Fenerbahce made it a club double for Turkey at the ECCC Track & Field U20 Group A in Leiria, Portugal on Saturday (21).
Their female counterparts wrapped up a seventh title from the last eight editions and their teammates kept pace in the men’s competition, winning seven of the individual events across the programme at the Estádio Dr. Magalhães Pessoa.
This took Fenerbahce to a winning score of 119 points ahead of Great Britain’s Blackheath & Bromley (111 points) and Spain’s Playas de Castellon (109 points) with reigning champions Sport Lisboa e Benfica having to settle for a distant fourth with 98 points.
Fenerbahce was especially dominant in the field events with five of their seven victories coming in the technical events - including three in the throws. Burak Dertli won the discus with his second round throw of 49.84m, Melnet Kas dominated the hammer with four efforts - 61.87m, 62.21m, 62.51m and 61.77m - all excess of the second placer but one of their standout individual performers was Alperen Karahan in the shot put.
Karahan, the world U20 leader, only came away with a bronze medal from the European U20 Championships in Boras but the 18-year-old experienced both individual as well as team success in Leiria. He produced his best effort of 20.35m with the U20 implement in the first round but all three of his valid efforts - 20.35m, 20.01m and 20.24m - would have sufficed for a clear-cut victory over Playas de Castellon’s Victor Faus with 16.43m.
There were further victories for Fenerbahce in the triple jump with reigning European U18 champion Batuhan Cakir winning with 14.62m in the third round while Yunus E. Gumus making it a double in the horizontal jumps, winning the long jump on countback from Castellon’s Angel Diaz with 6.96m. Diaz also won the 110m hurdles in 13.99.
European U20 5000m silver medallist Ayetullah Aslanhan dominated the 3000m as anticipated, winning by seven seconds in 8:43.99 while Berke Akcam set the tone for Fenerbahce on the track, winning the 400m hurdles in 52.89 from Sport Lisboa e Benfica’s Paulo Soares in 53.60.
Ilyas Canakci, who anchored Turkey to the title in a pulsating 4x400m at the European U20 Championships, couldn’t quite muster up the same heroics in Leiria. He finished second in a high calibre 400m in 46.61 behind Zambia’s Kennedy Luchembe - who was running for Playas de Castellon - in 46.25.
European U18 silver medallist Ethan Brown also clocked 46.61 to finish third for Blackheath & Bromley.
The three leading protagonists all met again on the anchor leg of the 4x400m relay which concluded the action. The finishing order was reversed as Brown anchored Blackheath & Bromley to victory in 3:14.90 ahead of Canakci in 3:15.41, ensuring Fenerbahce the overall team title. Luchembe anchored Playas de Castellon to third in 3:15.55.
1. Fenerbahce (TUR) 119
2. Blackheath & Bromley (GBR) 111
3. Playas de Castellon (ESP) 109
4. Sport Lisboa e Benfica (POR) 98
5. Atletica Vicentina (ITA) 80
6. Sparta AM (DEN) 71
7. AD Mass Ljubljana (SLO) 48
8. COA Valais Romand (SUI) 44
Full results here.
At the ECCC Track & Field Group B which also took place in Leiria, Czech club AK Skoda Plzen topped the standings with 110 points ahead of French club Haute Bretagne Athletisme (100 points) and PAC Rotterdam (91 points).
Plzen won seven events across the day including the men’s discus with European U20 bronze medallist Jakub Forejt reaching out to 58.39m with the 1.75kg implement for maximum points. He also finished second in the hammer with 55.88m while his twin brother Michal was second in the shot put with 16.66m.
Other notable wins were achieved by Jan Bilek with 7.06m in the long jump and Jan Stefela with 2.06m in the high jump.
1. AK Skoda Plzen (CZE) 11
2. Haute Bretagne Athletisme (FRA) 100
3. PAC Rotterdam (NED) 91
4. Tampeeren Pyrinto (FIN) 81
5. Leevale AC (IRL) 71
6. SK SOG Nitra (SVK) 41
7. SAKA (GRE) 35
Full results here.