Saturday, 15 July 2017 14:24

Bukowiecki throws 21.59m to break championship record


Konrad Bukowiecki won gold for Poland in the shot put at the European Athletics U23 Championships in a way that typifies his domination of the event.

Just over 24 hours after Bukowiecki had broken the championship record with his 21.26m in qualifying, he had saved something extra special for the final, where cheers boomed around the stadium when he was announced to the crowd before the start.

Within minutes, they were hailing him again as the 20-year-old took to the circle, and sent his first effort flying with the 7kg implement out to 21.44m.

When the scoreboard showed the mark, he held both hands out wide and the gold medal might as well have been given to him then.

But amazingly Bukowiecki's record-breaking exploits were not over. After just one more legal effort - a third round 20.75m which still would have won the title by nearly a metre - he went even further in the final round, reaching a distance of 21.59m to add eight centimetres to his outdoor lifetime best.

The closest anyone got was Italy's Sebastiano Bianchetti with 19.69m from the last round with the Netherlands' Denzel Comenentia third with 19.39m.

Once more the brilliance of Bukowiecki had come to the fore, here at home, as he moved up from being the European U20 champion in Eskilstuna, Sweden in 2015.

But Bukowiecki actually played down his success. "It was not my easiest win. Maybe the advantage I had over other athletes shows something else but I didn't underestimate my rivals. I was just trying to do my best. There are three weeks until the World Championships and I will see if I can keep my shape," he said.

Gold at last for Panturoiu

Romania's Elena Andreea Panturoiu had been a silver medallist for too long and now, at long last, gold was hers in the triple jump.

Like Spain's Carlos Mayo the day before when he won the 10,000m, Panturoiu will head into the senior ranks with a major title to her name after winning with a fourth jump of 14.27m.

Having won silver in the event in Tallinn in 2015 - as well as two years before at the European Athletics U20 Championships, Panturoiu, was now on top of the podium.

She won from Spain's Ana Peleteiro with 14.19m from the second round and France's Rouguy Diallo with 13.99m from the third round.

"I am very happy," said Panturoiu. "I came here with the best jump and I am the European champion. I hope I will jump with the same result at the world championships."

Halasz is the champion again in Bydgoszcz

He did not panic when he was not in front because even at 19, Hungary's Bence Halasz has enough experience to believe in himself.

And so, when the men's hammer reached the fifth round and he still was not ahead – he was trailing leader and fellow countryman Bence Pasztor, 71.51m to 70.87m – Halasz then found something extra for gold with 73.30m to add his title to his European U20 title from 2015 and the world U20 title from 2016.

Pasztor finished second for a Hungarian one-two with Germany's Alexej Mikhailov in third with 70.60m.

"I really like the stadium, this area and the crowd. I had a terrible start which I could not understand," said Halasz, who has the qualifying standard for the World Championships in London.

Germany's Claudine Vita joined the list of European U20 champions to move to European U23 gold with a superb discus triumph as the sun set in Bydgoszcz.

Vita, 20, had trailed Daria Zabawska for the first two rounds after the Polish athlete had reached 59.08m but then the Germany, who started with 58.77m and then a foul, took the lead with 61.79m in round three.

Ukraine's Vladyslav Mazur won the men's long jump by securing victory in the second round – and celebrated by almost matching the winning mark with his final effort.

His leap of 8.04m proved enough as he triumphed from Italy's Filippo Randazzo with 7.98m and Sweden's Thobias Nilsson Montler, third in 7.96m.

Mazur savoured being the last man to jump and free of any pressure, he landed at 8.03m before celebrating the first major title of his career.

Can claims first half of a distance double

European 5000m and 10,000m champion Yasemin Can tore the field apart to claim the first half of another long distance double

A race that had started at a pedestrian pace, Can moved in front and only Sweden's Sarah Lahti go with her. By just after the two kilometre mark, Can put her foot down and nobody could match her third kilometre of 3:03 and by halfway, Can had lapped the majority of the field and with four to go, she had lapped everyone except Lahti.

There was no let up and Can won in 31:39.80, a championship record, from Lahti in 32:46.91 and Turkey's Nur Busra Koku in 33:33.22.

Bukowiecki Konrad
Panţuroiu Elena Andreea
Halász Bence
Can Yasemin
Vita Claudine
Mazur Vladyslav

Van Niekerk's Six Best Video Highlights

Twenty-five years ago today, God sent his second son Wayde Van Niekerk down to earth to bless us with his unabated talent.

Our very own golden boy has given us all some wonderful moments to enjoy, so what better present could we get him than a top-six countdown of his finest achievements?

6) Wayde nails a short distance sprint on home turf at the African Championships

Men’s 200m, Durban, 2016

Just before he made us lose our minds in Rio, Van Niekerk competed at the 2016 African Championships in Durban. He smashed the 20-second barrier for the 200m and, in a now legendary interview, claimed he was ‘waiting for his moment to come’.

5) You never forget your first… Wayde scores his maiden medal with bronze in Kazan

4 x 400m relay, Russia, 2013

This is where Wayde really kicked things into fifth gear. After a turbulent 18 months of injury rehabilitation and finding his best discipline, this run in Kazan set WVN on a now familiar path to podium places

4) Records tumble in the IAAF Diamond League:

Men’s 400m, Switzerland, 2017

This was a Diamond League record, continuing the magnificent 2017 Wayde’s having. He’s smashed his personal bests in the 100m, 200m, and 300m and this was another show of strength from the birthday boy.

3) History is made in Ostrava

Men’s 300m, Czech Republic, 2017

The Cape Storm (that nickname will catch on) made Michael Johnson look like he was a pensioner. The 300m is a rarity and isn’t run often, which will suit Wayde just fine as he is now the fastest man to ever run in this race: Phenomenal!

2) The King of Beijing claims his first gold at the World Championships

Men’s 400m, China, 2015

He got his first taste of gold in China, and his appetite has been ravenous ever since. This was the first time he had truly stamped his authority on the sport, and he never looked back.

1) The day the entire world was blown away by our boy.

Men’s Olympic 400m, Brazil, 2016

Where were you when Wayde took the Olympic gold? Who did you celebrate with, and how proud were you? I’ll let you reflect on all these wonderful questions as this fan footage perfectly captures the victory, and what it meant to South African spectators.

Happy Birthday, champ!