Hungarian hammer thrower Krisztian Pars (Getty Images) © Copyright
Report Marrakech, Morocco

Report: men’s hammer – IAAF Continental Cup, Marrakech 2014

It was billed as a battle of the Europeans, and Hungary’s Olympic champion Krisztian Pars duly delivered top points for Europe. But Egypt’s Mostafa El Gamel upset the odds by taking second ahead of Polish record-holder Pawel Fajdek who couldn’t get close to his world lead.

Having lost five times to Fajdek, this year, Pars proved he is the man for the big moment, adding the Continental Cup crown to the European Championships gold he took at Fajdek’s expense in Zurich last month.

Pars’ best effort of 78.99m came in round two as no one managed to get beyond the 80-metre line.

On paper, Fajdek should have been fighting for top honours with his Hungarian rival, but the world champion, who has thrown a personal best of 83.48m this year, could go no better than 78.05m as the more consistent El Gamel claimed second with 78.89m.

It was the bulkier Pars who took the early lead with 78.96m in the first of the four rounds. He added another three centimetres in the second when the bespectacled Fajdek closed the gap on his team-mate with 78.05m, having stepped out of the circle first time up.

That was only good enough for third at half way, however, as African record-holder El Gamel threw 78.24m to put Africa in contention for its first ever victory in this event.

Pars was nothing if not consistent, reaching 78.66m in the third and 77.55m in the fourth.

But his heart must have been in his mouth at the end as El Gamel finished with 78.89m, failing by just 10cm to add a second win in this stadium to the African title he took here last month. He has the honour, however, of being the first African hammer thrower to finish in the top three at the World or Continental Cup.

Matt Brown for the IAAF