Hungarian hammer thrower Bence Halasz was the star performer at the European Trials for the Youth Olympic Games, setting a world youth best of 87.16m in Baku at the three-day competition (30 May-1 June).
The 16-year-old dominated the competition, opening with 79.49m before unleashing his record-breaking throw in the second round. In the third round he sent his hammer out to 85.19m and then passed his two remaining attempts. All three of his measured throws would have been enough to win.
His winning mark added almost two metres to the previous world youth best of 85.38m set last year by Argentina’s Joaquin Gomez. He will also be an outstanding favourite to win gold at the Youth Olympic Games in Shanghai later this year.
Halasz was one of a handful of field eventers who shone in Baku. Poland’s Konrad Bukowiecki hurled a world-youth-leading 23.13m in the shot to move to third on the world all-time list for the 5kg implement. He landed five other throws beyond the 22-metre line to win comfortably from Romania’s Andrei Toader.
In similar style to Halasz and Bukowiecki, all of Anatoliy Ryapolov’s valid marks in the long jump would have been enough to win. The world youth champion’s best leap of 7.79m came in the second round and puts him at the top of this year’s world youth season list.
Ryapolov’s Russian team-mate Danil Lysenko enjoyed first-time clearances at 11 successive bars in the high jump from 1.90m through to his winning leap of 2.24m, a world-youth-leading mark which puts him equal eighth on the European youth all-time list.
Czech 16-year-old Michaela Hruba won the women’s event with a PB of 1.87m as she too steps into the picture as a medal hope at the Youth Olympic Games.
On the track, Hungary’s Klaudia Sorok impressed in the 100m hurdles, winning in a national youth record of 13.32.
Denmark took two titles in the men’s sprints as Kristoffer Hari won the 100m in 10.68 and Benjamin Lobo Vedel triumphed over 400m in 47.44.
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF