Lawrence Okoye throws 68.24m at throws meeting in Halle, Germany
European under-23 champion Lawrence Okoye continued his sensational form with an improvement on his own British discus record at the Werfertage meeting in the German city of Halle, the throwing Mecca.
The 21-year-old opened with 66.24m and followed it with two fouls. At the half-way mark Okoye was sitting in fifth place, but in round four he unleashed a throw of 68.24m, adding 61cm to his UK record and moving to No.2 on the European under-23 all-time list. He closed out his series with throws of 66.95m and 64.04m.
In a high-quality competition, the only men to beat Okoye was world champion Robert Harting and European champion Piotr Malachowski, who were both on top form.
Harting broke 70 metres for the first time in his career to set a PB and world-leading throw of 70.31m. Malachowski, meanwhile, produced the third-best throw of his life with 68.94m.
World silver medallist Nadine Muller passed up the chance to compete at the Shanghai Diamond League to instead throw in front of a home crowd in Halle. The world-leader threw 66.68m to beat Poland’s Zaneta Glanc, who set a PB of 65.34m to edge out world champion Li Yanfeng (65.09m).
UK record-holder Sophie Hitchon broke 70 metres for the fourth time this year in the hammer, throwing 70.09m. She finished fourth behind world and Olympic silver medallist Zhang Wenxiu (74.90m), former world record-holder Anita Wlodarczyk (74.88m) and Poland’s Joanna Fidorow (71.04m).
Britain’s Sarah Holt won the ‘B’ hammer with 67.13m, within half a metre of the PB she set last month.
There was a close contest in the men’s shot between world champion David Storl and Olympic champion Tomasz Majewski. Storl opened with 20.94m and held the lead for the first half of the competition. The Pole then hit back with 21.12m, as Storl responded with 21.08m. But on his last throw of the competition, Storl snatched the lead by one centimetre with 21.13m.
Elsewhere, German record-holder Christina Obergfoll won the javelin with 63.91m, and China’s Gong Lijiao took the shot with 19.84m. Germany’s Anna Rüh produced the best discus mark by a junior woman since 1997, winning the under-20 women’s competition with 63.04m.