European U23 javelin record and world-lead for Turkey's Tugsuz

Eda Tugsuz at the 2016 IAAF World Junior Championships
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It is proving quite a time for competitors preparing the European Athletics U23 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, later this summer and the latest athlete to grab the headlines is Turkish javelin thrower Eda Tugsuz.

The rising star of her discipline, who is still only 20, threw a stunning 67.21m for a European U23 record (subject to ratification), national record and world-leading mark at the Islamic Solidarity Games in the Azerbaijan capital Baku on Thursday.

Not only does it make her now the gold medal favourite for the championships in Poland, which will be held from 13-16 July, but also makes her a potential medal contender at the IAAF World Championships in London in August.

Tugsuz consigned to history the previous European U23 record of 67.11m, which belonged to Poland’s Maria Andrejczyk, from 2016, and the pair could possibly meet in Bydgoszcz when the Pole will be throwing in front of family and friends.

The Turk also threw further than the distances which brought gold at last year's two major championships.

Croatia’s Sara Kolak – who is also still in the U23 ranks and beat Tugsuz into second place at the European Throwing Cup in March – won the Olympic title in Rio with 66.18m and Belarusian Tatsiana Khaladovich won the European title in Amsterdam with 66.34m.

Of course, rising to the occasion on these sort of stages is very different to what Tugsuz had to cope with in Baku – where she won by more than 18 metres – but the statement she made in Azerbaijan will show her rivals that there really is a 'new kid on the block’.

It is another amazing improvement from a 20-year-old whose progression had seen her reach 64.30m in Antalya last month, having ended 2016 with a personal best of 58.95m.

Tugsuz failed to make the cut in the European final with 56.97m ­– she was 11th overall – but has some decent championship credentials in the younger age groups having got a bronze medal at the 2016 IAAF World U20 Championships last summer.

However, now she has elevated herself into being a serious contender for medals not only at U23 level but also in serious senior competition.

The throwing events at the European Athletics U23 Championships are starting to take on the complexion of potentially being something special in Bydgoszcz.

Tugsuz’s record-breaking efforts come just days after Germany’s Clemens Prufer, 19, threw a discus personal best of 62.04m in Wiesbaden, beating his furthest mark of 61.62m which had been set almost a year to the day at the same venue.

Hungary’s Bence Halasz, also 19, is another man who should be a big name in Bydgoszcz after winning hammer gold there at the world junior championships last summer because in Szekszard last weekend, he took his best from last month’s 75.56m to 76.05m.