Guliyev tunes up for the European Championships with a sprint double in Andorf

Ramil Guliyev
Getty Images

Ramil Guliyev will be contesting both the 100m and 200m at the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships

As the only European sprinter to have broken 20 seconds for the 200m in 2018, Turkey’s world champion Ramil Guliyev finds himself in a good place heading into the major event of the summer.

But just for good measure ahead of the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships, as the German capital co-hosts the first multi-sports European Championships with Glasgow, Guliyev added some fine-tuning to his muscles on Saturday (28) at the Josko Meeting in Andorf, Austria.

In his final action before he heads to the Olympic Stadium, Guliyev not only confirmed his plans to run both sprints, but then ran 20.18 for the 200m and 10.23 in the heats of the 100m followed by 10.15 in the final. Guliyev was one of Europe’s leading stars as he won world gold in London last summer, 12 months after landing silver at the last European Championships in Amsterdam.

A time of 10.10 is his quickest over 100m this season which has him at 13th on the 2018 European lists but it is over 200m where he has really stood out with his blistering 19.90 from the Oslo Diamond League last month putting him top of the lists followed by Spain’s Bruno Hortelano, the defending European champion whose best is his national record of 20.04 from last week.

Also in Andorf, Austria’s leading athlete Lukas Weisshaidinger, whose 2018 has seen him break the national discus record of 68.98m to enhance his European medal chances, won with a good 65.57m ahead of Jamaica’s Chad Wright (63.72m).

But the man Weisshaidinger - and everyone else - will have to beat is world champion Andrius Gudzius who warmed up for Berlin at home in Palanga on Friday night when he threw 67.21m for victory on the opening day of the Lithuanian Championships. He leads the European lists with 69.59m.

And on the second day of the championships in Palanga, high jumper Airine Palsyte, the European indoor champion and European outdoor silver medallist, won with a season’s best of 1.91m on her first attempt to show she will be a threat again in Berlin.

Kirt close to 90 metres again in Tallinn

At the Estonian Championships in Tallinn, Magnus Kirt once more demonstrated what a performer he could be in Berlin in perhaps the most anticipated of all events at the European Championships – the men’s javelin.

With the host nation boasting a leading trio of throwers in Johannes Vetter, Andreas Hofmann and Thomas Rohler, Kirt is just behind them on the European lists with his national record of 89.75m from Rabat earlier this month and now he has added a superb 88.28m for his eighth win in a row.

Could Magnus Kirt upset the Germans in the javelin at the European Championships?

Now 39, Gerd Kanter, the 2008 Olympic champion, won his 12th and last national discus crown as he threw 63.44m, a fine performance from a man who was on the European podium as far back as 2006 when he won silver in Gothenburg.

Rasmus Magi, the 2014 silver medallist, also looked good in winning the 400m hurdles in 48.91, the fourth fastest time by a European in 2018.

Maslak, Hejnova and Ogrodnikova triumph at Czech Championships

The big names all made their mark at the Czech Championships in Kladno. Pavel Maslak’s reputation speaks for itself and he will be ready to add to his medal haul in Berlin next month after setting a championship record of 45.66 in the 400m heats before winning the final in 46.09.

Two-time world champion Zuzana Hejnova, who has never won a medal at the European Championships, clocked 56.72 in her first race since the Oslo Diamond League in the 400m hurdles heats before lifting the crown the following day in a quicker 56.08.

Nikola Ogrodnikova is having superb season in the javelin, where she is a big media contender, and she won with 62.52m. Petr Frydrych, who won bronze at the IAAF World Championships in London, won the men’s event with a 2018 best of 83.85m.

Tomas Stanek won the shot put with an excellent 21.52m and newly crowned world U20 champion Amalie Svabikova maintained her good form as she cleared 4.25m to win the pole vault title.

Ivan Horvat had a memorable afternoon at the Croatian Championships in Zagreb on Sunday (29) as he produced a pole vault national record 5.71m – and finally edged away from 5.70m. He had cleared that height three times in the past three years to rubber-stamp the record and now he will head to Berlin with even greater motivation to go higher.

A day earlier, world bronze medallist Stipe Zunic won the shot put with 20.41m and Filip Pravdica took the long jump with a personal best of 7.91m.

Reid produces sprint double in Dublin; Barr wins eighth 400m hurdles title

At the Irish Championships in Dublin, Leon Reid produced a fine double, taking the men’s 100m in 10.42 and 200m in 20.74. Phil Healy dominated the 200m in 23.64 and Olympic fourth-placer Thomas Barr took the 400m hurdles crown for the eighth time in a row in 49.56.

The highlight of the Latvian Championships was Lina Muze winning the javelin on the first day of the championships with a personal best of 63.18m.

Poland topped the medal table at the 2016 European Championships in Amsterdam and over the weekend, they showed what a force they will be in Berlin.

In Stalowa Wola on Saturday, Pawel Fajdek won the men’s hammer with 75.70m and Anita Wlodarczyk took the women’s with 77.77m. In Schlanders, Italy on Saturday, European indoor champion Piotr Lisek won the pole vault in the ‘meet on the square’ with 5.81m.