Top class hammer throwing in Tel-Aviv


As expected the womens hammer competition was the highlight of the first day of competition at the European Cup Winter Throwing in Tel-Aviv on Saturday 18 March.
No fewer than ten of the participants in the womens hammer had bests over 70 metres, and the event lived up to the high expectations. Kamila Skolimowska from Poland was responsible for most of action, opening her series with 71.55m and improving to a Cup record 72.41m in the third round. The former Olympic champion finished with 73.32m another Cup record, an All-comers record and the second best result of the year.

The 2006 world leader, Gulfiya Khanafeyeva from Russia, had four attempts of her own over 70m, topped by 72.01m in the last round, and Manuela Montebrun from France took the bronze medal with 70.29m, ahead of last years winner Ivana Brkljacic from Croatia (68.97m) and Clarissa Claretti from Italy (68.79m).

In the womens shot, Natalya Khoroneko from Belarus repeated her victory from last weeks World Indoor Championships, putting the shot on her final attempt to an All-comers record of 19.18m. Her three other legal marks were also better than the rest of the field, headed by Olga Ryabinkina from Russia (18.55m) and Nadine Kleinert from Germany (18.30m), who exchanged their Moscow placings this time. Colourful Chiara Rosa from Italy was fourth with 18.02m.

Poland surprisingly won another two gold medals in the mens discus and javelin. Piotr Malachowski improved his discus personal best and the All-comers record to 65.01m in the fourth round, beating a very strong field and ending the three-year reign in the Cup of Gerd Kanter. The World silver medallist from Estonia had to settle for the bronze medal this time, with 62.55m, after a throw of 63.40m by Mario Pestano from Spain in the penultimate round. German Michael Möllenbeck took fourth place (62.21m), ahead of Roland Varga from Hungary (61.97m) and Stanislav Alekseyev from Russia (61.34m PB).

Igor Janik hurled the javelin to a seasons best of 81.16m in the morning Group B, and found in the evening that none of the Group A throwers were able to overtake him. The other medals went to Vladislav Shkurlatov from Russia (79.27m) and Ainars Kovals from Latvia (78.64m).

After the first day, both team scorings are led by the Russian teams, after Poland and Germany failed to field full teams.

By David Eiger
RusAthletics - Russian Athletics

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