16 SEP 2006 General News Athens, Greece

Bartels' lucky year - IAAF World Cup in Athletics

Ralf Bartels celebrates in Athens (Getty Images)Ralf Bartels celebrates in Athens (Getty Images) © Copyright

USA’s World Indoor Shot Put champion Reese Hoffa responded well to European gold medallist Ralf Bartels’ (EUR – Ger) opening 20.51m release which led the first series of puts, with a 20.60m second round effort.

Bartels replied well three throwers later in the same round with a 20.41m effort, and we sensed a surprise might still be waiting in the wings of this former Olympic stage when his third round of 20.36m confirmed a level a series on which a bigger hit can sometimes be born. And in the final round Bartels, the World championship bronze medallist, delivered what his first three rounds had promised, the turf enveloping his shot at 20.67m. The win and nine points was in Europe’s bag, and $30,000 was Bartels'  personal reward for the victory.

Hoffa did not improve beyond his 20.60m, below par for a man with a season and personal best of 21.96m. His third put was a foul and his last round 20.46m. However, he still finished second (8pts).

European bronze medallist Pavel Sofin of Russia who had been close to a medal at the World Indoors (4th) had a best of 20.45m for third place in a solid series of 20m+ efforts.

"I was very lucky this year," said Bartels. "I won the European Championship by 2cm and now the World Cup by 7cm."  

Chris Turner for the IAAF

Click here to read Reports of ALL (20) Events contested today in Athens at the 10th IAAF World Cup in Athletics