Haratyk adds European indoor shot put title to his outdoor crown from Berlin

Michal Haratyk
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Poland's Michal Haratyk won the shot put title at the Glasgow 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships with a European-leading mark of 21.65m

In Berlin last summer, Poland's Michal Haratyk became the outdoor European shot put champion by securing gold in round two. Tonight (1) at the Glasgow 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships, he went a round better by winning the title with his opening effort.

As the seven kilogram implement left his right hand, the venom on it had the hallmarks of a great delivery. He was the fifth athlete of the competition to take their place in the circle and the rest had to watch on and digest the standard set when the scoreboard flashed up at 21.65m.

Haratyk raised both hands high in the air, too early of course to celebrate victory but his smile was a winner even at this stage.

The distance was the best in Europe in 2019, beating the 21.32m which David Storl had achieved last month and now it was the German who followed Haratyk into action. The gold medallist in Prague 2015, Storl responded with 21.16m to move into second. It was good, but not good enough.

By the time Haratyk prepared for his second round, Czech Republic's Tomas Stanek, who has been injured this year and had competed only once before the championships, was second with a season’s best of 21.25m.

The Pole then went out to 21.33m and Storl then stepped up to a superb 21.54m, his best of the season took him back into the silver medal spot.

The quality at this stage was outstanding, with Haratyk's superb series seeing him reach 21.43m as Storl had a foul in the third round with Stanek recording 20.37m.

Halfway through, it was going to take something special to knock Haratyk off top spot.

Just 11 centimetres behind Haratyk, Storl could not have been more pumped up for the fourth round, punching his chest but then suffering his second successive foul.

Having won silver at the European Championships in Amsterdam in the summer of 2016, there was only disappointment for Haratyk a few months later when he failed to make the final at the European Indoor Championships in Belgrade.

His best distance then was 19.18m, so this represented some turnaround in fortunes for the 26-year-old who then had a foul himself in round four.

It was a competition in which Portugal's Francisco Belo broke his personal best of 20.90m with a second round 20.97m to finish fourth – backed by his mighty roar as he let the implement go.

Though his noise was even louder with that of frustration when his fifth round effort went even further - in excess of 21 metres - but he had stepped out of the circle.

In the end it was down to just the two goes each for Storl and Stanek to see if they could usurp Haratyk.

The top three all had fouls in round five and so to round six.

Stanek had 20.30m, leaving just Storl with the chance to cause a sensational finale. But it was not to be. He did not improve, with 20.57m, before Haratyk fouled.

It did not matter. He quickly draped the Polish flag around him for the second time in less than a year having given his rivals the toughest of nights.