Fedrick Dacres in the discus qualification at the IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015 (© Getty Images)
Jamaica’s Fedrick Dacres led the charge in the qualification rounds on Thursday morning, while Poland’s 2015 world leader Piotr Malachowski was close to giving himself a heart attack.
Dacres was the first athlete to achieve the automatic qualifying standard of 65.00m. He sent his implement to 65.77m with his first attempt.
The former world youth and world junior champion was coming into his first senior championships as number 10 in the world with a season’s best of 66.40m and confirmed his serious intentions right away.
The runner-up two years ago in Moscow, Malachowski had put himself in a difficult situation. With a fouled first attempt and a timid 59.08m in the second round, he was in 13th place in Group A before his last throw but he managed to regain his composure and posted a 65.59m throw to become the second and the last athlete to automatically qualify from this group.
No one managed to surpass 65.00m in Group B.
The experienced Estonian Gerd Kanter, who won his Olympic title this arena in Beijing seven years ago, was the closest to the standard, throwing 64.78m in the second round.
The younger brother of Germany’s reigning world champion Robert Harting, Christophe, had a 64.23m toss in the first round and decided not to try for 65 metres with his remaining two throws, passing them and saving some energy for the final.
The German was right, and he safely advanced to the next round from the sixth position.
Robert Harting decided to pass on a title defence after suffering from a knee injury last autumn, so Christophe will be the only family representative, indeed the only German, in the final on Saturday.
Poland’s 2014 European Championships bronze medallist Robert Urbanek matched Harting’s result of 64.23m, but was fifth overall, ranked by his second best attempt.
Cyprus’ Apostolos Parellis, last year’s Commonwealth Games silver medallist, had a good day, unleashing the third best throw in his career and reached 64.41m to qualify for his first world championships final.
Just like Poland, Australia will have two representatives in the final. Julian Wruck was 10th in the qualification with 62.63m, while Benn Harradine became the last athlete to advance to the final with 62.48m.
The number two in the world this season, Jamaica’s Jason Morgan has only managed to achieve 60.85m in his best attempt of the morning and missed out on the appearance in the final.
Elena Dyachkova for the IAAF