There were six European winners at the final the final European Athletics Outdoor Classic Meetings, the 9th Athletics Bridge meeting in the Slovakian town of Dubnica nad Vahom on Thursday.
The biggest athletics meeting in Slovakia saw a hugely entertaining women’s hammer, in which Germany’s world record holder and Daegu silver medallist Betty Heidler avenged her defeat at the recent 2011 World Championships by the Russian gold medallist Tatyana Lysenko.
Heidler won with 75.83m but it was close, very close, and Lysenko was only three centimetres in arrears.
The German took an early lead in the first round when she threw 74.63m but Lysenko responded with 75.80m in the following round.
Heidler then had efforts in the second and third rounds that went over 75 metres but fell short of her rivals mark. However, she finally overtook Lysenko in the fifth round with 75.83m and the world champion couldn’t get back in front for a second time when her last attempt hit the turf at 74.07m.
In similar fashion to Heidler, Hungary’s Krisztian Pars, the 2011 World Championships hammer silver medallist, prevailed in the men’s event with a best effort of 79.95m, coincidently with his winning throw also coming in the fifth round.
Slovenia’s current Olympic champion and Daegu bronze medallist Primoz Kozmus was off form and had to settle for fifth place with a modest 71,76m, struggling with a slight injury which meant that he didn’t take his final three throws.
Bulgaria’s Ivet Lalova, the top European sprinter this year, won the 200m in 23.15 after earlier finishing second in the 100m in 11.37, finishing behind Jamaica’s Schillonie Calvert, who set a meeting record of 11.17.
Another meeting record went in the women’s 800 when Russia’s World Championships finalist Yulia Rusanova clocked 2:00.88.
There was another Russian win in the long jump with World Championships silver winner Olga Kucherenko flying out to 6.61m.
Czech Republic’s World Championships finalist Jirina Ptacnikova triumphed in the pole vault when she was the only women to get over 4.50m. After needing three tries at her opening height of 4.40m, she then went over her winning mark on her first attempt before bringing the bar down three times at 4.60m.
Arguably the top international performance in Dubnica was in the women’s shot put with New Zealand’s 2011 world champion Valerie Adams improving her own meeting record by almost half-a-metre when she sent her implement out to 20.83m.
Source: European Athletics