World and Olympic champion Andreas Thorkildsen opened with a good contest in Shanghai where he threw no fewer than 4 times over 80 metres. He is now looking forward to the "real" Diamond clash in Oslo...
"I'm putting together this diary entry in Shanghai, having just opened my season at the Diamond League meeting. I won with a throw of 86.11m and had four throws over 80m, so I'd say that's a pretty good first competition of the season for me. It's always a bit of a relief to get the first one out of the way, because after spending months training you never really know where you stand. Now I've at least got a reference point for the next few meets as I start to build up my season. I also had a chance to properly try out my new javelin shoes and gear from my new sponsors, Li Ning, and I'm very happy with how they held up in competition.
"I was very impressed with the two Czech athletes in Shanghai. At a competition earlier this month three Czech athletes threw over 84m, and they showed this weekend that it wasn't a fluke - Petr Frydrych improved on his PB and Viteszlav Vesely was over 80m again, so they're getting some good consistency. It's one thing to throw big at a low-key competition held in an open field, but it's another to repeat that performance in a big stadium. The Czech guys have stepped up since last year and it's that kind of consistency that will make them serious contenders, so it will be interesting to continue competing against them this year.
"The competition in Shanghai showed me that my training has gone well. I have not long returned from a training stint in San Diego at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista. I had a great time there and got some quality training done, so I think I will definitely return there in future. And the weather was great - definitely better than the rain I faced in South Africa earlier in the year!
"As you read this I will probably be on the plane back to Norway. I am competing on Saturday in Florø and some of the top Finnish guys will be there, including Tero Pitkämäki and Teemu Wirkkala, so it will be good to catch up with them. The most interesting thing about the Finnish javelin throwers will be seeing which ones have the best consistency. They always have lots of guys throwing over 80m each year, but it's the ones who can throw mid-80s on a regular basis who will be my toughest competition. The Czech throwers are already showing consistency, so the Finns will have to try to match them.
"After Florø, my next competition will be at the Diamond League meeting in Oslo. The javelin in Shanghai was just a promotional event, but Oslo will be the first Diamond League competition where points will be up for grabs, so there's a lot more to fight for. Oslo is always my best and worst competition. It's great because I get to compete on home soil in front of a home crowd where the fans are great. But with that comes the pressure, and if I don't win then I feel really crap. But after today I'm feeling good and hopefully in Oslo I can show my opponents who's boss!
"Until next time,"