Germany's Nadine Muller in action in the discus (© Getty Images)
The 15th European Cup Winter Throwing in the Portuguese city of Leiria saw a host of good performances as many of the people who might be expected to be medal contenders at the IAAF World Championships this summer had their first serious outdoor competition over the weekend (14-15).
In the women’s discus on Sunday, Germany’s Nadine Muller – under the watchful eye of German team coach Jurgen Schult who still holds the world record in the men's event – threw 65.27m to beat France’s Melina Robert Michon, who was second with 64.75m.
Russia’s Valeriy Iordan won the men’s javelin with 83.00m from Germany’s 2014 Diamond Race winner Thomas Rohler, who was second with 81.83m.
Another Russian thrower, Anna Bulgakova, took the honours in the women’s hammer with 72.06m, with Germany’s former world champion and world record-holder Betty Heidler down in fourth with 70.42m.
In a rather modest men’s shot put, after decent distances at last weekend’s European Indoor Championships, Spain’s European silver medallist Borja Vivas won with 20.15m.
The discus also provided the highlight of the first day on Saturday (14) with Estonia’s Martin Kupper winning the men’s competition with a world-leading second-round throw of 66.67m, which added more than a metre and a half to his previous best.
Four more men threw beyond 65 metres with Lithuania’s Andrius Gudzius second with 65.51m, Russia’s Viktor Butenko third with 65.44m and Apostolis Parellis of Cyprus fourth with 65.04m.
Hungary’s Olympic and European champion Krisztian Pars got the better of world champion Paweł Fajdek thanks to a fourth-round effort of 79.24m, with the Pole more than three metres in arrears.
The win took Pars’ career record over Fajdek to 28-8 but it’s a measure of the pair’s dominance of the hammer in the past three years or so that nobody has beaten both men in the same competition since September 2011.
Yulia Leantsiuk of Belarus reached 18.56m to win the women’s shot, turning the tables on Hungary’s European indoor champion Anita Marton, who was second with 17.59m.
Slovenia’s Martina Ratej was the best in the women’s javelin, her final-round effort of 62.43m moving her from sixth to first.
Phil Minshull for the IAAF