Road To The Olympic Games

Track-field

Canada's Brianne Theisen-Eaton off to disppointing start to Olympic heptathlon

Canadian heptathlete Brianne Theisen-Eaton has a hill to climb if she's going to contend for Olympic gold in the heptathlon in Rio. Theisen-Eaton is sixth after four events with 3,871 points.

Canadian struggles on opening day of track and field competition

Canada's Brianne Theisen-Eaton has a tough Day 1 of the women's heptathlon event, finishing sixth after four events Friday. (Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images))

By Jonathan Rumley, CBC Sports

Canadian heptathlete Brianne Theisen-Eaton has a hill to climb if she's going to contend for Olympic gold in the heptathlon in Rio. Theisen-Eaton is sixth after four events with 3,871 points.

Jessica Ennis-Hill of Great Britain leads after the 200-metre, shot put, high jump and 100-metre events with 4,057 points.

Theisen-Eaton, from Humboldt, Sask., is ranked No. 1 in the world in 2016, but had a disappointing start in the 100-metre hurdles, finishing in 13.18 seconds — well off her personal best. She then moved up a spot with a clearance of 1.86 metres in the high jump — which was her best jump of the season — and remained in fifth place after the shot put.

She ended Day 1 finishing ninth in the 200 metres with a time of 24.18 seconds, dropping her to sixth.

The 27-year-old has bounced back from a disappointing Day 1 before. At last year's world championships in Beijing, she was fourth after the first day, but roared back to win silver.

Ennis-Hill, who was expected to battle Theisen-Eaton for gold, cleared 1.89 in the high jump and had the fastest run in the hurdles, clocking 12.84 on a wet track.

Many of the athletes were slower than their bests in wet and rainy conditions.

Theisen-Eaton has three more events to boost her standing and potentially land on the podium. She finished 11th at the 2012 Olympics in London, and is a two-time winner of the prestigious Götzis Hypo Meeting event.

With files from the Canadian Press

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