Krisztian Pars of Hungary and Poland's Anita Wlodarczyk both set new meet records in the Hammer Throw at Ostrava's Golden Spike, traditionally held the day before the main meeting programme.
The Golden Spike is a Grand Prix status meeting as part of the IAAF World Athletics Tour 2009.
Pars, the 2008 Olympic silver medallist, and Wlodarczyk, a Beijing finalist, dominated the strongest Hammer Throw fields assembled this season, both eclipsing meet records set one year ago.
Pars was by far the most consistent, hitting beyond 80 metres three times, topped by his final round 80.71m. His third round 80.68m and 80.31m in the fourth both sailed beyond the previous meet mark of 80.27, set by Primoz Kozmus last year.
"Everything was very good technically," said Pars, who remains undefeated this year in nine starts. "I was a little tired because I've had lots of competitions recently. But I'm very satisfied. If the throws were just one metre further, it would be even better."
Dishod Nazarov from Tajikistan was second, with a 78.83m best from the fifth round. He also threw 78.46 in the third, which would have secured his runner-up position.
Third went to Slovak Libor Charfreitag, who produced a pair of throws beyond 77m, topped by his 77.44m from the third round.
Wlodarczyk, the season's most dominant performer, sealed the victory with a 76.59m effort in the third round, the fourth personal best of the season for the 23-year-old, and which landed her into the No. 9 position among throwers all-time. She was just shy of the 76.83m Polish national record set by the late Kamila Skolimowska in Doha last year. As a compatriot, it was fitting that Wlodarczyk would be the first recipient of the Skolimowska Cup, this year awarded to the female winner to honour the thrower who passed away in February. Skolimowska's father presented the winner's trophy.
Slovak Martina Hrasnova was second, thanks to a 74.20m effort in the second round. Stephanie Falzon of France was third, reaching a season's best 72.54. Germany's Betty Heidler, the reigning World champion, finished fourth, with a 71.04m bet.
Both reigning Olympic champions, Primoz Kozmus of Slovenia and Oksana Menkova of Belarus, struggled. Kozmus, the winner in Rio de Janeiro and Belem last month, was a distant fifth in the seven-man field, reaching 76.53m, his second worst outing of the season. "It was a catastrophe," he said. Menkova fared even worse, finishing eighth in the field of nine, with a 65.92m best.
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- Robles, Spotakova and Vlasic cautiously optimistic – press conference
Dayron Robles, Olympic champion in the 110m Hurdles, who set the World record of 12.87 here last year:
Another record this year?
“That’s the wish. But you can’t just wake up and say you’re going to break the world record. It has to be something that is special. Last year I didn’t expect to break the world record but it’s something that came because everything was right.”
On foot problems that have produced setbacks in his training -
“I’m waiting to receive new shoes that are more flexible. Right now there is a lot of pain, which can later lead to injury. The problem is that I have flat feet, and the older I get, and stronger and faster I get, the more pressure I put on my feet, so the problem gets worse.”
“I’m supposed to receive the shoes tomorrow. But if they don’t arrive, I’ll still compete to the best of my ability.”
Olympic and World champion and World record holder in the Javelin Throw, Barbora Spotakova:
It’s the biggest competition around here, all my best rivals are here, we’re going to have a great crowd, so that’s great motivation to do really well.
On her Achilles injury –
My Achilles is getting better, but it’s still not 100 per cent.
World High Jump champion Blanka Vlasic of Croatia, the meet record holder here at 2.05m:
“I really love jumping here. It’s hard to explain, it’s just a feeling. It’s similar to when I jump at home in Zagreb. Of course I can’t ignore the good results I’ve had here. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t jump well in Ostrava.
On her runner-up finish to Ariane Friedrich in Berlin on Sunday –
“I can’t always win. It was a good fight. I’m very happy that the women’s High Jump has these sort of results. It’s always good to have someone pushing you. I always appreciate a good challenge.”
“I know that at this moment I’m not in top shape. I just have to be patient and wait for better results. So I don’t know why I should be disappointed.”
Bob Ramsak for the IAAF