The 2010 European Athletics Championships shot put champion Andrey Mikhnevich, from Belarus, impressively improved the national record to 22.10m in Minsk on Thursday.
It is the best mark by a European this year and the second best in the world. It added one centimetre to the long-standing former national record of 22.09, which had belonged to Sergey Kasnauskas since 1984 although Mikhnevich himself equalled it last season.
It completed one of the few remaining goals for the 35-year-old notoriously media-shy shot putter who said after his win in Barcelona, €œNow I have won at the Europeans and World, all that remains is for me to win at the Olympics and also make the national record my own, which I will strive hard to do.€
In men´s hammer Pavel Krivitskiy threw 80.67m, which is also second best mark in the world this year. Krivitskiy’s chances of a World Championships gold medal also improved earlier this week when the Russian world leader Aleksey Zagorniy announced he would not be going to Daegu due to a back problem.
The 28-year-old Krivitskiy, the 2005 European Athletics U23 Championships gold medallist, was eighth at the last World Championships two years ago.
The leading women’s hammer thrower in Minsk was Elena Matoshko, who threw 72.86m. There was also some good 400m running with Anna Tashpulatova winning in 51.83.
Elsewhere in Europe, the Polish Championships started in Bydgoszcz on Thursday.
Wins for Majewski and Wlodarczyk
The 2008 Olympic Games shot put winner Tomasz Majewski won with 20.94m, despite cold and wet conditions, but there was an upset in the discus when the 2010 European Athletics Championships discus gold medallist Piotr Malachowski could only throw 63.21m and finished second behind Przemyslaw Czajkowski, who sent his implement out to 63.81m
The 2009 women’s hammer world champion and former world record holder Anita Wlodarczyk looked good when she managed 73.05m win in only her second competition of the year after being injured for most of the first six months.
Portugese shot putter Marco Fortes achieved a new national record of 20.89m Copenhagen Athletics Games in Denmark on Thursday to eclipse his own former record of 20.69m from last year.
Second was Denmark’s Kim Christensen with an outdoor personal best of 20.06m outdoor PB.