Ave Mariya! Abakumova and Ryemyen star in Moscow - IAAF World Challenge


The Moscow Challenge, an IAAF World Challenge meeting, saw the headlines being made by two namesakes on Tuesday (11): Russian javelin thrower Mariya Abakumova and Ukrainian sprinter Mariya Ryemyen.

Abakumova, the 2011 IAAF World Championships gold medallist, produced an outstanding 65.94m with her first attempt, then threw 60.45m as persistent rain started, and then decided to pass her next two attempts in order avoid getting injured.

Germany’s Katharina Molitor was the only other thrower to manage over 60 metres in the deteriorating conditions, throwing 60.08m on her final attempt.

“Curiously, though I am Russian, it's the first time I have competed in the Luzhniki arena,” commented Abakumova after going through her paces at one of the crucial test events ahead of this year’s World Championships in August.

“My main goal was to get used to the surface, and to the wind. I actually liked both and the blue track is my lucky charm, as I won on the similar surface in 2011 in Daegu. Personally, I like the blue colour more than red, and it was a nice refreshing, light, wind; although usually on such big arenas there is no wind at all.”

“Talking about my result, it is my best throw since the middle of March,” added Abakumova, who currently tops the 2013 world list with the 69.34m she threw at the European Cup Winter Thowing in Spain three months ago.


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