Sergey Shubenkov produced the greatest run of his life at the Istvan Gyulai Memorial in Szekesfehervar on Monday (2), a European Athletics Classic Permit Meeting, to show that there is nothing like an athlete scorned.
Shubenkov, the 2015 world champion and 2014 European champion, smashed his 110m hurdles personal best of 12.98 to move to equal eighth on the world all-time list with a glorious world lead of 12.92. On Saturday in Paris, Shubenkov was disqualified from the final of the event at the IAAF Diamond League for a false start after posting a fast time in the heat.
But he came back in style at a meeting dedicated to the memory of the leading Hungarian athletics administrator Istvan Gyulai. With a powerful performance from lane six, Shubenkov just sped away to send out a catch-me-if-you-can message to his rivals ahead of the European Championships in Berlin next month.
His time was so good it was just 0.01 outside of the European record which Great Britain’s Colin Jackson has held since winning the world title in Stuttgart in 1993, then a world record.
Showing good technique over the barriers, and great fluency in between the flights, Shubenkov triumphed from home hero Balazs Baji who was second in 13.27. Last summer in London, the pair both made the podium as Shubenkov won silver and Baji took bronze at the IAAF World Championships.
Nowicki defeats Fajdek again; Wlodarczyk leaves it late
The men’s hammer is always such a thrilling event on the European stage and so it proved here as Wojciech Nowicki moved another step closer to his dream of winning a major title.
Nowicki, who has banked bronze medals at his last four major championships, took his season to an even greater level as he increased his world lead, beating European champion and fellow Pole Pawel Fajdek in the process again.
Having entered the competition with a world lead of 81.45m, he extended that mark to 81.85m for victory over Fajdek who threw a season’s best of 81.14m. Hungary’s Bence Halasz was third with 78.57m.
Will Nowicki’s time come in Berlin? It will be fascinating to watch.
Teammate Anita Wlodarczyk will be chasing her fourth successive European title in Berlin. The world record-holder hasn’t been in her very best form thus far in 2018 but Wlodarczyk took victory on the first day of this meeting on Monday with a final round effort of 74.63m to beat Belarusian Hanna Malyshik (73.02m) and fellow Pole Malwina Kopron with (71.94m).
Copello clocks 48.93 to win the 400m hurdles
Two years ago Turkey’s Yasmani Copello had the best summer of his career as he won the European 400m hurdles title in Amsterdam before taking bronze at the Olympic Games in Rio.
He will be determined to make a successful defence of that crown on the blue track at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin and looked good in Szekesfehervar, winning in 48.93 from South Africa’s Cornel Fredericks in 49.30.
Lithuania’s discus world champion Andrius Gudzius is the favourite for glory in Berlin and he was second here with 66.33m as Jamaica’s world leader Fedrick Dacres won with 67.24m. Poland’s Piotr Malachowski was third with 64.47m.