Vicente crowned heptathlon champion in Gyor with a world U18 best

Maria Vicente
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Spain's Maria Vicente won the European U18 heptathlon title with a world U18 best of 6221 points on the second day of the European Athletics U18 Championships in Gyor

Maria Vicente set five lifetime bests across the seven events to win the European U18 heptathlon title in a world U18 best of 6221 points and to solidify her status as a prospective senior star of the future.

And many of her individual marks across the two days had more significance than just being lifetime bests. Her time in the 100m hurdles of 13.25 was a Spanish U18 record and a European U18 lead, her time in the 200m of 23.78 put her sixth on the 2018 European U18 lists and her best mark in the long jump of 6.37m broke the championship record.

But just as impressive as her long jump was the javelin in which she improved her lifetime best by more than seven metres from 36.03m to 43.28m. This put the world U18 best firmly into view as long as she ran faster than 2:26 in the 800m. She did that comfortably, crossing the finish line in an outdoor best of 2:23.29 to eclipse Ukraine's Alina Shukh's two-year-old record of 6186 points.

"It is incredible to be a European champion! I reached 6200 scores, which is an amazing achievement. I just cannot find the words to describe how happy I am right now," said Vicente who is due to return to the arena tomorrow for the qualifying pool of the triple jump.

The positions for the silver and bronze medals were in constant flux throughout the second day. With a brilliant run in the 800m in 2:18.59, Latvia's Kristine Blazevica moved from fifth up to silver with 5629 points just ahead of Austria's Chiara-Belinda Schuler with 5615 points. Second after four events, neutral athlete Vilena Komarova just missed out in fourth with 5589 points. 

Spain had an excellent night in Gyor. Just before Vicente was crowned heptathlon champion, Yasiel Brayan Sotero defied the slippery throwing circle to set two championship records in the discus: 63.37m in the first round and 64.31m in the third round. He won by nearly six metres from Norway's Fabian Weinberg's 58.84m.

Healy blitzes away to win the 3000m title

Ireland's Sarah Healy game plan in the 3000m was clear: to wait until the last kilometre to make her move. It proved a decisive ploy as the 17-year-old hit the front with exactly two-and-a-half laps to go, opening up a yawning gap on her pursuers with a closing kilometre of 2:57.

Having already qualified for the 1500m final this morning, Healy didn't show any ill-effects from that run with a sustained burst which took her under Delia Sclabas' championship record of 9:23.44 with 9:18.05. Healy will be attempting to replicate Sclabas' achievements from the inaugural championships in Tbilisi 2016 by winning titles in both the 1500m and 3000m. 

Turkey's Inci Kalkan won silver with 9:24.01 and Alessia Zarbo, who led for the first two kilometres, came away with a bronze medal and a lifetime best of 9:25.25 for her front running efforts.

Unexpected outcomes and dramatic finishes in the 100m finals

The women's 100m final produced a dramatic finish and an unexpected set of medallists with Iceland's Gudbjorg Jona Bjarnadottir outleaning France's Pamera Losange and Hungary's Boglarka Takacs in the three outside lanes. All three medallists were credited with the same time of 11.75 with Bjarnadottir given the verdict by 0.006 as Losange and Takacs dead-heated for silver.

Great Britain's Cassie-Ann Pemberton came in fourth with 11.84 while Ireland's Patience Jumbo-Gula, who set a championship record in the semifinals, had to settle for fifth in 11.87. 

The men's 100m final was similarly dramatic as Raphael Bouju from the Netherlands forged through in the last fifteen metres to pip home favourite Dominik Illovsky, 10.64 to 10.70. Norway's Pal Haugen Lillefosse, who qualified for the pole vault final this morning, came away with bronze in 10.72.

"My following competition will be on Saturday, which means I can take a rest," said Lillefosse. "It is not a secret, that I want to take a medal in pole vault tomorrow. I am happy with this 100 metres."

Swedish success in the horizontal jumps

Sweden's Tilde Johansson put out a big jump of 6.33m (+4.5 m/s) in the first round of the long jump final which took place in deteriorating conditions. That mark remained unchallenged with Switzerland's Emma Piffaretti winning silver also with her opening jump of 6.25m (+2.9 m/s). European U18 leader Larissa Iapichino, 15, was seventh with 6.12m. 

In the other horizontal final on the second day, Turkey's Batuhan Cakir won the triple jump with his fifth round jump of 15.62m which he backed up with 15.40m in the sixth round. Sweden looked on track for their second medal of the day before Cakir's fifth round effort which shunted Carl af Forselles into silver with 15.36m.

Belarus won their second title of the championships with Aliaksei Aleksandrovich surpassing his pre-event lifetime best five times in the shot put, culminating with a sixth round throw of 20.97m. And after setting a championship record in qualifying, Ukraine's Valeriya Ivanenko won the hammer with 73.25m.

Sam Bennett equalled the British U18 110m hurdles record in the heats this morning and the Brit went much faster in the semifinal with 13.15 albeit with a 4.3 m/s tailwind.

French athletes are first and second on the European U18 lists. European U18 leader Kenny Fletcher won the third semifinal in 13.52 but Paul Chabauty, who has clocked 13.31 this year, collided with a hurdle and fell out of contention.