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Bronze for Kelly Sotherton

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Ennis & Sotherton

26 August 2007

 

Kelly Sotherton (Birchfield Harriers) won Britain’s first medal of the Championships taking bronze in the heptathlon with a season’s best of 6510 points. Team-mate Jessica Ennis (City of Sheffield) posted a lifetime best score of 6439 to clinch fourth position.

 

Carolina Kluft won the event with her second highest ever points tally of 7032, whilst Lithuanian Lyudmila Blonska took silver with 6832.

 

The second day of heptathlon competition began with the long jump, and a fired-up Sotherton produced her third PB of the competition, to go alongside her day 1 efforts in the 100m hurdles and 200m.  In what is possibly her strongest individual event, she logged a splendid 6.68m (-0.1m/s) for 1066 points.

 

Ennis was also close to her best, landing at 6.33m (0.1m/s) for 953 points. Which left the British duo placed third and fourth after the fifth discipline, with Carolina Kluft (Sweden) and Lyudmila Blonska (Ukraine) leading the way with 5284 and 5146 after strong long jumps.

 

In the javelin, Sotherton’s notorious weak event, she threw 31.90m (513 points) whilst Ennis’ throw of 38.07 (630) was another PB. Lining up for the final event, Sotherton was placed fourth behind Lithuania’s Austra Skujyte, who pipped the British athlete to Olympic silver in Athens in 2004.

 

Ennis was sitting in fifth. Both British athletes took the race by the scruff of the neck and the pair of them scrapped it out down the finishing straight with Ennis getting the verdict with 2:11.39 (944 points) just 0.19secs ahead of Sotherton (942). 

 

As expected, Skujyte could not live with the pace and it was enough for Sotherton to celebrate bronze, whilst Ennis rose up to fourth.  Afterwards, Sotheton said: “My poor jav didn’t let me down and I’m pleased I proved everybody wrong.

 

“I’ve finally won a World Championship medal. This is maybe my last heptathlon at a World Champs. I’ve proved to myself I can win medals at this level. I had such a fantastic first five events, I couldn’t have asked for a better first five events and a fantastic long jump today.

 

“I held my nerve to get a no jump and then a 6.68 and the 800m was harder than I thought. I expected to run faster. If it wasn’t for Jess in that last 200m I probably would have wilted. It’s been the toughest heptathlon and very emotional, because I’ve worked very hard for this.

 

Talking about her tussle with old rival Skujyte, she said: “I don’t know if anyone remembers but in Athens, she just beat me by 7 points and I had to beat her by four seconds and I only did it by three-and-a-half and I wasn’t going to let that happen again. She was never going to beat me. I’m quite confident that if I’m in with a chance in the 800m, I’ll get the medal.

 

Ennis said: “I’m over the moon. Fourth place in my first World Championships, it’s amazing. I’m really pleased. I knew I had to run hard and keep ahead of the German girl. I think we were battling a bit. She was nudging me and I was nudging her. I knew I had to cane the last 200 really and I did and it got me a PB so it’s great.

 

“It’s been an absolutely amazing season. It’s hard to put it into words really. But it’s nice to be over now. I can have a bit of a break and concentrate on training for the Olympics next year.”

 

 

For more on the Day 2 evening session click here.

 

For other Championship news, plus results, timetables and photographs click here.