Sirmais is the golden boy on Day 2

Sirmais is the golden boy again
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Latvia's Zigismunds Sirmais continues to impress as he won the javelin contest at the European Cup Winter Throwing on Sunday in Leiria.

There seems to be no stopping the progress of Latvian Zigismunds Sirmais. On the second day of the European Cup Winter Throwing in Leiria, he won the javelin contest with a last-round throw of 81.60m to secure the first major senior honour of his career.                           

The 2011 European Junior champion was back on top of the podium last summer when he threw 82.77m to triumph at the European Under-23 Championships in Tampere.

Still 21, he could really make an impression in Zurich in August at the European Athletics Championships because he is on a winning streak.

Victory here in Portugal came with his fourth effort to over 80m. His previous 80.12m, 80.93m and 80.98m had not been enough to dislodge Germany’s Thomas Rohler who had led from the first round with 81.17m.

But then, with his final attempt, Sirmais overtook him to triumph with Estonian Risto Matas third with 80.58m. 

France's Melina Robert-Michon had the best summer of her career when she won silver in the discus at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow in 2013, and she proved on Sunday she is a woman for all seasons.

With a throw of 64.20m, Robert-Michon took gold at the European Cup Winter Throwing in a competition where her main concern would have come in the final round.

She had been in charge after reaching 61.81m with her opening throw, with Germany's Anna Ruh moving into second in the fourth round with 61.78m.

But after Robert-Michon's 64.20m, Ruh then responded with her last throw which was 63.21m - close but not close enough - to confirm her silver medal with Serbia's Dragana Tomasevic third with 59.26m.

In the men’s shot put, Russia’s Aleksandr Lesnoy, who was eighth at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot last weekend, this time triumphed on Sunday.

And it was a tremendous competition which ended up being decided in the final round which began with Portugal’s Marco Fortes in first place after his 21.01m from round five, an effort that put him ahead of Lesnoy, who had a best of 20.85m.

But as Fortes recorded a foul with his final attempt, Lesnoy made no mistake, landing a brilliant 21.23m.

Not only was it a personal best by the Russian, but it establishes him at the top of the European rankings at this early stage of the outdoor season.

Equally, in this year of the European Athletics Championships, he showed he could be among the favourites on a day in Portugal where Bulgaria’s Georgi Ivanov was third with his only legal effort of 20.59m.

The women’s hammer gold went the way of Poland’s Joanna Fiodorow, the silver medallist from the 2011 European Under-23 Championships.

She won with 72.70m in the fifth round, a throw which relegated Eva Orban to second.

The Hungarian had led with 72.49m from round two but had fouls on her next four throws, with Germany’s Kathrin Klaas third with 70.99m.

Twenty-four hours after finishing second in the shot put, Germany's Shanice Craft produced a superb moment on the second morning of the European Cup Winter Throwing in Leiria on Sunday.                         

The discus is the event where she excels at more than most and so it proved with a winning throw of 64.16m in the fifth round of the under-23 event.

She was already leading at that stage with 62.52m but extended her distance with an effort that would have put her eighth on last year's European Athletics senior rankings.

The four under-23 events were staged in the morning and Craft, the European Under-23 runner-up, celebrated victory ahead of Ukraine's Viktoriya Klochko, with 53.74m, and Turkey's Elcin Kaya with 51.41m.

At last summer's European Junior Championships in Rieti, Mesud Pezer, of Bosnia and Herzegovina, won gold in the shot put and for a long time it looked like he was heading for another title on Sunday -or at least a share of one.

Pezer led from his first effort of 18.68m with Martin Novak, of the Czech Republic, matching that in the fourth round.

But everything changed in the last round as France's Frederic Dagee stunned the field with 19.05m - he had been back in third with 18.62m - to secure the crown.

Pezer took second on countback from Novak because he had one foul less - two against three - but Dagee's timing was perfect to win the gold.

It was also in Rieti where Ukraine's Maksym Bohdan made a name for himself with silver in the javelin in a national junior record of 78.77m.

Now 20, he took command in Lieria on Sunday with an outstanding personal best of 83.41m to show how well he is progressing to the sport's next level.

After throws of 73.35m, 71.77m and 74.77m, Bohdan took the competition to another level with his fourth round effort that brought gold from Jan Kubes, of the Czech Republic, who had 76.15m in the last round and Russia's Yegor Yermoshin, who was third with 74.71m.

Poland's Malwina Kopron won the hammer in the third round when she threw 69.30m to triumph.

She had begun with a foul and then 67.90m put her in the lead in the second round before she threw even further for a fine win ahead of Alyona Shamotina, of the Ukraine, with a best of 67.87m and Slovenia's Barbara Spiler with 67.12m.