One week after Mykolas Alekna landed the discus out to 71.00m, world champion Kristjan Ceh almost matched that early season standard bearer with his first throw at the first leg of the 2023 Diamond League in Doha on Friday (5) evening.
Ceh launched the discus out to a meeting record of 70.89m to improve Daniel Stahl’s mark by 33 centimetres. The Swede had to settle for second behind Ceh once again albeit with a promising 67.14m on his season’s debut.
However, all four of Ceh’s valid throws would have sufficed for victory this evening. The world champion and European silver medallist backed up his monstrous first round throw with an equally good fifth round mark of 70.70m. He also produced marks of 68.95m and 68.46m in the third and fourth rounds.
“This means a lot to me. I just started my season and it was good,” said Ceh in his usual understated manner after notching up the seventh 70 metre-plus competition of his career.
It was a notable evening for Slovenian athletics. Shortly after Ceh’s victory in the discus, Marusa Mismas-Zrimsek finished fifth in the 3000m steeplechase in a national record of 9:13.61 and Tina Sutej equalled her national outdoor record with 4.76m in the pole vault.
“My goal for 2023 is to jump high and break records and win medals,” said Sutej who won silver at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Istanbul in March.
Pichardo jumps a marginally wind-aided 17.91m
Two months after retaining his European indoor title by over one metre in Istanbul, Pedro Pichardo faced a much sterner test in Doha but the Olympic champion prevailed on his outdoor season’s debut.
After opening his series with 17.65m, Pichardo sailed out to 17.91m on his second attempt. This mark won the competition although frustratingly for Pichardo, the wind was fractionally over the legal wind limit at 2.1 m/s.
In a high quality competition albeit with predominantly wind-aided jumps, Pichardo defeated many of his principal rivals in the context of the World Athletics Championships in Budapest in late August when Pichardo will seek back-to-back titles.
World indoor record-holder Hugues Fabrice Zango from Burkina Faso was second with 17.81m followed by Cubans Andy Diaz and Lazaro Martinez who produced wind-aided marks of 17.80m and 17.71m.
Full results here.