London 2012 Olympics: Women’s field events form guide

Summary of the top five contenders in all of the women’s field events at the London 2012 Olympics


High jump

Entries | Stats | Rankings
Not much separates Chaunte Lowe and world champion Anna Chicherova. The latter tops the world rankings with 2.03m, but Lowe has also been consistent. The American beat Chicherova at the World Indoors and, significantly, in their last clach before the Games at the London Diamond League.

Spain’s Ruth Beitia is rounding into form nicely, having won European gold and cleared 2.00m as recently as last week. Also watch out for defending champion Tia Hellebaut, having twice taken a break from the sport since her victory in Beijing four years ago.

Form guide

1 Chaunte Lowe (USA)
2 Anna Chicherova (RUS)
3 Ruth Beitia (ESP)
4 Tia Hellebaut (BEL)
5 Svetlana Shkolina (RUS)

Pole vault

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Vaulting superstar Yelena Isinbayeva is back after a self-enforced hiatus and wants her third Olympic gold. But despite setting a world indoor record earlier this year, she’s not as dominant as she once was and no-heighted in her last competition.

American record-holder Jenn Suhr and world champion Fabiana Murer are always big threats, while Silke Spiegelburg is rounding into form at the right time, having shrugged off a minor injury picked up in her last competition. Britain’s Holly Bleasdale will be looking to make an impact in her first Olympics.

Form guide

1 Yelena Isinbayeva (RUS)
2 Jenn Suhr (USA)
3 Silke Spiegelburg (GER)
4 Fabiana Murer (BRA)
5 Holly Bleasdale (GBR)

Long jump

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After her fifth-place at the 2008 Games, Brittney Reese has won all four global titles since then. US team-mate Janay DeLoach also looks dangerous and capable of popping out a big jump.

Nastassia Mironchyk-Ivanova produces her best jumps in Belarus, but is still competitive at major champs. Blessing Okagbare will have gained confidence from her newfound sprinting prowess, while British record-holder Shara Proctor will also be in the hunt for medals.

Form guide

1 Brittney Reese (USA)
2 Janay DeLoach (USA)
3 Nastassia Mironchyk-Ivanova (BLR)
4 Blessing Okagbare (NGR)
5 Shara Proctor (GBR)

Triple jump

Entries | Stats | Rankings
Expect another tough battle between the three medallists from last year’s World Championships. Despite having the upper hand in head-to-heads at 2-1 this season, the last time Olga Saladukha beat Caterine Ibargüen was back in May, while the Colombian won in their most recent encounter.

World indoor champion Yamilé Aldama has produced big season’s bests in her past two major championships, and if she’s over the worst of a shoulder injury, expect her to do so again. Russia’s Tatyana Lebedeva is back in action after a three-year break, out to win the triple jump gold that narrowly eluded her at three successive Games.

Form guide

1 Caterine Ibargüen (COL)
2 Olga Saladukha (UKR)
3 Olga Rypakova (KAZ)
4 Yamilé Aldama (GBR)
5 Tatyana Lebedeva (RUS)


Entries | Stats | Rankings
Although she boasts the top three throws in the world, all of them over 21 metres, Nadezhda Ostapchuk often performs below her best at championships. The Belarusian will still throw far enough to land a medal, but it will most likely be silver behind defending champion Valerie Adams. The New Zealander is a superb championship performer and is unbeaten for two years.

The battle for bronze should be a close one, with just a few centimetres separating the PBs of Yevgeniya Kolodko, Gong Lijiao and Jillian Camarena-Williams.

Form guide

1 Valerie Adams (NZL)
2 Nadezhda Ostapchuk (RUS)
3 Yevgeniya Kolodko (RUS)
4 Gong Lijiao (CHN)
5 Jillian Camarena-Williams (USA)


Entries | Stats | Rankings
Having returned from a ban, former European champion Darya Pishchalnikova is throwing three metres farther than she was when she was using performance-enhancing drugs. She leads the world rankings with 70.69m – the first 70-metre throw of this millennium – but she has competed outside of Russia on just three occasions this year and was beaten in two of those.

One of those losses was to Sandra Perkovic, who successfully defended her European title this year and has lost just once all season and that came in bad weather. World and European silver medallist Nadine Müller has been in PB form and consistent throughout the season, but Yarrelis Barrios and world champion Li Yanfeng will also be tough.

Form guide

1 Sandra Perkovic (CRO)
2 Darya Pishchalnikova (RUS)
3 Nadine Müller (GER)
4 Li Yanfeng (CHN)
5 Yarrelis Barrios (CUB)


Entries | Stats | Rankings
A tough event to call. Defending champion Oksana Menkova has this year produced three of the top six marks of all time, but twice before she has gone into major championships off the back of big throws and completely bombed in qualification. Former world record-holder Tatyana Lysenko has been in better form than she was leading up to her World Championships win last year.

World record-holder Betty Heidler started her season well, but began to take a dip at the peak of the season. Anita Wlodarczyk has done the opposite and threw a season’s best of 76.81m less than two weeks ago.

Form guide

1 Tatyana Lysenko (RUS)
2 Oksana Menkova (BLR)
3 Anita Wlodarczyk (POL)
4 Betty Heidler (GER)
5 Zhang Wenxiu (CHN)


Entries | Stats | Rankings
World record-holder Barbora Spotáková has finished in the top two in all of her competitions this year and has made it on to the podium at every major championships since 2006. But Sunette Viljoen leads the world rankings with 69.35m and is also a good championships performer.

World champion Mariya Abakumova isn’t in as good a form as she was last year, while newly-crowned European champion Vira Rebryk will be a danger. Goldie Sayers enjoyed a victory over Viljoen, Spotáková and Rebryk at the London Diamond League but injured her elbow during the competition.

Form guide

1 Barbora Spotakova (CZE)
2 Sunette Viljoen (RSA)
3 Vira Rebryk (UKR)
4 Mariya Abakumova (RUS)
5 Goldie Sayers (GBR)


Entries | Stats | Rankings
Jessica Ennis is in her best ever form as she goes into the biggest competition of her life, and earlier this year she set a UK record of 6906 – over the past 20 years, the only woman to have scored higher is Carolina Kuft. World champion Tatyana Chernova has been in indifferent form this year, but that’s nothing out of the ordinary for the Russian; she will still be a threat.

So too will defending champion Nataliya Dobrynska, who has understandably been affected by the sudden death of her husband and coach earlier this year. Should either of the medal challengers not be at their best, Canadian record-holder Jessica Zelinka and European champion Ida Antoinette Nana Djimou look the most likely to capitalise.

Form guide

1 Jessica Ennis (GBR)
2 Tatyana Chernova (RUS)
3 Nataliya Dobrynska (UKR)
4 Jessica Zelinka (CAN)
5 Ida Antoinette Nana Djimou (FRA)


» All of the above are bite-sized versions of AW‘s Olympic Games preview. For the full version – including rankings, features, stats and predictions – get the latest copy of Athletics Weekly, out now.

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