While Fenerbahce dominated the women’s division once again, the men’s competition at the ECCC Track & Field U20 in Castellon, Spain on Saturday (15) was a much more closely contested affair with Portugal’s Sport Lisboa e Benfica winning with 115 points from Denmark’s Sparta AM with 103 points.
Sport Lisboa e Benfica’s overall success in Castellon was achieved even though the athletes from Denmark’s Sparta AM won more individual events across the one day programme – seven wins to five.
But as is always so often the case in these competitions, it is as much about the overall position in every event which is key to success. Benfica found that as they won the title by 12 points on an afternoon when reigning champions ENKA were third.
But there was disappointment for last year’s Group B champions ASK Slavia Praha who were relegated back into the second tier along with PAC Rotterdam.
Benfica had the first points on the board from the opening field event as Bayley Campbell was impressive in the hammer, winning with 73.13m, secured on the last of four throws having, to defeat Castellon’s Aimar-Genis Palma (66.69m).
But it was AD Mass Ljubljana, newly promoted into Group A, who ensured maximum points in the opening track race - the 110m hurdles - as Filip Jakob Demisar won in 14.04 from Castellon’s Kevin Sanchez in 14.08. This win proved crucial for Ljubljana, who avoided the bottom two by just two points.
Sparta were looking strong as they won two of the other early track races with Tazana Kamanga-Dyrbak winning the 100m in 10.58 from Benfica’s Eberson Silva (10.68) before clubmate William Devantier won the 800m in 1:59.12.
Kamanga-Dyrbak had a memorable afternoon as he completed a triple triumph. After 100m glory, he made it an individual sprint double with victory in the 200m in 21.52 and then teamed-up with Oliver Chabert, Tobias Gorgone Larsen and Emil Fraende to win the 4x100m relay in 41.47 from Benfica in 42.08 and Enka in 42.44.
But Benfica did enough throughout as they built towards lifting the cup, as Isaac Nader won their first track event - the 1500m - in 4:01.30 with Alexandre Figueiredo bringing maximum points in the 3000m in a tactical 8:55.94.
Two more victories came on the in-field for Benfica with Ederson Silva first in the long jump with 7.30m and in the javelin in which Leandro Ramos threw 66.81m in the second round.
Sparta also had a good string of results in the field events. Casper Jorgensen won took a double with victories in the shot put (17.24m) and discus (58.09m) and Chabert won the pole vault with 5.00m before running that opening leg in the victorious 4x100m relay team.
This brace of victories was not quite sufficient for the overall title as Sport Lisboa e Benfica’s consistency was rewarded with the overall title by a margin of 12 points.
1. Sport Lisboa e Benfica (POR) 115
2. Sparta AM (DEN) 103
3. Enka (TUR) 94
4. Blackheath & Bromley Harriers AC (GBR) 93
5. Playas de Castellon (ESP) 84
6. AD Mass Ljubljana (SLO) 67
7. ASK Slavia Praha (CZE) 65
8. PAC Rotterdam (NED) 60