Vetter, Pozzi and Visser set 2020 world bests in Turku

BRAUNSCHWEIG, GERMANY - AUGUST 09: Johannes Vetter of LG Offenburg competes in the javelin competition during the German Athletics Championships 2020 at Eintracht Stadion on August 09, 2020 in Braunschweig, Germany. (Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images)
BRAUNSCHWEIG, GERMANY - AUGUST 09: Johannes Vetter of LG Offenburg competes in the javelin competition during the German Athletics Championships 2020 at Eintracht Stadion on August 09, 2020 in Braunschweig, Germany. (Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images)

The first World Athletics gold meeting of the season took place on Tuesday and saw three new world best performances as Johannes Vetter, Andrew Pozzi and Nadine Visser set new marks for 2020.

Turku in Finland took centre stage on 11 August, as some of the world’s best athletes competed in the first World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting of the year, in front of almost 6,000 spectators at Paavo Nurmi Stadium.

The highlight of the evening was the men’s javelin competition, where Johannes Vetter - the second best thrower of all time - was looking to set down a marker for the season. The 2017 world champion and newly-crowned 2020 German champion wasted no time, with a first throw of 91.49m - a world best for 2020. The throw was enough to win the competition and relegate his compatriot Andreas Hoffman, the 2018 European silver medallist, to second place. Hoffman’s best throw of the afternoon was over six metres behind at 85.25m.

Vetter himself hadn’t expected to perform so well, stating after the competition: “The big throw was a surprise. I didn’t want to risk too much because I felt a little tired.”

World leading times in men's and women's hurdles

The women’s 100m hurdles race saw the second world leading mark of the day, with Dutch athlete Nadine Visser crushing the field in a time of 12.68. The reigning 60m hurdle European Indoor Champion finished ahead of Italian Luminosa Bogliolo (12.79) and Hungarian Luca Kozák (12.83).

British hurdler Andrew Pozzi set the third and final world best of the evening, winning the men’s 110m hurdles race in a time of 13.17. His closest competitor was expected to be 2019 world bronze medallist Pascal Martinot-Lagarde, but the Frenchman missed the heats after feeling a pain in his left leg during the warm-up. Nevertheless, his compatriot Wilhem Belocian did manage to make his way onto the podium with a time of 13.38. It was enough to secure second place.

World champions battle it out for discus supremacy

There were no world bests in the discus competition, but the field was packed with prestigious talents. The last two world champions battled for supremacy and, following two fouls, Sweden’s Daniel Ståhl set a new meeting record with a throw of 69.23m, just a day after setting the 2020 world leading mark of 71.37m in Sollentuna, Sweden. The 2019 world champion was more than 2m ahead of Lithuania's 2017 world champion Andrius Gudžius, who registered a throw of 66.39m.

Ståhl did go on to throw 70.20m with his fifth attempt, but the judges ruled it a foul. "I didn't feel it in the circle that I was fouling, but I'm pretty happy that I showed the people that I could throw 70m with a tailwind,” said the Swedish athlete.

Pole vault countback win for Kyriakopoulu

The women’s pole vault event saw Greece’s 2018 European silver medallist Nikoleta Kyriakopoulu win with a jump of 4.63m, the same mark as Great Britain’s Holly Bradshaw. However, the countback rule came into play and Kyriakopoulu was awarded the win after Bradshaw was adjudged to have taken more time to clear the bar.

In the men’s 100m race, Italian sprinter Lamont Marcell Jacobs crossed the finish line in first position with a time of 10.11, ahead of Great Britain’s Chijindu Ujah (10,17) and the Netherlands’ Joris Van Gool (10.28).

See the full results on the World Athletics website here.