Germany finished the year with three throwers ranked inside the top four on the 2016 world lists - and six inside the top-15 - and their stable of throwers are already showing excellent early season form.
Prior to the European Throwing Cup in Las Palmas, Johannes Vetter held the world-lead with 84.36m but he was supplanted at the top of the world lists on Saturday by teammate and fellow Olympic finalist Julian Weber, who went out to 85.85m to claim a commanding victory.
Weber was the only thrower to surpass the 80m line in the senior competition but Moldova’s Adrian Mardari made a breakthrough in the under-23 javelin, improving his national record from 78.48m to 82.34m.
German throwers were also favoured in the women’s javelin but the very experienced Martina Ratej from Slovenia had the beating of a strong field, going out to 60.66m to defeat Swiss-based Icelander Asdis Hjalmsdottir (59.20m) with Christin Hussong and world champion Katharina Molitor third and fifth respectively with 59.00m and 58.25m.
However, Olympic javelin champion Sara Kolak from Croatia had the best mark of the weekend, winning the under-23 javelin with 61.01m ahead of Turkey’s Eda Tugusz (60.98m). Kolak will be aiming for another senior title at the IAAF World Championships this August and she has already confirmed she will compete at the European Athletics U23 Championships in Bydgoszcz on the road to London.
Another big name in action was perennial global medallist Melina Robert-Michon, who notched up another noteworthy win in the discus. Now 37, the Frenchwoman went out to a solid 62.35m to defeat Serbia’s Dragana Tomasevic by nearly three metres. Her teammate Alexandra Tavernier - the reigning European U23 champion - won the hammer with 71.71m from German veteran Kathrin Klaas (71.06m) with Quentin Bigot winning the men’s competition with 76.55m.
Austria’s Lukas Weisshaidinger also recorded a top class 65.73m to win the men’s discus on the first day ahead of Lithuania’s Andrius Gudzius (64.18m).
Fresh from defending her European indoor shot put title, Hungary’s Anita Marton notched up another continental accolade, surpassing the 18m-line with 18.05m ahead of France’s Jessica Cerival (17.50m) and European indoor bronze medallist Yulia Leantsiuk from Belarus (17.48m) with Sweden's Fanny Roos recording a good 17.53m in the U23 competition.
There was also a good quality men’s shot put with former European U20 champion Mesud Pezer from Bosnia & Herzegovina making the step up to senior competition, taking victory with a lifetime best of 20.69m from home favourite Carlos Tobalina (20.57m) and Portugal’s Francisco Belo (20.52m).
In terms of the overall standings, Italy and France won the men’s and women’s senior team competitions respectively while Germany topped the standings in both U23 competitions.