Europe's discus throwers on form, Harting world-lead 68.52m
|Germany's Robert Harting opened his 2012 campaign
with a world leading throw of 68.52m at the Werfer
Cup in Wiesbaden on Saturday.
After fouling his first throw, Harting threw 67.35m then had two more fouls before unleashing his big effort in the fifth round. One further foul with his final throw brought his afternoon to an end.
Behind Harting, Germany's 2007 European Athletics U23 Championships winner Martin Wierig finished second with a good season's best of 66.01m.
China's world champion Li Yanfeng won the women's competition with an outstanding 67.84m but there was a personal best for last year's European Athletics U23 Championships gold medallist Julia Fischer with 64.22m for third place.
In a demonstration of German discus depth, the 2011 European Athletics Junior Championships silver medallist Anna Ruh added more than half-a-metre onto her best with 61.52m for fourth place, the best throw in the world this year by a junior.
Ruh doesn't turn 19 until next month and so the Neubrandenburg teenager will be amongst the favourites for a title at this summer's World Junior Championships in Barcelona.
At the Dutch Track series meeting in Hoorn, The Netherlands' former European junior discus champion Erik Cadée went over 67 metres for the first time and improved his best to 67.30m on Saturday.
With Cadée's compatriot Rutger Smith having already thrown 66.97m this season, and having set a best of 67.77m last September, Erik de Bruin's long-standing Dutch discus record of 68.12m from 1991 could be in danger this summer.
There was also good discus throwing at the Polish University Championships in Lodz on Saturday where 2011 World University games silver medallist Przemyslaw Czajkowski added almost a metre to his personal best with 65.61m while Zaneta Glanc, fourth at the last two World Championships, made a big improvement to 65.33m, the third best performance by a European women this year.
Changing disciplines, Italy's 2003 European Athletics Junior Championships hammer gold medallist Lorenzo Povegliano added more than two metres to his previous best when he threw 79.08m on home soil in Codroipo on Saturday, to move up to number four on the 2012 world and European rankings.