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It's child's play for Pitkamaki


It was always going to be one of the greatest weeks in the life of Finnish javelin thrower Tero Pitkamaki - no matter what happened in Oslo on Wednesday night.

But just for good measure, he celebrated the birth of his son on Monday by winning at the Bislett Games and in the process beating Vitezslav Vesely, the World and European champion.

Pitkamaki, the world champion in 2007, has never lifted the European crown.

He has silver from Göteborg in 2006 and bronze from Barcelona in 2010 while in Helsinki he did not even make the cut in the final.

But 2014 is proving to be quite a year for him, with the European Athletics Championships in Zurich less than nine weeks away.

This victory at the IAAF Diamond League came by just one centimetre as he produced a season's best 84.18m to narrowly defeat Kenya's Julius Yego with Vesely, of the Czech Republic, third with 83.53m.

What a few days, though, for Pitkamaki, who was inspired to his win by his new arrival.

He said, speaking to the Diamond League afterwards: 'I got power from the baby. It has been a good week. The biggest day was Monday and now this...I am happy.

'I am proud and very lucky I won by only one centimetre. I was throwing technically well today.'

But what Pitkamaki will glean from Oslo was a fine level of consistency.

His programme was 80.07m, 83.45m, 82.90m, 84.18m and 80.97m, with him missing the last round.

Looking back to Helsinki, where he threw 74.89m in the final, three of his efforts on Wednesday would have brought a medal with his winning mark in Olso further than the 83.72m which brought Vesely his European gold.

Now Pitkamaki will surely regroup, plan his next move, embrace his new son and know that in two months or so he might have another title to his name if he maintains this sort of form.

Blanka Vlasic made a good start to her outdoor season but not as good as Russia's World indoor champion Mariya Kuchina.

Kuchina achieved a personal best as she won with 1.98m, taking victory on countback from Croatian Vlasic who will also use the performance to build towards Zurich.