Records fell across the programme at the second edition of the European Athletics U18 Championships in Gyor, Hungary from 5-8 July, capped off by two world U18 bests across the four days of competition.
While there are plausible arguments to be made for other prospective contenders for the de facto accolade, Spain’s Maria Vicente has to be considered the star performer across the championships.Vicente won the heptathlon title with 6221 points to eclipse Alina Shukh’s world best she added to her title haul on the final day, going out to a championship record of 13.95m in the last round of the triple jump.
Vicente could have certainly embellished her medal haul if the schedule allowed her to do so. She set a championship record of 6.37m in the heptathlon long jump and her 13.25 clocking in the heptathlon 100m hurdles was faster than the winning time in the individual final.
As expected, Ukraine enjoyed a successful championships with their two reigning world U18 champions adding the European U18 titles to their respective resumes. Myhaylo Kokhan eclipsed the world U18 hammer best (5kg) held by his idol Bence Halazs from Hungary with 87.82m in the sixth round of the final, although all five of his valid throws would have won the competition - and were in excess of his championship record which he set in qualifying.
Teammate Yaroslava Mahuchikh, 16, concluded the championships with an excellent clearance of 1.94m on her third attempt in the high jump to break Shukh’s championship record and win the title. Mahuchikh is now aiming for the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires in Argentina and she has the world U18 best of 1.96m in her sights.
Czech Republic’s Barbora Malikova also completed the set of U18 titles by winning the 400m in a lifetime best of 52.66 to eclipse her lifetime best of 52.74 set to win the world U18 title in Nairobi last year.
✅ World U18 400m champion
✅ European U18 400m champion
Watch Czech Republic's Barbora Malikova, 16, storm to a championship record of 52.66 to win the 400m title from Germany's Marie Scheppen in 52.82. pic.twitter.com/MbuuQByauO
— European Athletics (@EuroAthletics) July 7, 2018
Another individual star at the championships with Norway's Pal Haugen Lillefosse. He came away with a bronze medal in the 100m before clearing a championship record of 5.46m in the pole vault followed by three attempts to tie the world U18 best of 5.55m.
After a bronze medal in the 100m, Norway's Pal Haugen Lillefosse wins the pole vault title at the European U18 Championships, clearing a championship record and outdoor lifetime best of 5.46m.
Two titles for Norway on the last evening session in Gyor! pic.twitter.com/uWME3EePW8
— European Athletics (@EuroAthletics) July 8, 2018
For the second successive championships, Great Britain topped the medal table with six gold medals - and nine in total. Highlights included Max Burgin producing an excellent gun-to-tape victory in the 800m in a world U18 lead of 1:47.36 to smash the championship record and Keely Hodgkinson making it a British double, also in a championship record of 2:04.84.
Italy, Germany and Belarus all won four gold medals apiece while France picked up the most number of medals with 12 in total, including three gold medals. Italy were particularly successful in the medley relays with victory in both finals, Belarus won both shot put titles and France enjoyed victories in both steeplechase finals.
Ireland enjoyed a record-breaking championships with three gold medals. Sarah Healy emulated Switzerland’s Delia Sclabas by winning a 1500/3000m double - both championship record times in both finals - and Rhasidat Adeleke won the 200m.
Cheered on by her mother Sonia O'Sullivan from the stands, Sophie O'Sullivan added to Ireland's tally with a silver medal in the 800m behind Hodgkinson.
It was also a memorable championships for Iceland who won a tantalisingly close 100m final courtesy of Gudbjorg Jona Bjarnadottir in 11.75. Only 0.006 separated the three medallists and a dead-heat was given for the silver medal which was shared by France’s Pamera Losange and Hungary’s Boglarka Takacs.
There was another dead heat on the last day of the championships which resulted in a gold medal for the hosts. Daniel Huller and Martin Fraysse could not be separated on the photo-finish and shared the gold medal in the 400m hurdles in 50.63.
Day one highlights
Day two highlights
Day three highlights
Day four highlights