Report provided by European Athletics
Latvia’s Zigismunds Sirmais provided the highlight of the second day of the 11th European Cup Winter Throwing in Sofia with a junior world record in the javelin 84.47m on Sunday.
The 18-year-old broke Norwegian Andreas Thorkildsen’s mark of 83.87m set in 2001.
It was a wonderful first effort from the young athlete who beat Ukrainian favourite Oleksandr Pyatnitsa (81.96) and an inspired Russian Valeriy Iordan, who came up with a personal best of 79.49 m.
Sirmais was sixth in world all time junior list before Sunday with a national record of 82.27m that he had set last September in Jurmala.
“My mother said that I can throw my best when the weather is cold (on Sunday the temperature in Sofia was 7ºC). I felt very relaxed and I put everything in my first attempt itself,” said Sirmais.
“It was precise technically and my dream came true. I expected that record, I prepared very well for the contest. Andreas Thorkildsen is my favorite and I’m very happy that I could beat his best junior result. I aim to win gold at European Athletics Junior Championships in Tallinn this summer," added the new record holder.
After a foul in her first attempt, former world record holder Tatyana Lysenko improved with each of her next four throws to snatch victory in the women’s hammer with a season best throw of 73.70m.
European champion Betty Heidler, who had vowed to go over 75 m in Sofia, could never get into her rhythm on Sunday. All her six efforts were over 70 m, but she was not pleased with the surface of the circle and finished with a best of 72.71m.
Moldaova’s Zalina Marghieva won the bronze with her first effort of 71.96m.
In the U23 contest, two-time world and European junior and youth champion Bianca Perie of Romania had only one valid throw 67.38m in second round, but it was enough for her to secure win over world junior champion Sophie Hitchon 64.16m of Great Britain.
In the shot put, a thrilling contest unfolded between Bosnian Hamza Alic and Portuguese Marco Fortes who both registered their best performances in the fourth round, but eventually Fortes fell short by just 3cms. The Bosnian won the day with a throw of 20.21m, while the Portuguese athlete had to settle with a best of 20.18m.
In the men’s U23 javelin, Ukrainian record holder Dmytro Kosynskyy led the contest with a throw of 79.90m in his first effort. But the Turkish record holder and Mediterranean Games winner Fatih Avan made his big strike in the fifth round and came up with a new national record throw of 80.19m to win the gold medal.
Russian Olesya Korotkova won the women’s discus with a throw of 60.20m ahead of Romanian favourite Nicoleta Grasu who finished with a best throw of 59.44m.
In the U23 category, Yekaterina Strokova of Russia produced a throw of 55.56m to win the discus title. Siarhei Bakhar won the shot put for Belarus with 18.29m throw.
Russia won the team title in the senior men’s category while Ukraine and Italy followed in second and third place. Germany took the honours in the women’s field beating Russia and France.
In the U23 category, Ukraine took the top honours while Russia and Finland finished second and third respectively. In the women’s events, Hungary finished first while the second and third spot went to Ukraine and Russia respectively.