In the series of European Athletics meetings this summer, there were a number of superb performances in Nancy and Velenje on Wednesday.
It is almost a year since one of the most amazing relay runs of recent times - when France’s Floria Guei went from fourth to first in the last 50m to win 4x400m gold for her country at the European Athletics Championships in Zurich.
She is proving her individual ability which she enhanced even more at the Meeting Stanislas-Nancy a European Athletics Outdoor Classic meeting.
Guei followed up her form from the European Athletics Team Championships in Cheboksary by winning again - this time in a personal best of 51.09, the quickest by a European this summer.
Zambia’s Kabange Mupopo was second in 51.18 and just behind her in third, Guei’s French teammate Marie Gayot also ran a personal best of 51.39 to move to second in the rankings.
Guei won her second gold in seven months with relay glory at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Prague in March. But it was at the Letzigrund Stadium last August where she made a name for herself with her stunning speed to come from nowhere on the outside to triumph and overtake Ukraine’s Olha Zemlyak, Great Britain’s Margaret Adeoye and Russia’s Yekaterina Renzhina to win in 3:24.27.
Greece’s Lykourgos-Stefanos Tsakonas is having an excellent summer and he celebrated another win as he took the 200m in 20.20, his second fastest behind his personal best of 20.09 which leads the European Athletics rankings.
Lithuania’s Andrius Gudzius won the discus with 63.28m as he beat World No 1 Jason Morgan, of Jamaica, who was second with 61.78m.
Poland’s Robert Sobera won the pole vault on countback from France’s Kevin Menaldo with both men clearing 5.61m and Germany’s Lena Malkus took the long jump with 6.47m.
A record-breaking night in Slovenia
The 20th European Athletics Classic Meeting in Honour of Miners’ Day was staged in Velenje and it was a sensational event for 800m runners Amel Tuka and Zan Rudolf.
In a brilliant race, both broke their own national records and for Rudolf in third, he achieved it in front of his own fans.
As the Slovenian star finished in 1:46.00, bringing the old mark down by 0.79, Tuka, of Bosnia and Herzegovina, lowered his record by 1.92 to win in 1:44.19, smashing the old time that he set in Zurich last summer when he was sixth in the final at the European Athletics Championships.
The bronze medallist from the 2013 European Athletics U23 Championships in Tampere, Tuka, 24, is one of his country’s biggest track and field names, also holding the national record of 47.19 over 400m.
Talking of the 400m, Pavel Maslak, of the Czech Republic, moved his summer up to the next level with a season’s best time as he won in 45.09 and in second place, another national record for Slovenia as Luka Janezic, 19, broke the under-23 time in 45.44.
A number of Europe’s leading athletes also showed fine form.
Poland’s double Olympic shot put champion Tomasz Majewski triumphed with 20.26m with his third throw, Croatia’s Sandra Perkovic took the discus with 67.23m, a distance achieved in the last round, while Russia’s Mariya Abakumova won the javelin with her opener of 59.85m.
A leap of 6.80m brought long jump victory for Serbia’s Ivana Spanovic and Switzerland’s Nicole Buchler won the pole vault with 4.60m.