DN Galan had a solid head start on Thursday night when Olympic Champion Tomasz Majewski of Poland twice bettered his personal best and produced a world leading 21.95m in the Shot Put.
"Superman" blared from the loud speakers in the Royal Garden Kungsträdgården, in the heart of the Swedish capital, when the Polish giant received greetings from the packed stands.
"I am extremely happy! That was a very big PB!" exclaimed an exuberant Majewski. His throw was also a national record, breaking Edward Sarul's 21.68m set back in 1983.
The Olympic Champion improved on his fresh PB from three days ago from the start with a first throw of 21.65m, one centimetre better than in Barcelona. Americans Reese Hoffa and Adam Nelson, the 2007 and 2005 World champions, had no reply. Majewski killed the competition in the next round with his huge throw of 21.95m, an improvement by six centimeters on Reese Hoffa's previous World leading result from the Prefontaine Classic in early June. Hoffa responded with four 21+ metre throws, but even his final 21.53m was shorter than Majewski's three best tosses as the Pole finished off the competition with 21.83m.
Majewski is confident that he can repeat that feat at the World Championships.
"Can I beat the Americans? I did it in Beijing, so why not in Berlin?"
Hoffa's 21.53m was enough to secure second place as Adam Nelson never reached the 21-metre line.
Osaka bronze medallist Nadine Kleinert prevailed over American champion Michelle Carter in the women's contest with her initial throw of 19.48m. But Carter executed her first ever 19m+ toss, with 19.13m in the fourth round.
Click here for full results - [men] [women]
Stockholm press conference highlights
Some of the biggest stars of DN Galan, with it’s main programme scheduled for tomorrow (31) at the Stockholm’s 1912 Olympic Stadium, met with the press this afternoon.
Olympic 110m Hurdles champion Dayron Robles (CUB):
Robles has been struggling with several minor injuries. Most recently, he had a freak accident at his training camp in Guadalajara, outside of Madrid.
"I fell over a hurdle and suffered a contusion on my thigh," Robles said.
Now he has conquered the problem and hopes to run his first race without pain. Robles run an excellent race in Stockholm last year, beating the Stadium record in 12.91.
"I did run too fast! Now I need to break the world record to earn another diamond!"
Tatyana Lebedeva (RUS), three-time World champion (twice in the Triple Jump, once in the Long Jump):
"Next year I will concentrate on the long jump," said Lebedeva, who had a minor accident during her warm up in Monaco on Tuesday.
"I felt a sharp pain in my back, but I still made all my attempts," explained Lebedeva, who is still planning to double at the World championships in Berlin. At DN Galan the Vice President of the Russian Federation is involved in a tough Long Jump competition with five of 2009’s six best.
Asafa Powell (JAM), former 100m World record holder, 2007 World bronze medallist
Asafa Powell justified his sixth place in the Britsh capital last week:
"I was very tired in London, not really prepared to race,” Powell said, justifying his sixth place finish there last Friday. “But my training has been going very well this week. I'll try to focus on my execution." Powell has won in Stockholm the last three years and tomorrow his main opponent should be reigning double World champion Tyson Gay.
Tyson Gay (USA), reigning 100 and 200m World Champion:
“Asafa is a great competitor," said Gay, who claims that his aching groin injury is getting better and better.
"It's little sore, but I haven’t done any speedwork. I am taking one day at the time."
"The race tomorrow is very important, because if I get a good result, than I know I am going to do something nice in Berlin."
Jeremy Wariner (USA), the two-time defending World 400m champion:
"I've always been running great races here. Hopefully I will tomorrow. The fans are great, the stadium has a lot of history, the competition's always good here."
"Timewise, the other competitors are capable to run low 45's-high 44's, so it will be a good race." Wariner said he is excited by the presence of the best UK runner in tomorrow's field.
"Mike Bingham is part of Michael (Johnson's) group, so we hope to get a 1-2 tomorrow.”
Wariner said he knows what has been lacking this year.
"I’ve been slowing down between 200 and 300 metres, that has been affecting my race." But Wariner is convinced that there is room for improvement.
"Actually Coach Hart says that I'm been doing exactly the same times in training, or even slightly better, than in 2007.”
Andreas Thorkildsen (NOR), two-time defending Olympic Javelin Throw champion:
The Norwegian said that he has overcome his recent injury problems.
"I'm feeling better and better, improving my stability. Of course I want to throw six times tomorrow, I always want to!"
Thorkildsen pointed out that his long time rival Tero Pitkämäki of Finland is not the only one to beat in Berlin.
"Vasilevskis will be the toughest competitor tomorrow. He's the world leader and has shown several times that he can throw very far."
"When it comes to a World Championships final, there's always the freak result, someone who has not shown that kind of ability previously during the season."
Lorenzo Nesi for the IAAF