Javelin throwers Tero Pitkamaki and Maria Abakumova competed in two different meetings on German soil on Sunday (25), but the end result for both athletes was the same as they produced the best throws in the world since 2011.
World silver medallist Pitkamaki was throwing at the Werfertage meeting in Bad Kostritz. In the first round, Germany’s David Golling smashed his PB by more than three metres to take an early lead with 80.67m.
After a slow start, Pitkamaki eventually found his rhythm in the fourth round, sending his Javelin out to 89.03m to break Raymond Hecht’s meeting record of 87.87m from 2002.
Not only was it the Finn’s best mark since 2007 – the year in which he won the World title – but it was also the best mark in the world since August 2011.
“I’m very happy with the competition and the distance, even though the wind was not quite perfect,” said the 30-year-old.
Behind Pitkamaki and Golling, European under-23 silver medallist and World Championships representative Bernhard Seifert of Germany finished third with 79.01m.
Elsewhere in Bad Kostritz, Germany’s two-time World champion David Storl won the Shot but was pushed all the way by Argentina’s German Lauro.
The South American record-holder opened with 20.32m and it took Storl until the third round to take the lead with his 20.47m effort. But that was short-lived as Lauro responded with 20.61m in the fifth round, then improved further with 20.91m on his final attempt.
Storl had saved enough for the final throw of the competition, though, and sent his Shot out to a meeting record of 21.02m.
In the women’s event, Germany’s World silver medallist Christina Schwanitz was similarly tested against tough opposition. US champion Michelle Carter recorded 19.33m to Schwanitz’s 19.40m in the first round before the home favourite went on to improve with 19.71m and then 20.18m to secure the victory.
Abakumova defeats Obergfoll again
Since her disappointment of missing out on winning gold in front of her home crowd at the World Championships in Moscow, Russia’s Maria Abakumova has now twice defeated World champion Christina Obergfoll – including today’s triumph in Elstal.
The pair were competing at the DKB Cup meeting just three days after their last clash at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Stockholm, where Abakumova also came out on top. This time, the World bronze medallist produced a winning mark of 69.75m, the best performance in the world since her own winning throw at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu.
Obergfoll finished almost four metres adrift with a best throw of 65.82m. In a competition which featured four of the top-five finishers from the World Championships, Australia’s Kathryn Mitchell finished third with 62.17m, just two centimetres ahead of Germany’s Linda Stahl.
There was one other World champion competing in Elstal, pole vaulter Raphael Holzdeppe, although he had a competition he’ll be keen to forget as he failed to register a valid mark.
It left the way clear for Olympic silver medallist Bjorn Otto to enjoy a comfortable victory with 5.80m, 20 centimetres ahead of Czech record-holder Jan Kudlicka.
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF