Hofmann returns to winning ways with 89.82m in Birmingham

Andreas Hofmann
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Andreas Hofmann had the beating of Magnus Kirt and Thomas Rohler in the Birmingham Diamond League

The men’s javelin was one of the showpiece events of the European Championships in Berlin and there was German glory again at the IAAF Diamond League in Birmingham on Saturday (19) afternoon.

But this time, victory went to European silver medallist Andreas Hofmann with Olympic and European champion Thomas Rohler only fourth.

Rohler was unbeatable at the European Championships once he took the lead from Hofmann but not this afternoon at the Alexander Stadium in the last Diamond League meeting before the two finals, in Zurich on Thursday week and Brussels the next night.

Hofmann was never behind, leading from the first round with 85.10m before launching the javelin to a superb 89.82m with his second throw, a distance which brought him great excitement and sealed the win even at that point.

Weber, who did not qualify for the team in Berlin, showed what he is made of by reaching a season’s best of 86.63m in the fifth round for second as he continues his return from injury. Estonia’s Magnus Kirt denied Germany a clean sweep as he overtook Rohler with a final effort of 85.31m, surpassing Rohler’s best effort of 84.33m.

Hofmann said: "I am happy because the conditions were difficult. The wind was changing from every direction and before the competition, I threw 81 metres. My hopes and dreams are to throw for the (Diamond League) title."

Christina Schwanitz was all smiles as she gained a semblance of revenge for missing out on a hat-trick of shot put gold medals in front of her home crowd in Berlin.

Schwanitz looked like she was heading for European glory again before Poland’s Paulina Guba overtook her in the final round. This afternoon, Schwantz was not to be beaten, winning with 18.20m from the second round from Guba with 17.92m.

“Today the competition was not so easy, one week after the European Championships,” said Schwanitz. “The circle was okay, but mentally it was not so easy after the time and the higher competition.”

Mihambo breaks meeting record in the long jump 

European champion Malaika Mihambo was one of Germany’s stars in Berlin and she made no mistake again with another glorious victory that ended in style with a meeting record of 6.96m.

Mihambo had already secured her win after a fourth round of 6.82m but with her final leap, she soared out to 6.96m - just three centimetres short of her lifetime best.

Olympic triple jump champion Caterine Ibarguen from Columbia was second with 6.80m while Great Britain’s Shara Proctor was the best of the Brits in third with 6.70m. "At the final, I hope to jump as good as today or even better," said Mihambo.

Dina Asher-Smith left Berlin as one of the stars of the show after winning three gold medals – in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay – and the Great British sprinter brought the biggest noise from the crowd.

She made her usual fiery start but Olympic 400m champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo from the Bahamas had too much in the final stages, winning in a meeting record of 22.15 from Asher-Smith in 22.31 and the Netherlands’ Dafne Schippers in 22.41.

“I love competing in front of a home crowd and it was a race of such high calibre, it was like an Olympic final and I did my best,” said Asher-Smith.

Prescod improves to 9.94 in the 100m

Asher-Smith’s fellow Briton Reece Prescod won 100m silver in Berlin and while he took that spot again today in the 100m, it was an afternoon to remember for him.

Not only did he beat European champion and teammate Zharnel Hughes who was fifth in 10.05, Prescod was beaten into first by the smallest of margins by America’s world indoor champion and record-holder Christian Coleman.

Coleman made a blistering start from lane six and looked in command before Prescod almost pinched it on the line from lane eight, both men being given a time of 9.94, with world-leader Noah Lyles in third in 9.98.

For Prescod, it was a personal best by 0.02 and he said: “To run a PB, I cannot ask for more. I am getting faster.”

Punching the air with his right hand, there was satisfaction but regret too for Spain’s Orlando Ortega as he beat European champion Pascal Martinot-Lagarde in the 110m hurdles in the second fastest time in the world this year.

Ortega was third in Berlin as the Frenchman triumphed but once Ortega moved up in his gears today, there was no stopping him. Ortega won in 13.08 from Jamaica’s Ronald Levy in 13.22 and Martinot-Lagarde in third in 13.27.

“I am much happier with the time but I am little angry because if I had run like at the European Championships, I would have won gold,” said Ortega. “I am looking forward to the final in Brussels. Right now I feel good.”

European 1500m champion Laura Muir went in search of Kelly Holmes’ 21-year-old British outdoor 1000m record of 2:32.55 but it was not to be on a blustery afternoon in the Alexander Stadium, although she achieved another fine victory.

Muir won in 2:33.92 from European 800m silver medallist Renelle Lamote from France in 2:34.48 and European 800m fourth-placer Adelle Tracey in 2:34.59.