National records smashed at Hallesche Werfertage

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Photo: Alex Seftel

We were promised world-class performances from Olympians, world and European champions and Hallesche Werfertage certainly didn’t disappoint.

A packed schedule saw the dedicated throwing fields of SV Halle filled with some of the best throwers in history. Off the back of a cold midweek Diamond League in Stockholm, many long haul athletes continued their European campaign at Hallesche Werfertage yesterday. Off the back of a 19.77m performance in Stockholm, American and 2015 world champion Joe Kovacs graced the fields of Halle, joined by fellow American Darrell Hill, who had already been training at the centre in Germany for the past week.

The first of the senior events was quite the spectacle, featuring home favourite Christina Schwanitz, with Swedish record holder Fanny Roos just behind her. It was a Canadian national record in the early rounds however from Brittany Crew that really cranked up the heat on an already warm afternoon in Germany. Crew pushed out to 18.69m, a lifetime best by some 7cm. Schwanitz and Roos responded well in the rounds proceeding, with home favourite throwing 18.65m and the Roos 18.64m, just 4cm shy of her own national record. British interest Sophie McKinna got off to a shaky start, with a foul in the first round and a 17.11m throw in the second, but as the competition got into full swing, she improved to 17.57m. Schwanitz showed her true calibre in the later rounds, leapfrogging long time leader Britanny Crew with an 18.72m throw. She then went a step further and pushed over the 19m barrier, something which none of her competitors could match. Fanny Roos injected more excitement in to the competition however, throwing 18.88m, a new Scandinavian record and an Olympic qualifying standard. The winning throw was 19.23m.

The men’s hammer featured three-time world champion Pawel Fajdek of Poland and 2016 Olympic champion Dilshod Nazarov. Brit Nick Miller began his Halle campaign with a throw of 73.56, just a few metres short of his season’s best of 75.50 set just last week. Nazarov’s first round throw saw him move into the lead with 76.45, improving that to 79.04 in the second round. Miller didn’t respond and his first round throw was his best performance of the day, which saw him finish in fifth. Greek athlete Mihalis Anastasakis reacted in the penultimate round, throwing 75.16m which was good enough for a second place finish ahead of USA’s Sean Donnelly in third.

No one could match Denia Caballero in Halle, and her forth round 65.99m couldn’t be beaten in the women’s discus. An improvement on her Stockholm Diamond League winning throwing of 65.10m, the cuban is showing to be in top form. The two Chinese athletes, Bin Feng and Yang Chen put up a fight however, with the latter moving in to second in the first round behind Nadina Müller with a throw of 64.25. Feng responded to this in the second round and threw a fraction further, 64.51m and then a 64.89m throw in the last round, which saw her finish in second. The SV Halle athlete Müller finished down in third position with 64.52m in the third round. Recently returning from maternity leave, Olympic silver medallist Melina Robert Michon of France improved on her 59.63m throw from Stockholm, with a 61.22m throw in Halle, finishing 8th.

Fresh from topping the leaderboard infront of a home crowd for the Diamond League (throwing 34cm further than Joe Kovacs), 21-year-old Swedish athlete Wictor Petersson featured in a packed shot put field. The competition started well for Darrell Hill, with a healthy 20.77m throw in the second round for him. No one could surpass Canadian Tim Nedow’s throw of 20..87m in the first round however, and that was enough for him to take the win. Kovacs finished in third with 20.24, just behind Hill and Swedish junior Petersson was down in 7th. Paralymic and world champion Niko Kappel had a superb day in Halle, breaking his own world record by 1cm in the early rounds, throwing 14.03m. He made an improvement on his earlier throw, putting 14.11m in the latter stages in front an an elated home crowd.

For full results, follow this link.