Sometimes even the brighter of lights can’t light up a night and British athletes were left with no answers as one after the other were crashing out on every corner of the arena at the same time that Maria Abakumova (RUS) and Barbora Spotakova (CZE) kept piercing the skyline ablaze with their spears out beyond 70m.
The two athletes engaged in an even refired sequel of their titan battle in Beijing but there was a substantial turn in the plot as the Russian turned the tables in dramatic staggering manner coming from behind. As a matter of fact, it looked as history was repeating itself when Spotakova unleashed a monster world-leading 71.58m toward the end of the fifth round to overturn Abakumova’s second-round lead of 71.25m, evoking shades of that memorable Olympic final three years ago where the latter had led all the way to be overhauled at the death.
This time round, though, the powerful Russian had a chance to response instead. And what a response that was! Moments later, she weighed her spear well over her shoulder, ran up decisively and launched it mightily way out beyond to land over the leading mark. A 71.99m indication came up on the board, the second furthest ever mark in history, to take her straight back into the lead and she wasn’t meant to miss out this once. Spotakova could not come up with an answer this once and the greatest maybe javelin competition since the times of Fatima Whitbread and Petra Felke ended up with the Russian swinging to the rhythm of victory on the way to a last celebratory throw.
In third place, Sunette Viljoen (RSA) kept on her meteoric rise on the international rostrum to follow up her gold at the World Student Games with a superb bronze with a second massive African record on the trot of 68.38m, looking as though she could pose questions and a threat on the top two a year on. But Christine Obergfoll (GER), once again, left her best throws back in qualification and the run-up to the championships to crash out of the medals at only 65.24m for fourth, hardly even noticed under the thumping sound of the spears peppering the 70m region.
Amidst all this javelin masterpiece, Goldie Sayers saw her dreams and a very promising season land in tatters as she could not get into any sort of rhythm to line up 57.32, 57.52 and 58.18m for a dismal 10th place, hardly an eventuality to ponder even a day before when she landed 62.19m in qualification. And this one won’t be so easy to come to grips with as she had been waiting for three years to reach again such form. That was the place and time she needed to close the gap on the top two-three and instead she saw that open wider. At any rate, she has proved she is a strong girl and hopefully can get that behind her and come back better next summer, further she could still salvage something before the end of the season.