The start lists of the 19th European Throwing Cup have 10 out of 16 last year winners. The last year´s U23 champions – German shot putter Katarina Maisch, hammer thrower Réka Gyurátz fo Hungary and the Turkish javelin thrower Eda Tugsuz will now start already in the women categories. The x-bionic sphere® sports complex will welcome all four winners from the women categories from Leiria 2018 Anita Márton (HUN, SP), Nadine Müller (GER, DT), Hanna Malychik (BLR, HT) and Sigrid Borge (NOR, JT). In U23 categories, the title defenders are the Hungarian hammer thrower Bence Halász, Romanian Alexandru Novac in javelin and Croatian discus thrower Marija Tolj.
The Portuguese Francisco Belo, who ended up fourth at the European indoor championships in Glasgow with the PB of 20.97, will be the favourite. Also Bob Bertemes of Luxembourg was in the final in Glasgow finishing fifth. From Berlin 2018 European championships finalists, the start list consists of Bertemes (6.), Russian Maksim Afonin (8.), Belgium Tsanko Arnaudov (9.) and Alexei Nychipor of Belorussia (10.), however, the favourites can also be the 2016 world silver medallist Andrei Gag of Romania and the 2013 U23 European champion Jakub Szyszkowski of Poland. The best personal record from the whole 22 competitors belongs to the Russian Afonin – 21.39m.
The main star of this event with 28 participants but also of the whole European Cup is the Rio 2016 Olympic champion Christoph Harting. He already achieved 61.06m this year – at the ISTAF Indoor in Berlin. Also the Estonian Martin Kupper fought in Rio 2016, where he missed the medal and ended up fourth. Philip Milanov coming from Bulgaria is the 2015 world and 2016 European vice-champion. Also the junior medal holders will start: the European U23 champion from 2015 Alin Firfirica of Romania, who is second in the European rankings this year (62.12) behind Čeh of Slovenia, the 2013 European junior champion Róbert Sziksai of Hungary, or the junior world record holder in 18 and 20 years categories Mykyta Nesterenko of Ukraine, the 2007 world youth champion. From the European finalists in Berlin we will see four: Firfirica (7.), Butenko of Russia (9.), Ola Stunes Isene of Norway (11.) and Nesterenko (12.).
The high quality men´s category will not miss any of the top ten European rankings this year (two of them – Halász of Hungary and Kokhan of Ukraine – will start in U23 category). Also the French Quentin Bigot has a great shape at the start of the season. Fourth from the 2017 world championships threw at the French winter throwing championships in Salon-de-Provence the European leading mark of 77.57 on 3 February. Javier Cienfuegos of Spain managed to improve the national record up to 77.32 on 2 March in Jaen. The home surroundings will see the defence of the silver from Leiria 2018 of the Slovak star Marcel Lomnický, fifth from Rio 2016. The former places will also be attacked by Pavel Bareisha of Belorussia (4th at ECh 2018), experienced Italian Marco Lingua, Mihail Anastasákis of Greece (4th ECh 2016, 9th ECh 2018), third from Leiria last year Özkan Baltaci of Turkey and former junior European silver medallist Sergei Marghiev of Moldavia (8th from WCh 2017, ECh 2016 and 2018).
There is an expected fight of the European leader Mauro Fraress of Italy, who even improved to 81.79m on 24 February, with the 2017 European U23 champion Norbert Rivasz Tóth of Hungary. The Grosseto 2017 junior continental champion Cyprian Mrzyglód will try to attack the couple. He managed to get to the European final in Berlin last year where he finished ninth. The best personal maximum from the 19 starting athletes is set by the home thrower Patrik Žeňúch – 84.83m from 2014, Bartosz Osewski of Poland is behind him with 83.89 from 2012.
The sport complex x-bionic sphere® will see four of the top eight from the final of the recent European Indoor championships in Glasgow – third Anita Márton of Hungary, fourth Belarusian Aliona Dubitskaya, fifth Klaudia Kardasz of Poland and sixth Fanny Roos of Sweden. The main star is the 2018 world indoor champion, double European indoor champion (2015, 2017), the 2017 world silver medallist and bronze from Rio 2016 Márton, who also defends the title of Leiria 2018. Former European junior champion from 2009 Dubitskaya achieved success also at last year´s European championships in Berlin gaining bronze ahead of the Pole Kardasz. Roos of Sweden is the reigning U23 European champion. Also in the start list, the 2016 European bronze medal holder Emel Dereli of Turkey.
Germany has send the strong trio to Šamorín: the title defender Nadine Müller, who also holds the best PB from all 28 participants 68.89 m, and who was also decorated by a silver medal from 2012 and 2018 European championships as well as the 2011 world championships. She ended up third at the 2015 WCh. Shanice Craft was three times third at the ECh (2014, 2016, 2018) and there is also the 2012 world junior champion and 2013 European U23 champion Anna Rüh. Šamorín will witness the comeback of the French discus star Melina Robert-Michon to the international scene. The 39-year-old Frenchwoman, who skipped the last season due to her maternity leave, has already achieved 60m barrier at the home throwing championships this year and gets into her shape step by step. She also got an impressive score of 3 – 4 – 3 at the ETC! She also got Olympic silver in her collection from 2016, as well as from 2013 WCh and 2014 ECh, plus bronze from 2017 WCh. From Berlin 2018 European finalists we will see five: Müller (2.), Craft (3.), Cáo (7.), Rodrigues (9.), both from Portugal, and Anagnostopoulou of Greece (10.).
The biggest number of entries came in this event – up to 33. The fans will have the chance to see the seven hammer throwers from the European final in Berlin last year: Alexandra Tavernier of France (2.), Joanna Fiodorow of Poland (3.), Zalina Petrivskaya of Moldavia (6.), Réka Gyurátz of Hungary (9.), Iryna Klimets of Ukraine (11.) and Belorussian Hanna Malyshik (12.), who will defend the title from Leiria 2018 in Šamorín. Tavernier has already 2015 world bronze in her collection as well as the world junior title from 2012. Fiodorowa is the double European bronze medal holder ECh (2014 and 2018) and the 2014 ETC winner. The home favourite will be the double European silver medal holder of Slovakia (2012, 2014) and bronze form 2009 WCh in Berlin Martina Hrašnová. The top three world ranking leaders of 2019 are in the start list: French Audrey Cioafni (71.52), Tavernier (71.39) and Klimets of Ukraine (71.21).
We will see two European champions: Tatyana Khaladovich of Belorussia (PB 67.47) triumphed in Amsterdam 2016 and Christin Hussong of Germany (67.90) in Berlin last year. Moreover, the Belorussian leads the world rankings this year with 64.60. Sigrid Borge of Norway will try to defend the first place from the last year in Leiria and also Maria Andrejczyk belongs among the favourites, the Polish record holder with 67.11. We have to count also with the Turkish record holder (67.21) and last year´s ETC U23 winner Eda Tugsuz and Hanna Hatsko-Fedusova of Ukraine (67.29).
EUROPEAN LEADERS 2019
MEN – WOMEN
SHOT PUT: 18.97 Tomaš Durovič (Č. Hora/MNE) 2. 2. Parow – 16.31 Ashley Bologna (Fr./FRA) 3. 3. Split
DISCUS: 62.36 Kristjan Čeh (Slovin./SLO) 3. 3. Split – 62.49 Claudine Vita (Nem./GER) 10. 2. Kienbaum
HAMMER THROW: 77.57 Quentin Bigot (Fr./FRA) 23. 2. Salon-de-Provence – 71.52 Audrey Ciofani (Fr./FRA) Salon-de-Provence 23. 2.
JAVELIN THROW: 81.79 Mauro Fraresso (Tal./ITA) 24. 2. Lucca – 64.60 Tatyana Khaladovich (Biel./BLR) 10. 2. Minsk