Belarusian javelin thrower Tatsiana Khaladovich (© AFP / Getty Images)
European U23 bronze medallist Aliaksei Katkavets came out on top in a multi-venue handicap javelin competition in Belarus on Friday (12), winning with a throw of 81.12m.
The 22-year-old was pitted against 2016 European champion Tatsiana Khaladovich, who was given a handicap of 15.67m (the difference between their season’s bests of 67.17m and 82.84m). Khaladovich was the more consistent of the two, landing five of her six throws beyond 61 metres, the best of which was her opening effort of 63.80m.
But Katkavets’ second-round throw of 81.13m gave him the advantage once the handicap was factored in.
With competitors throwing in Brest and Stayki, the event included similar contests for younger throwers. 18-year-old Karyna Butkevich was the top performer in the U20 competition, throwing a big PB of 57.86m.
World bronze medallist Lukas Weisshaidinger continued his fine form in Schwechat on Sunday (14), launching his discus out to 65.94m in the first flight of competition and 66.70m in the second. During the first competition, he produced his 250th career throw beyond 60 metres.
The Austrian, whose season's best of 68.63m is just 35 centimetres shy of his PB, will now take a short break from competitions until later this month.
Discus throwers struggled with the winds in Södertälje, Sweden, on Sunday, but javelin throwers excelled.
Three-time world finalist Kim Amb won the men's javelin with 82.96m, while Iceland's Asdis Hjalmsdottir won the women's event with 61.24m - her best throw since the 2017 World Championships.
World champion Daniel Stahl, however, had a day he'd rather forget as he registered six fouls. Compatriot Simon Pettersson took the victory with 61.66m.
One week after breaking the Slovenian discus record, European U23 champion Kristjan Ceh came within 71 centimetres of his record figures when winning at the Stepišnikov Memorial in Slovenska Bistrica on Saturday (13) with 65.58m.
There were also some solid jumps performances with Lija Apostolovski setting a Slovenian U23 record of 1.92m in the high jump and World University Games triple jump silver medallist Neja Filipic setting a long jump PB of 6.56m.
On the track, 2017 European U23 400m champion Luka Janezic sped to a 32.57 clocking in the men’s 300m. Agata Zupin was fastest in the women’s event with 37.63, finishing ahead of Hungary’s Anita Horvat 37.95. Meanwhile, world steeplechase finalist Marusa Mismas recorded a 5000m PB of 15:38.33.
Rarely-run sprint distances provided the highlights in Langenthal, Switzerland, and Arnhem, Netherlands, on Saturday. Switzerland’s Silvan Wicki stopped the clock at 15.05 (1.9) in the 150m in Langenthal and recorded 10.35 (0.6) in the 100m.
Compatriot Ajla del Ponte, competing in Arnhem, set a Swiss 150m record of 16.71, finishing comfortably ahead of Nadine Visser (17.11) and Naomi Sedney (17.21). Del Ponte also clocked 11.26 in the 100m.
There were also some solid throws performances elsewhere in Europe. World Athletics Indoor Tour winner Filip Mihaljevic threw 20.61m in the shot put in Split, while two-time world shot put champion David Storl threw 20.24m in Neustadt. At that same competition, 2015 world U18 champion Julia Ritter set a PB of 17.76m.
And in Kuortane, Jami Kinnunen continued his family’s javelin throwing tradition by setting a PB of 79.12m. He is the son of 1991 world champion Kimmo Kinnunen and the grandson of former world record-holder Jorma Kinnunen.