From the moment Germany’s Andreas Hofmann picked up the javelin at the third IAAF Diamond League meeting of the season on Friday evening in Eugene, it was always going to be a special competition.
By the finish, the mouthwatering prospect of what the sport will see at the European Championships in Berlin in August only grew in how sensational it might be.
Hofmann started with a meeting record, his opening round throw of 86.01m breaking the 2016 mark of 84.68m set by Kenya’s 2015 world champion Julius Yego.
But in the end, it was only good enough for Hofmann to take third behind his fellow Germans Thomas Rohler and Johannes Vetter.
Vetter might be the world champion and the man the rest had to battle to beat last year but Rohler is the Olympic champion and his ability to deliver when it matters is immense too.
They both failed on their opening throws before it all changed in the second round as Vetter reached 88.37m and Rohler hit 84.82m. Once more the meeting record had gone.
Round three, and a new landmark with Vetter going even further to 89.34m to look like he might have secured victory as Rohler fouled once more. Hofmann then extended his best of the competition to 86.17m as the three German teammates showed just how much they are dominating the discipline.
But having had just one legal throw, Rohler then composed himself and his moment had arrived, producing a brilliant fourth round effort of 89.88m, not only for victory but to also give him the meeting record. Rohler now has a 2-1 head-to-head on Vetter in 2018. Hofmann also improved to 86.45m in the sixth round.
— Thomas Röhler (@thomasroehler) May 26, 2018
Even without breaking the 90 metre barrier, the German trio had shown the best of their rivalry. Roll on the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships for something truly special.
On the first day of the Prefontaine Classic, world champion Sam Kendricks from the United States won the pole vault in windy conditions with 5.81m as European athletes took the next four spots - but not perhaps in the order that might have been expected.
Once more Sweden’s Armand Duplantis, 18, showed what a fantastic year he is having by finishing second with 5.71m on countback from Piotr Lisek, the world silver medallist, with his Polish teammate Pawel Wojciechowski in fourth (5.56m), also on countback from Renaud Lavillenie.
In the men’s 800m, Great Britain’s world fourth placer Kyle Langford was fifth (1:46.53) and Poland’s world indoor champion Adam Kszczot was sixth (1:46.64) as Kenyan Emmanuel Korir won (1:45.16).
Norway’s Henrik Ingebrigtsen also continued his excellent start to the season, finishing fifth over two miles in 8:22.31 in a race won by Ethiopia’s world indoor champion Selemon Barega in 8:20.01.
Ingebrigtsen took some notable scalps, including Ethiopia's world 5000m champion Muktar Edris who was 13th (8:26.11) and Kenya’s Edward Cheresek (8:31.43) in 15th.