Krisztian Pars on his way to victory in the hammer (© Giancarlo Colombo)
Olympic hammer champion Krisztian Pars unleashed a lifetime best throw of 82.49m at the Istvan Gyulai Memorial in Szekesfehervar to win at the IAAF Hammer Throw Challenge meeting in front of a home crowd on Tuesday (8).
The 32-year-old took an early lead with his opening throw of 79.84m, but then world champion Pawel Fajdek sent his hammer out to 80.73m in the second round to equal the meeting record set by Pars last year.
That record only lasted for a matter of seconds though, because with the very next throw of the competition, Pars moved into the lead with 81.65m.
Fajdek failed to record any valid throws for the remainder of the competition, but Pars bolstered his series with an 81.35m throw in the penultimate round before producing the performance of his life with the last attempt of the competition, throwing 82.49m.
It was the farthest throw in the world for two years and added four centimetres to Pars’ previous PB, set eight years ago.
“The circle was very good and I’m very happy to set a PB,” said Pars. “Based on today’s competition, I don’t think a throw of 83 metres is unthinkable.”
Asian Games champion Dilshod Nazarov improved with each of his last three throws, ending his series with 80.24m, his second 80-metre throw of the season. Egypt’s Mostafa Al-Gamal also saved his best for the final round, throwing 78.07m, his second-best throw after his African record of 81.27m earlier in the season.
With his win here, Pars extended his lead in the IAAF Hammer Throw Challenge. Nazarov is 3.83 points behind him, with Fajdek currently sitting in third place.
Wlodarczyk leaves it late
Just like the men’s contest, three of the top four finishers in the women’s hammer also produced their best throw in the final round.
World record-holder Betty Heidler led after the first round with 69.52m, but by the half-way point of the competition the German had slipped to fifth place.
Poland’s 2009 world champion Anita Wlodarczyk, meanwhile, went from seventh place to first, throwing 73.62m in round four, but Heidler overtook her a few throws later with 75.34m.
Wlodarczyk responded with 74.70m before finally taking the lead in the final round with 75.53m. Heidler ended her series with two fouls, while fellow German Kathrin Klaas made it on to the podium with her sixth-round throw of 74.62m.
Martina Hrasnova of the Slovak Republic also produced her best throw in the last round, throwing 72.56m to take fourth place.
Heidler could at least take some consolation in the fact that she moved into the overall lead in the IAAF Hammer Throw Challenge. She currently has 226.03 points, while Klaas is a few points behind in second place with Hrasnova in third. Wlodarczyk is yet to compete in a third meeting within the series this year.
Bondarenko beats Ukhov
In their fifth clash of the season, world champion Bogdan Bondarenko defeated Olympic champion Ivan Ukhov in the high jump.
Bondarenko opened his campaign with a second-time clearance at 2.26m before taking the lead by sailing over 2.32m on his first try.
Ukhov then got over 2.34m on his second attempt while Bondarenko passed. The two global champions re-entered the competition with the bar set at 2.38m. Ukhov failed all three attempts, but Bondarenko succeeded on his third try.
After one unsuccessful attempt at 2.43m, Bondarenko called it a night after both he and Ukhov exceeded the previous meeting record of 2.33m.
Although the high jump is as competitive as it has ever been, Bondarenko has now won 19 of his past 20 competitions.
Former world champion Tianna Bartoletta won a 100m-long jump double. After winning the 100m in 11.35 into a stiff -2.5m/s headwind, she headed over to the long jump runway, which was facing in the opposite direction to the home straight.
There she was greeted with some useful tailwinds and she used it to her advantage. She took the lead with 6.89m (1.9m/s) in the third round and then improved two attempts later to 6.94m, both jumps surpassing the previous meeting record.
Fellow US jumper Funmi Jimoh was second with 6.76m, 17cm ahead of Germany’s Melanie Bauschke.
Despite a -1.3m/s headwind, USA’s Queen Harrison sped to a 12.73 clocking to win the 100m hurdles. Two-time world indoor champion Lolo Jones was second in 12.88.
The women’s 400m hurdles was won by Bahrain’s Kemi Adekoya in 54.98, 0.18 ahead of Ukraine’s Anna Ryzhykova.
The men’s one-lap race over the barriers was even closer as two world champions clashed. Dai Greene, the 2011 world champion, was making his season’s debut after another winter hampered by injury. But he showed that he hadn’t lost his strong finish and came through strong to catch reigning world champion Jehue Gordon on the line, both clocking 49.89 with Greene gaining the victory. World bronze medallist Emir Bekric was third in 50.04.
In the men’s pole vault, 2011 world champion Pawel Wojciechowski was an easy winner, clearing 5.70m to finish 30cm ahead of the rest of the field.
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF