Sara Kolak in the javelin qualification round at the IAAF World Championships London 2017 (Getty Images) © Copyright
Report London, UK

Report: women's javelin qualification – IAAF World Championships London 2017

Lyu Huihui's Asian record highlighted the qualifying round of the women's javelin.

Lyu, the silver medallist two years ago, threw 67.59m on her only effort of the evening to add more than a metre to the area record set by compatriot Liu Shiying earlier this season.

"I did not set any goal for these championships, just to perform as well as possible," said Lyu, whose previous best was 66.13m set two years ago. "I have to admit I am surprised by my performance." The 28-year-old was fifth at this stadium at the Olympic Games five years ago, but returned somewhat under the radar this week with a season's best of just 62.07m.

Seven women threw beyond the 63.50m automatic qualifying threshold, two reaching beyond 65 metres.

Slovenia's Martina Ratej hit 65.64m to finish behind Lyu in the second group while defending champion Katharina Molitor was the best from the first, reaching 65.37m. Both were season's bests.

"Today's competition showed me that I am in shape, so I hope it will come also in the final," said Ratej, twice a World Championships finalist and seventh at the London Olympics five years ago. "Before I came to the stadium, I was nervous and told myself: What do I do here? But when we arrived, I was fine and relaxed."

Like Lyu, Molitor didn't show podium-finishing form prior to tonight's qualification round, arriving in the British capital with a season's best of just 62.26m.

"It was a bit difficult this year," said Molitor, who wasn't selected for the Rio squad last year. "I had a lot of time to rest and started training a bit earlier. Maybe it was just a little bit too much because my attitude was not so high. I was sometimes ill and there were a lot of little things that I could not train. But last week was good and 65m is just perfect."

Despite watching her Asian record fall, Lui Shiying breezed through with a 64.72m effort, as did world record holder Barbora Spotakova of the Czech Republic with a 64.32m toss. The Czech won one of her two Olympic titles in this stadium.

Turkey's Eda Tugsuz and Kelsey-Lee Roberts of Australia moved on automatically with 63.87m and 63.70m throws.

But qualification was a little nerve-wracking for Olympic champion Sara Kolak, who reached 63.24m to finish fourth in the first group, but had to wait for the results of the second before her advance to Tuesday evening's final was secured.

Others moving on included Canadian Eliabeth Gleadle (62.97m), Tatsiana Khaladovich (62.58m) of Belarus and third Chinese Li Lingwei (62.29m).

Most notable of non-qualifiers was Australian Kathryn Mitchell whose 66.12m season’s best was the sixth best throw of the year prior to this evening. Tonight she couldn't do better that 57.42m.

Bob Ramsak for the IAAF