam was so complimentary of Sułek. The Pole set personal bests of 8.21 and 6.62m in the 60m hurdles and long jump respectively while she also equalled her best mark of 1.89m in the high jump.

It took Thiam to produce her fastest and greatest ever 800m indoors to secure the gold.

“I really wanted to have a world record and I have done everything,” added a candid Sułek. “I didn’t expect that Nafi [Thiam] would fight in this style today. I have ambitions. I will still work. It’s my litlle fail today. I hope that in the future I will be the best in the world.”

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