It has been a busy week of European Athletics meetings and here we look back on the events in Prague, Montreuil and Huelva over the past three days.
Spotakova delivers her best of 2015
The predictions were for something special from javelin world record-holder Barbora Spotakova, and so it proved at the 22nd Odlozil Memorial on Monday evening.
In front of her home fans at Prague’s Stadion Juliska, the Czech Republic star moved to fourth in this year’s European Athletics rankings as she triumphed with a throw of 63.45m, the first time she has gone over 60m in 2015.
She also threw 62.41m at this European Athletics Premium meeting as she beat Germany’s Linda Stahl, the 2010 European champion, with 62.88m, and China’s Lu Huihui, third with 62.09m.
The difficult wind and cold weather did not help the runners but double European indoor champion Pavel Maslak delivered another home win in the 400m in 46.01 from Great Britain’s Conrad Williams in 46.16 and Kenya’s Alphas Kishoyan in 46.30.
The women’s triple jump saw Bulgaria's Gabriela Petrova take her personal best to 14.64m as she won ahead of Israel’s Hanna Minenko, who broke her own national record with 14.61m.
It was, generally, a good night for the Czech athletes as Lenka Masna won the 800m in 2:02.62 and Tomas Stanek’s fourth round 20.16m brought victory in the shot put.
But Jakub Holusa, their 1500m European indoor champion, was left disappointed as he was forced to stop after a collision with 370m left of a race won by Canada's Charles Philibert-Thiboutot in 3:39.78.
Amdouni back with his quickest 1500m
Tuesday saw the second leg of the French Pro Athle Tour in Montreuil and there was a surprise, and impressive, return for Frenchman Mourad Amdouni who won the 1500m in a personal best of 3:37.40 and beat Turkey’s European indoor silver medallist Ilham Tanui Ozbilen in the process.
Now 27, Amdouni, who made his name in 2007 with victories in the 5000m at the European Athletics Junior Championships and the junior race at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships, had not run on the track since 2012.
But his comeback to this surface came with this eye-catching win against one of the most consistent men on the European scene as Ozbilen finished second in 3:37.81 with Kenya’s Robert Biwot third in 3:38.26.
Switzerland’s Selina Buchel looks determined to build on her European Indoor 800m gold from Prague in March as she showed by winning the 800m at the European Athletic Classic meeting in 2:00.47 from Renelle Lamote, of France, in 2:00.72 and Poland’s Joanna Jozwik in 2:01.30.
Russia’s Nina Morozova won the 100m hurdles in 12.85 ahead of France’s Cindy Billaud in 12.87 and America’s double world indoor champion Lolo Jones in 12.93 while Poland’s Patryk Dobek won the 400m hurdles in 49.61 as he beat Estonia’s European silver medallist Rasmus Magi, who was second in 50.41.
A fourth round effort of 19.66m saw Gaetan Bucki achieve a home victory in the shot put and Russia’s young star Alyona Lutkovskaya, 19, won the pole vault with 4.42m and attempted 4.55m.
Fernandez looking good
The 11th Meeting Iberoamericano de Athletismo took place in Huelva on Wednesday and Spain’s 400m hurdles champion Sergio Fernandez produced a good home win as he triumphed in 50.37.
It was just outside his quickest time of the season of 50.34 but he showed his level of consistency at this European Athletics Classic meeting.
There was a Spanish one-two in a thrilling men’s 3000m steeplechase as Fernando Carro Morillo had just enough to achieve the smallest of victories in 8:28.74 from Abdelaziz Merzoughi in 8:28.75.
Germany’s Corinna Harrer, the 2013 European Indoor and European under-23 silver medallist, won the 1500m in 4:14.04 as she beat Spain’s Solange Pereira in 4:14.71 and Maryam Jamal, of Bahrain, in 4:15.00.