Defending champion maria abakumova has given javelin thrower christina obergfoll’s gold hopes a run for their money. The russian athlete clocked a strong 69.09 meters in the qualifying round of the world athletics championships in moscow.
After five silver medals at international championships, obergfoll hopes to finally land its first gold coup. She tried to take her rival’s warning lightly. "Quali is quali! For me it was a matter of throwing over the line. Everything else doesn’t matter," said the olympic silver medalist from offenburg after her 62.36 meters.
In the first attempt, former european champion linda stahl also safely exceeded the required distance of 61.50 with 64.51. "As always, when she’s loose, she can throw really far. But if you throw 75 meters in the qualifying round, that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to do it in the final," said leverkusen’s uber abakumowa. She herself hopes to win a medal on sunday like she did at the olympics in london when she won bronze.
Abakumova was wide awake at half past nine in the morning and almost reached the world best of 69.35 meters, which she holds for the year. "Everything was perfect. But in the final everything starts all over again," she said. Obergfoll is still unbeaten internationally this season and has secured overall victory in the diamond league. Only at the german championships did she lose to stahl – but one day after her victory in paris. Two years ago at the world championships in daegu, obergfoll had been the top favorite in the elimination with 68.76 meters – and was bitterly disappointed at the end as fourth with 65.24.
The 31-year-old knows enough about second places – from the 2005 and 2007 world championships, the 2010 and 2012 european championships and the 2012 olympics, when she finished behind czech world record holder barbora spotakova. Obergfoll experienced perhaps her most bitter hour in 2009 in berlin, when she arrived as the world’s best athlete of the year, but her german rival steffi nerius, of all people, unexpectedly became world champion and she herself, in fifth place, shed many tears.
"The gold is simply still missing. That’s what I’m dreaming of, no question about it," the woman from baden said this time before the world cup. She didn’t even want to give a rough interpretation of her qualification range: "you can look at it either way. If I threw 68, I might have had more pressure for sunday. I want to make a good competition and show what I can do. Let’s leave abakomova’s 69 meters at that."Leverkusen’s katharina molitor missed the final by just seven centimeters.