12 October, 2015

Diamond Race Review - The Throws

As winter approaches, it's time to look back on a fantastic summer of IAAF Diamond League action in 2015. Throughout October, we bring you regular recaps of all the Diamond Race action this year. Next up...it's the throws.



Shot Put

The men's shot put saw one of the most thrilling head to heads of 2015, as David Storl and Joe Kovacs battled it out from May until September. Storl set the tone early, winning in Doha. He then lost to Kovacs in Eugene, and the precedent was set. Right up until the final the two traded blows, each winning at alternate meetings to ensure that neither ever pulled ahead in the Diamond Race. As Brussels approached, the two men were locked together at the top, each of them on 14 points with three victories. The final, though, would be the first meeting all season where neither Kovacs nor Storl managed to win. Kovacs third place meant that he snuck two points ahead of Storl to claim the Diamond Trophy, just weeks after beating the German to the world championship title. 

In the women's event it was an entirely different story. With Valerie Adams missing most of the season through injury, Christina Schwanitz was all but unchallenged at the top of the Diamond Race table. She won all but two of the seven rounds, ending with a lead of 13 points and collecting her first Diamond Trophy. 

Discus Throw

Schwanitz's domination in the shot was nothing on Sandra Perković's hegemony in the discus. The Croatian won six of the seven rounds, ending on a huge total of 30 points, with a 23 point lead over her closest challenger. Only in Lausanne did Perković falter, beaten by Yalmí Pérez. She returned to claim a convincing victory in Brussels, though, securing the Diamond Trophy and reasserting her brilliant dominance in this event. 

The men's discus played out as a battle between two Poles. Between them, Piotr Małachowski and Robert Urbanek made podium finishes at all seven Diamond Race rounds. It was Małachowski who started better, with victories in Shanghai and Eugene. Urbanek fought back in Paris, and his consistent podium finishes meant he remained within touching distance of his compatriot right up until Stockholm, where Małachowski's victory saw him extend his lead to six points. Urbanek made one final bid for glory at the Zürich final, but even victory wasn't quite enough to pip his countryman at the last. Małachowski's second place at Weltklasse saw him finish with a two point lead and a Diamond Trophy. 

Javelin Throw

Barbara Spotáková had already won three Diamond Trophies prior to 2015, but she had never defended the title successfully. The defence of her 2014 title got off to a bad start, a the Czech managed to collect just one point in May and June. The field was open, though, and there was space for Spotáková to move up the table if she started winning. She did so, taking victories in Paris and Stockholm and finishing second in London.That gave her a handsome lead ahead of the final in Zürich, where yet another victory saw her complete what was, in the end, a convincing Diamond Race triumph: 19 points, a 12 point winning margin and a fourth Diamond Trophy.

Tero Pitkämäki took an early lead in the men's javelin Diamond Race with victory in Doha. His success was short lived, however, as he was quickly overtaken by Vítezslav Veselý. The Czech finished in the top two of all the next four rounds, and it wasn't until Monaco that Pitkämäki was able to win again. Even then, he remained six points behind Veselý, and it looked certain that the Czech would take the Diamond Trophy in Brussels. But he faltered at the last, not even making the podium in the final. Pitkämäki's superb performance saw him take all eight points and complete a dramatic late comeback to become the first Finnish athlete ever to win a Diamond Trophy.