Zubkova wins first gold medal in Gyor with a championship record

Hanna Zubkova
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Belarus' Hanna Zubkova smashed the championship record in the 5000m race walk on the first morning session of the European Athletics U18 Championships in Gyor

The first gold medal of the European Athletics U18 Championships in Gyor, Hungary was won by Hanna Zubkova from Belarus on the opening morning of the championship. 

By no means overawed by the occasion or trepidatious in the hot conditions in Gyor, Zubkova - who celebrated her 17th birthday yesterday - set an aggressive pace from the gun in the 5000m walk which quickly put paid to her rival's title aspirations.

Zubkova crossed the finish-line in 22:45.47, eclipsing Turkey's Meryem Bekmez's championship record by five seconds.

"Before stepping on track my coach told me to try to stay on the first place. I succeeded: I am the first champion of this event," said Zubkova. "My plan is to compete at the Olympic Games in the future and my biggest dream is to be one of the competitors who can take part in the victory ceremony."

Zubkova won by the best part of a minute with Greece's Olga Fiaska an isolated second in 23:39.12 with Italy's Simona Bertini third in 24:18.80.

Ivanenko smashes championship record in hammer qualifying

There were two championship records in the qualifying rounds of the women's hammer. Finland's Sara Killinen initially eclipsed Czech Republic's Katerina Skypalova's record from Tbilisi with 67.25m in the first pool before Ukraine's Valeriya Ivanenko added more than seven metres to the record in the second pool with 74.36m, not too far off Reka Gyuratz's world U18 best of 76.04m with the 3kg implement. 

With reigning world U18 champion Myhaylo Kokhan the overwhelming favourite in the men's hammer, Ukraine could come away from Gyor with a double in the event.

Another world U18 champion in action is Spain's Maria Vicente who made a brilliant start to her heptathlon campaign. Vicente, who is also contesting the triple jump at the championships, stopped the clock at 13.25 in the 100m hurdles - a Spanish U18 record and the third fastest time in the world at U18 level in 2018 - before clearing 1.72m in the high jump.

After two events, Vicente leads with 1966 points from Authorised Neutral Athlete Vilena Komarova (1936 points) who cleared 1.84m in the high jump.

Fellow world U18 champion Barbora Malikova from Czech Republic was the fastest in the 400m heats with 54.09 and Norway's Pal Haugen Lillefosse began his campaign for two gold medals with 10.75 in the 100m heats. Those heats were led by Raphael Bouju from the Netherlands who clocked 10.61. 

But in the women's 100m heats, Jennifer Akiniymika, who leads the European U18 100m lists with 11.44, pulled up injured. Great Britain's Cassie-Ann Pemberton was the fastest with 11.79.