Threetime World Hammer Throw champion Ivan Tikhon (Tsikhan) provided the quality of the opening round with an 81.07m release which left everyone in the competitive shade on this sunny day in Stuttgart. Last year’s WAF winner Koji Murofushi was next best in the first round with 77.95m.
In essence that was ‘game over’ as nothing would change in this competition until the last round, which turned out to be a solo parade for Tikhon.
Tikhon, who won this competition in 2005, followed with 78.53m and then 79.95m, before powering the hammer to just two centimetres short of the World Athletics Final record (82.10m – 2003).
That last round mark of 82.05m might have been way short of the Belarussian’s world season’s lead (83.63m) but this was Tikhon's ninth 80m+ competition of the year and as dominant a performance as one could wish to see.
In this four round event, any of the releases of the 31-year-old would have been enough to win.
Murofushi’s first effort of 77.95m was good enough for third, being passed in the last round by a 78.42m attempt by Hungary’s Kristian Pars which took runner's-up spot.
Stuttgart was in many respects the most appropriate venue for such a dominant demonstration of throwing by Tikhon. In 2005 in Brest, Belarussia, Tikhon had thrown a national record of 86.73m, just one centimetre short of the still standing World record set in Stuttgart at the 1986 European Championships by Yuriy Sedykh.
"A very good atmosphere in the stadium, which helped a lot," said Tikhon."I had the feeling that the others wouldn't throw further."
Chris Turner for the IAAF