The outstanding performance of the 2018 European Throwing Cup in Leiria, Portugal on 10-11 March was world javelin champion Johannes Vetter’s extraordinary championship record of 92.70m on the second day of the competition.
Vetter already held the world leading-mark with a mark of 91.22m but he surpassed this early season benchmark in Leiria despite some trepidation about the conditions. Vetter is already in a rich vein of form and he outlined his two major goals for the summer campaign: to win the gold medal at the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships and to surpass his lifetime best and German record of 94.44m.
Germany also has a rich tradition in the women’s javelin with three of the four world titles between 2009 and 2015 going to German throwers. Katharina Molitor won the title in 2015 with her last throw of the competition and she is aiming to make another podium in front of her home crowd in Berlin this summer. Former European U23 champion Christin Hussong also has medal aspirations in the German capital in August.
Christoph Harting was another global champion competing in Leiria and the Olympic champion was “not unsatisfied” after opening his season with 62.88m to finish fourth in the discus. Harting is in a block of heavy training at the moment and he expects to improve on that distance on the road to the European Championships in Berlin. The championships will be extra special for Harting as he lives and trains in the German capital.
The discus competition was won by world silver medallist Daniel Stahl from Sweden who is looking to go one better at the European Championships in Berlin. "It's important for my country and Swedish throwing. I would be very proud to sing the Swedish national anthem," said Stahl, who led a Swedish one-two in the discus in Leiria.
Hungary's Anita Marton has amassed an excellent championship record in recent seasons and she arrived in Leiria fresh from winning her first global title at the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham. Marton claimed back-to-back wins at the European Throwing Cup and is looking to repeat at the European Championships in Berlin this summer. She has won the last two editions of the European Indoor Championships and picked up bronze and silver medals outdoors as well.