16 SEP 2006 General News

Men's Hammer Throw

Olympic champion Koji Murofushi of Japan made this competition into an exhibition. His victory an 82.01m release, a personal season’s best, in the third round. This was the third furthest competition win in the world this season.

So, first blood of the weekend and 9 points to Asia. Murofushi, who finished second at the last edition of the World Cup, pounded his hammer three times beyond 81m in this four series competition to take a comprehensive victory.

True the results sheet doesn’t tell the reality of a more interesting competition, as Belarussia’s double World champion Ivan Tikhon competing for Europe did present a potent challenge to the Japanese ace. As well as his third round 80.00m which secured second place (8pts), Tikhon had a 81m+ foul in the last round.

But other than that this competition was just about Murofushi. The Asian record holder who has comeback well this season after a year of injury in 2005, has only had seven competitions this summer and all have been victories, with five of those wins being taken over 80m.

The winner’s series today – 79.70; 81.30; 82.01, 81.82.

“Athens is my favourite town. I was here for the 2004 Olympics and the 1997 World Championships and now I throw a season’s best here. I have very special feelings for Athens,” said Murofushi.

Third today was Russia’s Ilya Konovalov with 77.14m taking seven points.

Chris Turner