The European Throwing Cup returns to Leiria on 10-11 March 2018 after the Portuguese city also staged the 2014 and 2015 editions.
The 2018 event will be the 18th edition of the competition, which started in 2001, and which will act as an early form guide for the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships held later that summer between 7-12 August.
Many athletes going to Leiria next March will already be familiar with the city and its facilities.
The 2014 European Throwing Cup was memorable for Poland’s Pawel Fajdek, who was the reigning world champion, winning the hammer with 78.75m while the women’s discus was won by France’s Melina Robert-Michon with 64.20.
The following year, the discus throwers took the centre stage in Leiria with Estonia’s Martin Kupper producing a personal best of 66.67m to take victory in a competition which saw three throwers over 65 metres.
Germany’s Nadine Muller won the women’s discus with a second round throw of 65.27m as 2014 winner Robert-Michon had to settle for second with 64.75m.
Pawel Fajdek had beaten Hungary’s 2012 Olympic Games champion Krisztian Pars at the 2014 Cup in the same Portuguese arena but the positions were reversed 12 months later when Pars began with 77.66m and then improved to 79.24m in the fourth round to triumph as Fajdek could do no better than 76.19m.
It is likely that these throwers, as well as many other Olympic, world and European medallists, will be in action in Leiria.
Leiria has a rich history and dates from pre-Roman times, and the modern-day city is overlooked by a 14th century castle. It is just under two hours away from Lisbon and is easily accessible by road from the Portuguese capital.
It has also been the venue for a number of other European Athletics competitions in the last decade, notably the inaugural European Athletics Team Championships Super League in 2009.
In March, the temperatures are usually around 14-15 degrees Celsius and quite dry, meaning that good conditions once again await Europe’s top throwers in what has become an important early season outing and test of training progress for many athletes from across the continent.