Vadlejch inches closer to the 90m barrier with 89.02m in Prague

Jakub Vadlejch
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Czech Republic's Jakub Vadlejch improved his season's best to 89.02m at the Josef Odlozil Memorial in Prague on Monday 

Jakub Vadlejch won a silver medal in the javelin at the IAAF World Championships in London last year and the Czech will be looking to challenge the mighty Germans again at the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships in August.

Vadlejch threw a lifetime best of 89.73m to win a silver medal behind Johannes Vetter in London last August and he produced the second best mark of his career last night on home soil at the Memorial Josef Odlozil, a European Athletics Outdoor Classic Meeting, in Prague on Monday (4).

Vadlejch would have won the competition with his opening throw of 85.20m but this was just a tune-up before he sent the spear out to 89.02m with his second effort. Vadlejch consolidated his fourth-place position on the 2018 world lists behind Johannes Vetter (92.70m), Andreas Hofmann (92.06m) and Thomas Rohler (91.78m) but he just fell short of Jan Zelezny’s meeting record of 90.56m.

Vadlejch had two more valid throws - 86.06m and 84.58m - which would have also sufficed for victory ahead of Andrian Mardare, who improved his Moldovan record to 83.95m in the second round and then to 84.43m in the fourth round.

Another notable performance came in the shot put as Olympic champion Ryan Crouser added more than one metre to the meeting record with 22.31m followed by two more throws over 22 metres: 22.28m in round five and 22.09m in round six.

Operating more than one-and-a-half metres below Crouser’s lofty levels, Aleksandr Lesnoy was the best of the rest in second with 20.77m and in his first competition since winning a bronze medal at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham, Tomas Stanek was third with 20.71m.

Herman improves to 12.69; Edoburun 10.04 in the 100m

Reigning world U20 champion Elvira Herman set her second lifetime best of the season to win the 100m hurdles in Prague.

Herman, who also won the European U20 title in Eskilstuna in 2015, improved her PB from 12.85 to 12.73 on her season’s opener in Montgeron last month and the 21-year-old lowered that mark to 12.69 in Prague, erasing the meeting record as well.

Herman is ranked second on the 2018 European lists behind teammate Alina Talay’s 12.41 set in St. Polten on 31 May, the fastest time by a European sprint hurdler since 1992.

Another promising youngster to come away with a lifetime best from the Czech capital was reigning European U23 100m champion Ojie Edoburun. He finished second in 10.04 - a lifetime best by 0.08 - behind Mike Rodgers from the United States in 9.92.

Edoburun becomes the fifth British sprinter to run under 10.1 in 2018 and the 22-year-old will be looking to make his first senior team at the European Championships in Berlin having won European U20 and U23 titles, as well as a silver medal at the IAAF World U18 Championships in 2013.

Elsewhere on the track, former two-time world champion Zuzana Hejnova was third in the 400m hurdles in 55.40 in a race won by Georganne Moline in a meeting record of 54.04 and Charlie Grice was second in the 1500m in 3:35.88 behind Morocco’s Brahim Kaazouzi (3:35.58).

There were two good wins for Ukrainian field eventers in Prague as well. Vladyslav Mazur went out to 8.03m in the long jump to defeat South Africa’s Zarck Visser by three centimetres and 20-year-old Vladyslav Malykhin cleared 5.55m in the pole vault to beat former European U20 champion Adam Hague on countback.