Šamorín hosts the European Throwing Cup. Local hammer star Lomnický hopes for a medal

Slovakia will host the next major athletic event this weekend. The 2019 European Throwing Cup in the x-bionic® sphere sport complex in Šamorín will be the next from the series of events under the auspices of European Athletics in Slovakia. Its main partner is the company Tipos a.s.

Slovak Athletics Federation has already organised many events for the best continental athletes – The European Cross Country Championships in December 2017,  the European Race Walking Cup in 1998, 2001 and 2013, and the European Team Championships (different leagues) already six times altogether.

There will be the record number of almost 330 throwers from 37 countries coming to Šamorín. Nine Slovak athletes are not missing. The team leaders are the hammer throwers – fifth from Rio Olympics in 2016 and the silver medal defender from ETC 2018 in Leiria Marcel Lomnický and the double European silver medallist (2012, 2014), bronze from the 2009 World championships Martina Hrašnová.

“We do not have a specific performance target in Šamorín, because the circle in Šamorín complicates the effort to throw far. Since we all will have the same conditions, I will concentrate only on the fight for the best possible placement. I only have one goal – to get a medal,” said Marcel Lomnický.

In the previous 18 years of the European Throwing Cup, the Slovak athletes started seven times. The premiere was in the 2nd year in Croatian Pula, but then they waited for the next attendance for various reasons up to 11 years. From 2013, however, they start regularly at this event.
Slovakia has won three medals in the European Throwing Cup until today – silver in 2018 in Leiria, Portugal, thanks to the hammer thrower Marcel Lomnický. Bronze medals were added in 2002 by Miloslav Konopka in hammer and Marián Bokor in javelin throws.

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 of 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 main star of the 2019 is the discus throw Olympic champion Christoph Harting of Germany. German team is especially strong coming to this competition. The 2018 European javelin throw champion from Berlin Christin Hussong is also nominated as well as the trio of the top class discuss throwers Nadine Müller (decorated with silver from the ECh in 2012, 2018 and also WCh 2011, bronze from 2015 WCh), Shanice Craft (three times bronze from the ECh: 2014, 2016, 2018) and Anna Rüh, the 2012 world junior champion and European U23 champion from 2013.

The start lists of the European Throwing Cup in Šamorín consists of plenty Olympic, world, or European medal holders,  e. g. the shot putter Anita Márton of Hungary, hammer throwers Alexandra Tavernier (France) and Joanna Fiodorow (Poland), Belorussian javelin thrower Tatyana Chaladovich, French discus thrower Mélina Robert-Michon, the world indoor silver medallist from 2016 Andrei Gag of Romania, Philip Milanov of Belgium who is the 2015 world and 2016 European discus throw silver medallist, or the hammer throw bronze medallist from last year´s European championships in Berlin in Bence Halász of Hungary.

The competitions of the 19th ETC in Šamorín start both on Saturday and Sunday at 8:45 AM. The last event is the men´s javelin throw 16:40 (4:40 PM) on Sunday.

Quotes from the press conference of the 19th European Throwing Cup in Šamorín

LIBOR VARHANÍK, European Athletics Council member (EA) and an EA delegate for the ETC 2019 in Šamorín:

“I am glad that Slovak athletics is doing well – both in the sport and organisational field. Last week, we enjoyed the gold won by Ján Volko at 60 meters at the Glasgow European Indoor Championships, and now, I am delighted that the Slovak Athletics Federation has prepared great conditions for the throwers. I have also been to the previous two ETC events, but in my view, the conditions in Šamorín are the best. When I asked the Czech athletes during the breakfasts if they like it, they admitted they were in shock what they found here in x-bionic® sphere. I am proud that Slovak Athletics is active in organising the top European competitions.”

PETER KORČOK, Slovak Athletics Federation President (SAF) and President of the Organising Committee of the ETC 2019 in Šamorín:

“I am delighted that our organising team, which was also preparing the 2017 European Cross Country Championships, continued to do this excellent job and again, set up excellent conditions for the athletes. I am proud that we organise another athletic event of the European significance in Slovakia. I appreciate the collaboration with the x-bionic® sphere and we try to make the most of the possibilities offered by this perfect area. I believe that the audience will come and that Slovak athletes will show the best results in Šamorín.”

LIBOR CHARFREITAG, the 2010 hammer throw European champion and the ETC 2019 ambassador in Šamorín:

“I am very proud and it is a great honour for me to act myself as the ambassador of this event. The conditions in which the best European throwers will compete are fantastic. I highly appreciate the fact that they does not have to travel anywhere far from the hotel and everything is in one place. I believe that all of us will be satisfied after the competition in Šamorín. The European Cup has a great importance for the throwers which is also shown by a great number of registered competitors – because the pause from the end of the summer season to the beginning of the new one is very long and the hammer, discus and javelin throwers can make their program more interesting. I believe that the Slovak athletes will succeed and that Marcel Lomnický will defend the silver in the hammer.”

MÉLINA ROBERT MICHON (FRA, silver Olympic medallist in discus throw from Rio 2016, 17th start at the ETC, her results 3 – 4 – 3):

“My comeback after the birth of my second daughter last June was easier than the first one, I already knew what to expect. But I do not take the child as a problem for a sportswoman, athletics and family can be combined. I was very happy to be back in athletics. I love sports; I did not want to give up. I continue because I know that I have not reached my limits yet. Next year, at the Tokyo Olympics, I would like to win a medal again. I started my preparation in September and I’m glad I can start in Šamorín. My goal is to improve comparing to the French championship, where I threw 60.03  and to win a team medal in the team competition. ”

ALEXANDRA TAVERNIER (FRA, the 2018 European silver medallist and bronze from the 2015 World championships in hammer throw, 8th start at ETC):

“My preparation for the season is still running, but I would like to throw more than two weeks ago at the home championship in Salon-de-Provence, where I reached 71.39. At the same time, however, I believe that the performance I will achieve in Šamorín will be weaker than the one at the World Championships in Doha in the autumn.”

JOANNA FIODOROW (POL, European hammer throw bronze medallist from 2014 and 2018, 6th start at ETC):

“I believe I will win the third time and I will reach the performance of 72 – 73 m, with which I won at the European Throwing Cup in the past. That would please me. The truth is, I do not know what my shape is because it will be my first competition this year. The fact that Anita Wlodarczyk is a sovereign number one in the hammer is not demotivating. Last year, she was beaten after a very long time so she’s also just a human … I want to be like her, it motivates me. She showed us that even a woman can throw a hammer over 80 meters.”

MARTINA HRAŠNOVÁ (Slovakia, the 2012 and 2014 European silver medal holder, bronze at 2009 World championships in hammer throw, 4th start at ETC):

“After not very successful years when I was fighting with diseases and injuries, I chose a different training. I focused primarily on the autumn world championships, but I did not neglect the preparation for the ETC in Šamorín either. I just did not tune up the shape perfectly. I will try to get the best performance. Maybe it sounds too modest but I will be happy with everything over 67 meters. My preparation is going well so far, I feel perfectly fit after a long time. If it goes this way, I believe there will finally be a successful athletic summer again.”