Natallia Khoroneko of Belarus in Tel Aviv (EAA/loc) © Copyright
General News

Another title for Khoroneko, as Skolimowska shines at European Cup Winter Throwing

By far the performance of the weekend at 6th European Cup Winter Throwing Tel Aviv, Israel (18 – 19 March) was Kamila Skolimowska’s new meeting record of 73.32m in the women’s Hammer Throw.

Skolimowska’s throw would have been good enough to give her silver in last summer’s World Championships and takes her to the top of the year lists for 2006. It represented the Pole’s second meeting record of the weekend since her 72.41 in round three also eclipsed the old mark.

In second was the European under-23 bronze medallist from two years ago, Gulfiya Khanafeyeva of Russia, who left her best till last, hurling the implement out to 72.01 in the final round. All of her last four throws passed the 70m-mark.

Third was France’s Manuela Montebrun on 70.29. The year’s world leader going into the competition was Italy’s Ester Balasini who could finish no higher than sixth with 67.80.

There was a carbon copy Polish win in the men’s Hammer Throw when Sydney Olympic champ and last summer’s World bronze, Szymon Ziolkowski, threw a new All-comers record of 79.04m. Second was Russia’s Vadim Khersontsev, 78.54, while filling third slot was Dmitri Shako of Belarus on 77.00.

The big upset came in the men’s Discus Throw when Estonia’s Gerd Kanter failed to add to his hat-trick of Cup victories. The World silver medallist had to settle for third this time with a throw of 62.55 behind Poland’s Piotr Malakowski who established a PB of 65.01 in the fourth round. It was also a Meeting and All Comers Record.

In second was Spain’s Mario Pestano, 63.40 in round five.  Fourth was the World bronze medallist, Michael Mollenbeck of Germany, with 62.21.

The women’s Discus Throw was won by Poland’s Wioletta Potepa, 61.89, from Russia’s Oksana Yesipchuk, 61.70, with Nocoleta Grasu of Romania third, 60.86. In fourth, and still going strong, was the 45-year-old Ellina Zvereva of Belarus with 60.63. In 2000, she became the oldest woman in track and field to win Olympic gold and when she took World silver the following year entered the annals as the oldest medallist outright.

In the women’s Shot Put, the three World Indoor Championship medallists from Moscow last week simply packed their bags and headed for the shores of the Mediterranean. Understandably, their marks were not up to the level of a major championships, but Natallia Khoroneko of Belarus still held sway with 19.18, more than half a metre down on her Moscow gold medal winning performance, but still an All-comers record.

It was in the minor positions that there was a switch as Russia’s Olga Ryabinkina this time got the better of Germany’s Nadine Kleinert, 18.55 – 18.30.

In the men’s Shot Put, Andrey Mikhnevich of Belarus also improved on his Moscow position, but with the help of the absence of gold medallist Reese Hoffa of the USA. This time 20.61 was good enough for top spot and an All-comers record with Romania’s Gheorghe Guset next on 20.41, while Poland’s Tomasz Mejewski clinched third with 20.26.

The seedings came unstuck in the men’s Javelin Throw when group ‘B’ competitor, Igor Janik of Poland, hurled the spear out to 81.16 in the Saturday morning session, but no one in the top group throwing later in the day could match him. From group ‘A’, Vladislav Schkurlatov of Russia was second, 79.27 and Ainars Kovals of Latvia filled third spot with 78.64.

In the women’s Javelin Throw, Germany’s Mareike Rittweg went over 60m for the first time in her career to win with a third-round throw of 60.06. She finished in front of Lada Chernova of Russia and Spain’s Mercedes Chilla.

Michael Butcher for the IAAF