Pawel Fajdek hardly has anything left to prove as a two-time world champion and European gold medallist but he is already blowing away the cobwebs of his Olympic disappointment.
On the back of his shock exit in qualifying last summer, the Polish hammer thrower has been leading the world lists since his 81.39m in Coral Gables in April and on Saturday (13) he extended that distance with 81.51m at the Furmanek Memorial in Kielce.
It was a memorable weekend for European throwing, topped by Fajdek’s superb performance in a summer where he will be chasing a third successive world title in London in August.
His winning effort was only 96 centimetres shy of the best throw last season not to mention further than his last two gold medal-winning triumphs: 80.88m to claim the world title in Beijing in 2015 and 80.93m to win the European title in Amsterdam last summer.
This victory came in a competition of the highest standard as teammate Wojciech Nowicki was second with 78.54m followed by Slovakia’s Marcel Lomnicky in third with 76.19m.
Even without Anita Wlodarczyk in action, there was depth in the women’s event with Joanna Fiodorow (72.82m) beating Malwina Kopron (72.24m) while European indoor champion Konrad Bukowiecki produced another highlight, improving his outdoor lifetime best to 21.51m to top the European outdoor lists.
Bukowiecki will challenge for his first senior global medal at the World Championships in London but before that, the 20-year-old will headline the European Athletics U23 Championships on home soil in Bydgoszcz.
Hofmann wins domestic plaudits in Offenburg
Eight days after Thomas Rohler (93.90m) and Johannes Vetter (89.68m) soared to the top two spots in the world at the Diamond League in Doha, Andreas Hofmann showed how competitive the event will be this summer after defeating both of them in Offenburg on Saturday.
With a throw of 88.79m at the Speerwurf Meeting, Hoffman achieved a personal best and moved to third in those lists behind Rohler and Vetter.
Lars Hamann was second with a lifetime best of 86.71m with Vetter third (83.39m) and Olympic champion Rohler only fourth on this occasion (83.22m).
World champion Katharina Molitor defeated European U23 champion Christin Hussong with a throw of 62.26m to Hussong’s 61.13m but the top mark this weekend came from European champion Tatsiana Khaladovich, who went out to 63.72m at the Belarus University Championships in Brest.
No stopping ageless wonder Kanter
Estonia’s Gerd Kanter has good reason to be happy after celebrating his 38th birthday at the start of this month.
The former Olympic and world discus champion opened his season in excellent shape with 65.87m in Wiesbaden on Sunday to move to sixth on the world lists. It was also further than Philip Milanov’s winning mark in Shanghai on the same day.
In the women’s event, former European U20 champion Claudine Vita went out to a lifetime best of 63.47m to defeat a strong domestic contingent including Anna Ruh (63.05m) and Kristin Pudenz (62.89m).
Sub-10 for Mitchell-Blake in Columbia
Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake confirmed his status as one of the up-and-coming stars of world sprinting with a 9.99 clocking over 100m at the SEC Championships in Columbia, South Carolina on Saturday.
Mitchell-Blake was also second in the 200m on the same day in 20.09, the second fastest time of his career after his lifetime best of 19.95. The 23-year-old is just the fifth European sprinter in history to have broken both the sub-10 mark for 100m and the sub-20 mark for 200m.
After winning a European indoor 60m silver medal, Slovakia’s Jan Volko transferred that form outdoors by running two national records in the first round of the Czech Clubs League
After running 10.23 in the heats, Volko equalled the Slovakian 100m record with 10.21 in the final before breaking his national record in the 200m with 20.66 ahead of three-time European indoor 400m champion Pavel Maslak in 20.83.
There are 76 events across Europe this week. For full information, go to http://www.european-athletics.org/calendar/index.html#date=20170515&view=month&comp=