Pawel Fajdek, winner of the hammer (© Marek Biczyk)
World champions Pawel Fajdek and David Storl produced the best marks at the Hallesche Werfertage, the traditional throws meeting in the German city of Halle on Saturday (16).
Fajdek showed that he is in form to defend his world title later this year in Beijing, winning the hammer by more than six metres. All five of his measured throws would have been enough to win.
He opened with 77.49m and then set a world-leading mark of 80.79m in round two. His next two throws also landed beyond the 77-metre line, but he saved his best for last, throwing 82.76m in the final round.
Not only was it the second-best mark of his career, after the 83.48m Polish record he set last year, but it also broke the oldest men’s meeting record, adding almost two metres to the 80.92m set by Germany’s Matthias Moder in 1985, four years before Fajdek was born.
Britain’s Nick Miller finished second with 76.21m while two-time world finalist Pavel Kryvitski was third with 74.98m.
Less than 24 hours after winning at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Doha, two-time world champion David Storl hot-footed it back to Germany to compete in Halle.
He showed no signs of tiredness; in fact his series was significantly better than his one in the Qatari capital. All five of his valid attempts were comfortably beyond 21 metres, his best coming in the fifth round with 21.72m.
It was his eighth victory in a row and broke the meeting record set in 2011 by Dylan Armstrong. No one else in the competition threw farther than 20 metres.
“Competing against a backdrop like this makes it much more fun than competing in Doha, where there was an empty stadium for the throws,” said Storl.
The ‘other’ Harting wins discus
Storl’s win was one of three home victories in the men’s throwing events. One of the others came in the discus from a thrower whose name was familiar but his face was less so.
Christoph Harting, younger brother of Olympic and three-time world champion Robert Harting, continued his superb breakthrough by winning the discus with 67.93m, adding 40 centimetres to the PB he set last week in Wiesbaden.
Harting, whose PB before this year was 64.99m, opened his series with a foul but then went straight into the lead with a second-round throw of 66.41m. His winning mark came two rounds later, then he ended his competition with 66.43m.
Australian record-holder Benn Harradine finished second with 65.47m, while Martin Wierig, Daniel Jasinski and Axel Harstedt all threw beyond 64 metres.
“Things are beginning to go well,” said Harting, whose older brother is currently out of action due to injury. “Compared to Wiesbaden (last week), I have seen a little bit of progress.”
The other German victory in the senior men’s events came in the javelin. 22-year-old Johannes Vetter had never thrown beyond 80 metres before, but his javelin went way past that line in Halle, winning with a PB of 82.13m.
More German success for Fischer and Stahl
There were fewer standout performances in the women’s disciplines, but while the distances weren’t necessarily big, the events were competitive.
Julia Fischer, the 2007 world youth champion, moved from fifth to first in the penultimate round of the discus to snatch victory with a throw of 63.59m. Anna Ruh’s final-round throw of 62.53m saw her move three centimetres ahead of Nadine Muller to take second place.
By contrast, Linda Stahl led from the outset in the javelin. The 2010 European champion opened with 61.52m – a mark that ultimately would have been enough to win – but improved on it with a final-round throw of 62.06m.
Christin Hussong and Katharina Molitor also produced their best in the last round, throwing 60.96m and 60.76m respectively to finish second and third.
Hungarian junior hammer throwers in top form
Fajdek and Storl aside, some of the best performances of the day came in the junior events.
World youth record-holder Bence Halasz trailed Britain’s Taylor Campbell for the first two rounds of the junior hammer, but went into the lead with a third-round throw of 77.60m. The Hungarian then unleashed a PB and European age-17 best of 79.86m in the final round to wrap up the competition.
In second, Campbell broke his own national junior record with 76.85m.
Halasz’s compatriot Reka Gyuratz was in a league of her own in the junior women’s hammer.
With a series in which any of her marks would have been enough to win, the world youth champion twice broke her PB; first with 68.50m in round two and then, like Halasz, in the final round with 69.44m.
It is the best throw in the world by a junior woman since 2012 and takes her to seventh on the world junior all-time list.
In the junior men’s discus, Australia’s Matt Denny and Germany’s Henning Prufer repeated their 1-2 positions from the 2013 IAAF World Youth Championships.
Denny’s winning mark came in the fifth round with 66.66m, which was comfortably enough to defeat the German, who threw 63.33m in the final round to move up from fourth to second.
World junior champion Konrad Bukowiecki defeated world youth champion Patrick Muller in the junior men’s shot. Muller opened with an equal PB of 20.51m while the Pole managed just 19.60m. But in the fourth round, Bukowiecki came alive with an effort of 21.30m.
He wasn’t quite finished, though, and improved to a world-junior-leading 21.42m in the final round. In second, Muller also improved with 20.69m in the final round.
Kaul and Piskunov show Cali medal potential
In the youth events on Sunday (17), two athletes stood out.
Germany's Niklaus Kaul dominated the boys' javelin, throwing 78.67m in the first round before unleashing a European youth best of 83.94m in the final round, taking him to second on the world youth all-time list.
Ukraine's Hlib Piskunov set his second national youth record of the year to win the hammer. The Youth Olympic champion surpassed the 80-metre line on three occasions, his best mark coming in the second round with 83.11m. No one else in the competition threw farther than 70 metres.
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF