Between individual goals and team spirit: 17 German throwers open their outdoor season at the European Cup Winter Throwing. Against high class competition they have both to check on their own performance and the team’s success.
The flights are booked, the hotel rooms reserved, no last minute cancellations among the competitors according to the national throwing team coach Jürgen Schult – so all is going as planned to Leiria, Portugal, where this coming weekend athletes from nearly 40 nations of Europe are going to open the outdoor season. The German Athletics Federation (DLV) sent 17 athletes to Leiria, including teams in the U23 Juniors.
The U23 women are travelling to the competition as the defending champion. 2014 the team collected the most points in the shot put, discus, hammer and javelin event. The top 8 within every event are counted for the points of the nation scoreboard. The corresponding points are taken from the international points table.
Strong women among the competitors
The German women have in Leiria the next coup in sight, especially due to the fact that the 2014 European bronze medalists Shanice Craft and Linda Stahl are competing as well. Both had contributed 2014 individual wins for the team success. It will be difficult to beat the German throwers based on the numbers they have produced already. The Germans are also among the favorites among the individual competitions but facing high-class competition from other nations.
In the discus ring, for example, Vice-World and European Champion Melina Robert-Michon (France). In the hammer throw the world championship 5th Anna Bulgakova (Russia) and Martin Raej, 67m thrower from Slovenia, can play a major role in the competition. In the shot put event are the top three of the recent European Indoor Championships competing.
Thomas Röhler to kick off with 80m?
Thomas Röhler has fond memories of Leiria, last year he started at the same stage with 81.17m and finished second. This time, the javelin thrower might even take the victory, even if the European U23 champion and 86m thrower Zigismund Sirmais (Latvia) is the defending champion in the field.
Some of the German athletes are not going to participate at the European Cup Winter Throwing due to the preparation for the summer season. In the hammer throw are the best of the world, the Olympic and World Champion Kristian Pars and Pawel Fajdek among the competitors. Russian discus thrower Viktor Butenko has already thrown 65m earlier this year. And in the shot put are with Marco Fortes (Portugal) and Georgi Ivanov (Bulgaria) two 21m shot putter in the field.
Hussong and Pudenz with good opportunities
In the javelin competition at the U23 age group, the DLV is represented by an athlete who already could get a taste of international competition air. The EM 7th of Zurich, Christin Hussong, has the chance to win the competition. For the U23 discus event, the only 60m thrower of the start list is Kristin Pudenz.
The Chief National Coach throw Jürgen Schult stressed that the European Cup Winter Throwing-particularly in the U23 age group is an important location determination, coupled with a serving of extra motivation. “Every athlete pursuing individual goals. But we have put together a really good team and the team spirit that emerges there, makes the whole thing very sexy” Jürgen Schult’s wish: All three teams in the top three.
Source: leichtathletik.de by Silke Morrissey