Russian javelin thrower Mariya Abakumova (© Getty Images)
World champion Mariya Abakumova was a comfortable winner of the women’s Javelin at the Russian Winter Throwing Championships in Adler, while the men’s equivalent – won by Dmitriy Tarabin – saw three men break 82 metres.
Abakumova, who owns the second-best mark in history with her 71.99m winning throw from the Daegu World Championships, launched her spear out to 63.10m on her second attempt. She had just one other valid throw, a 59.73m effort in the final round, but she had done more than enough to win. Oksana Gromova finished second with 58.00m.
Abakumova’s winning throw was just 26cm shy of the world-leading mark set by European champion Vera Rebryk two weeks ago in Yalta, Ukraine.
The men’s event was a much closer affair. World finalist Dmitriy Tarabin opened with 81.77m while European silver medallist Valeriy Iordan threw 81.36m. Tarabin improved to 82.89m in the second round, then 2004 World junior champion Aleksey Tovarnov applied the pressure with a throw of 82.54m, adding more than a metre to his PB.
Iordan then snatched the lead with a throw of 83.56m, a PB for the 21-year-old, but Tarabin responded straight away with a PB himself, throwing a world-leading 85.63m.
World and Olympic champion Tatyana Lysenko was also in good form. After opening with 72.83m, she improved to 73.19m in round two, then produced her best mark of the series in the penultimate round, throwing 74.07m. European bronze medallist Anna Bulgakova was second with 72.78m while Gulfiya Khanafeyeva was third (71.41m).
European silver medallist Aleksey Zagorniy won the men’s event with 76.91m, just 36cm ahead of Anatoliy Pozdnyakov. The women’s discus was similarly close, with Yekaterina Strokova snatching victory from Yelena Panova in the fourth round, 61.09m to 60.77m.
Flying start to 2013 for Adams
There was also some top throwing on the other side of the world, courtesy of Olympic champion Valerie Adams.
Competing in the ‘Shot in the City’ – a special one-off indoor competition held in Queens Wharf on the Auckland waterfront – Adams produced a winning throw of 20.75m, easily her best ever season’s debut and farther than her winning mark from the Olympic Games. Trinidad & Tobago’s Cleopatra Borel-Brown finished more than three metres behind with 17.13m.
Lomong breaks Lagat’s American record
At the Columbia Final Qualifier in New York, distance coach Jerry Schumacher set up an indoor 5000m race with the main intention of giving his athletes a chance to achieve the 13:15 qualifying time for the IAAF World Championships in Moscow.
The plan worked, and Olympic finalist Lopez Lomong not only gained the qualifying standard but he also took down Bernard Lagat’s American indoor 5000m record. Paced through the first (2:38.88) and second (5:16.67) kilometres by Travis Mahoney, Dan Huling then took up the pace-making duties and took the field through 3000m in 7:53.46.
Lomong then finished off the job and opened up a lead over the field with Chris Derrick the only athlete able to get anywhere close to him. Lomong crossed the line in 13:07.00, taking 0.15 off Lagat’s record, while Derrick clocked 13:12.00 to comfortably dip inside the standard for Moscow. American Steeplechase record-holder Evan Jager finished fifth in 13:33.37 as the whole field set PBs.
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF