Nafi Thiam, Olympic and world heptathlon champion, to miss worlds
Belgian Nafi Thiam, the Olympic and world heptathlon champion, will miss the world track and field championships with an Achilles injury.
The heptathlon takes place on the first two days of worlds in Budapest from Aug. 19-20.
“After careful consultations with her team she has decided not to risk aggravation by competing in Budapest,” Thiam’s representation said in a statement. “Nafi is disappointed to skip a major championship but keeps a strong vision for her long-term goals and the Paris Olympic Games.”
Last year, Thiam won the seven-event heptathlon at worlds in Eugene, Oregon, to join Jackie Joyner-Kersee as the only women to win two heptathlon titles at both the Olympics and worlds.
Thiam ranks third in history with a personal-best 7,013 points.
Her absence makes U.S. champion Anna Hall the top heptathlete in the worlds field by personal best. She scored 6,988 points in May.
Hall, 22, earned bronze in her global championship debut last year behind Thiam and Dutchwoman Anouk Vetter, who is entered at worlds.
Hall is bidding to join Joyner-Kersee as the only Americans to win a global title in the heptathlon, which traditionally crowns the world’s best female athlete.