Maria Abakumova launches a 68.14m competition record at the IAAF / VTB Bank Continental Cup in Split (Getty Images) © Copyright
She proved as much with her very first throw of the competition, breaking Osleidys Menendez’s Competition Record with 65.28m. But she was not finished with the Record yet, and she unleashed an almighty 68.14m in round two, her third throw of the year beyond 68 metres.
Abakumova’s nearest challenger was Commonwealth Champion Sunette Viljoen, who threw 60.48m in the first round and improved to 62.21m in the second.
Aside from a 58.16m National Record from Egypt’s Hana’a Ramadhan Omar in round three, no one else improved and so the positions stayed the same. Abakumova closed her series with 62.49m in round three and 61.90m in round four.
Viljoen’s second place represented the best ever finish by an African athlete in this event. Kimberley Mickle of Australia threw a season’s best of 61.36m for third, while European Champion Linda Stahl had to settle for fourth with 60.37m. USA record-holder Kara Patterson was a disappointing sixth with 58.07m.
Abakumova’s winning margin of 5.93m is the second largest in IAAF World Cup history, after Petra Felke’s 8.82m winning lead in the 1989 edition with the old specification javelin.
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF