Cienfuegos on fire in Andujar, Itoya sets meeting record

Javier Cienfuegos at the Amsterdam 2016 European Athletics Championships
European Athletics

Javier Cienfuegos at the Amsterdam 2016 European Athletics Championships

Hammer thrower Javier Cienfuegos delighted the home crowd with an impressively consistent display, sending his implement over 73 metres four times culminating in a third-round best and meeting record of 74.09m at the 21st edition of the Memorial Francisco Ramon Higueras in the Spanish town of Andujar on Friday.

The former world junior record holder effectively secured his place in Spain’s team going to the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships, part of the inaugural multisport European Championships with six other sports being staged by co-hosts Glasgow.

Cienfuegos had to be in his best form of the season so far as Italy’s Simone Falloni pressed him hard with 73.91m, also in the third round, although neither thrower could improve in the second half contest.

The women’s long jump provided another highlight of the second of this summer’s European Athletics Outdoor Classic Permit Meetings with another Spanish win.

Juliet Itoya edged into the lead with her fourth round 6.38m and then repeated that distance with her next jump before the 2014 IberoAmerican champion finished with a meeting record of 6.50m despite jumping into a strong breeze.

Belarus shot putter Aliaksei Nichypar had all five of his legal efforts for further than anyone, including four over 20 metres and reached a winning distance of 20.32m, just 20cm short of his personal best.

The blustery conditions made fast races middle-distance races very difficult but Spanish international Daniel Andujar, who hails from the Valencia region rather than his namesake town where he was competing on Friday event, was an impressive winner of the 800m in 1:47.72 after the pacemaker took the field through the first lap in 52.52.

Spain’s 2017 IAAF World Indoor Championships 800m bronze medallist Saul Ordonez moved up distance and won an entertaining 1500 in 3:41.43.

Turket’s two-time European indoor 1500m silver medallist Ilhan Tanui Ozbilen did all the hard work on the third lap but the field was still bunched behind him at the bell, using him as a windshield.

As Ozbilen started to tire, David Bustos hit the front but with just over 200 metres to go Ordonez moved through the gears and took over the lead.

He was challenged down the home straight by the improving Jesus Gomez, but Ordonez had the enough in reserve to hold off his rival with Gomez second in 3:41.65.

In the shorter distances, Laura Bueno Fernandez won women’s 400 in 52.85 while France’s 2013 European U20 champion Stella Akakpo won the 100m in 11.44 after coming through strongly in the second half of the race.

Spain’s 2015 European indoor championships silver medallist Pablo Torrijos bounded out to a season’s best of 16.61m in the triple jump but had to settle for second place by fsix centimetres behind Burkina Faso’s Fabrice Zango.