Enka and Sporting are crowned champions

Enka and Sporting are crowned champions
European Athletics

Enka Sports Club won the men's European Champion Clubs Cup, the first ever victory for a Turkish club in front of the home crowd in Mersin.

The men of Turkey’s Enka Sports Club and women of Sporting Clube de Portugal made history on Sunday as they won Group A of the European Champion Clubs Cup for their country for the first time.

Enka delighted the home crown in Mersin by beating defending champions Playas de Castellon, and thus turning the tide on the Spaniards who defeated them by two points a year ago in the same venue.

And while Enka, who won 10 of the events, triumphed by eight points from Castellon, the women’s title was won by a margin of 11 as Sporting denied Valencia Terra i Mar a hat-trick of crowns.


Beaten by two points by Playas de Castellon here at the Nevin Yanit Athletics Complex in 2015, Enka Sports Club built on their overnight lead over the Spaniards to land the trophy on a weekend to remember for sprinter Jak Ali Harvey.

On Saturday, Harvey delivered a strong finish to win the 100m in 10.26 from Castellon’s Bruno Hortelano (10.32) before running the anchor leg of the 4x100m to bank another maximum five points. On Sunday, Harvey completed his treble with victory in the 200m in 21.05 from Sport Lisboa E Benfica’s Bruno Lins Barros (21.12).

With six wins on Saturday and four on Sunday, Enka were determined not to let their lead slip and just for good measure the team took the final event, the 4x400m relay, in 3:09.55 from Castellon (3:09.65) and Lisboa (3:12.42).

Enka also triumphed in the long jump with Muammer Demir’s snatching victory in the last round. He reached 7.52m to match that of Cosma’s Tomas Vitonis and won on countback.

Turkey’s Polat Kemboi Arikan, the 2012 European 5000m bronze medallist was beaten for pace by a stunning performance, and one of the best of the whole weekend, by Castellon’s Jaouad Tougane.

Maximum points were secured for the Spanish team as Tougane won in 13:26.17, a victory of more than 14 seconds from Arikan (13:40.97).

Castellon were never going to give up their title without a fight and after winning the 1500m on Saturday in 3:40.36, Antoine Gakeme then completed the middle-distance double with victory in the 800m (1:50.39) on Sunday.

Along with Harvey’s 200m success and their 4x400m glory, Enka also won the 3000m steeplechase with Tarik Langat Akdag (8:34.64). Then Ali Kaya the European indoor champion, showed his power at the 3000m with victory in 7:50.66 from Lisboa’s Helio Gomes (7:56.62).

But there was a shock in the triple jump as Lisboa’s European indoor triple champion Nelson Evora (16.26m) was beaten by Castellon’s Pablo Torrijos (16.37m).

Lithuania’s Edis Matusevicius had one of the outstanding performances of the second day for Cosma Vilnius as the 19-year-old won the javelin with 81.28m from the third round to break his national under-20 record of 78.82m.

Sporting Clube became the first Portuguese club to win the women's European Champion Clubs Cup this weekend in Mersin.
European Athletics
Sporting Clube became the first Portuguese club to win the women's European Champion Clubs Cup this weekend in Mersin.


Sporting Clube de Portugal’s dominance on the first day proved vital as they won seven events - and had to wait long into the evening on Sunday for maximum points again.

But their overall strength was enough to move from third place last year, when they finished 27 points behind Valencia Terra i Mar, to leave as champions.

Yet finishing in the bottom two places of the table means relegation for Slovakia’s Dukla Banska Bystrica and the Netherlands’ AV Sprint club.

From the start on Saturday, Sporting were in control as Vera Barbosa (57.48) won the 400m hurdles from Katerina Halova, of Dukla Banska Bystrica (58.66) and Valencia’s Laura Sotomayor (59.66) to give the Portuguese side an early two-point lead from the Spaniards.

By the end of the day they had an overall advantage of 17 with 79 from Fenerbahçe SK with Valencia third (61) after Sporting’s sprees of victories.

On the track, Lorene Bazolo won the 100m (11.70), Moreira won the 3000m (9:07.93) by more than 13 seconds and Sviatlana Kudzelich triumphed in the 3000m steeplechase (9:43.05).

In the field, 59.81m from the last round brought discus glory for Irina Rodrigues, Marta Onofre cleared 4.30m to win the pole vault and Patricia Mamona leaped 14.07m for victory in the triple jump.

Mamona had quite a battle, too, as she beat Slovakia’s Dana Veldakova, the double European indoor bronze medallist, by two centimetres (14.05m), with her third round effort enough as her rival left her best jump to the last of her four.

On Sunday, Jessica Augusto’s victory in the 5000m (15:52.53) came in the final women’s individual track race before Sporting wrapped up their triumph by winning the 4x400m relay in 3:36.43 as Salome Afonso, Vera Barbosa, adding to her 400m hurdles success, Catia Azevedo and Andreia Crespo were too good for Fenerbahce (3:39.16) and Valencia (3:42.70).

Sunday also saw Lithuania’s Airine Palsyte impress in the high jump as she banked the maximum eight points for Cosma by winning with 1.90m on a day when Jana Veldakova won the long jump (6.44m) for Dukla and Valencia’s Karolina Koleczek (13.17) was first in the 100m hurdles.