As it is traditionally the case with this team competition, the first event of the 9th IAAF World Cup in Athletics in Madrid was the men’s Hammer Throw.
Of the nine competitors in the field, no less than four men had already thrown over the psychological barrier of 80 metres this season. Japan’s Koji Murofushi competing for Asia, Hungary’s Adrian Annus representing Europe, Germany’s Karsten Kobs and South Africa’s Chris Harmse competing for Africa were to fight for the honours.
Throwing last, Asian champion Koji Murofushi took the lead after the first round with a respectable throw of 77.09m. The 2001 World silver medallist wasn’t to hold on to his advantage for long, as European champion Adrian Annus, was the first to clear the 80-metre mark with his second throw of the day. The Hungarian’s 80.93m was never to be beaten and the first 9 points of the day were secured for Europe.
Murofushi tried to repeat his stunning last ditch performance of just less than a week ago in the IAAF Grand Prix Final when he upset Annus with his last attempt. Today, his final throw was just 85 centimetres short of Annus’ winning effort.
1999 World champion Karsten Kobs was third and scored 7 points for his National Team, while Chris Harmse in fourth gave the defending Team of Africa its first 6 points.
Great Britain’s Mick Jones threw 66.92m with his last attempt after two fouls to grab 8th position from Cuba’s Yosvany Suarez (66.33m) who throwing for the Americas finished last in this first event of the day.
As per all throwing and horizontal jumping events contested in the IAAF World Cup, athletes were given only four attempts.