Elina Tzenggo still has one more season left in the U18 ranks but this has not stopped the precocious 16-year-old from making sizeable advancements with the senior weight javelin.
The reigning Youth Olympic Games winner will be throwing with the 600g implement at the Boras 2019 European Athletics U20 Championships next month and the Greek will begin as the big favourite based on current form.
Tzenggo only competed with the senior weight implement for the first time in March when she laid down an early marker with 56.94m. In the meantime, Tzenggo set a world U18 best of 65.90m with the 500g implement at the Greek Schools Championships last month before improving to 59.42m with the senior implement on Wednesday (29).
This was a good warm-up ahead of her debut at the prestigious Halle Throwing Meet in Germany last weekend. On the Saturday, Tzenggo eclipsed former world U20 champion Sofi Flink’s European U18 best with the 600g implement with 61.46m in the sixth round, beating athletes up to three years her senior by more than seven metres.
Tzenggo was back in action the following day and she dominated the U18 javelin by an even bigger margin. Each of her three valid throws with the 500g implement would have won the competition by more than 10 metres with her best throw spiking the turf at 61.80m.
With seven weeks until the European U20 Championships, Tzenggo leads the European U20 list by nearly three metres ahead of the Belarusian pair of Aliaksandra Konshyna (58.70m) and Yuliya Makeeva (57.12m) and the Greek is aiming suitably high next month.
"I am targeting a medal - the gold medal,” said Tzenggo earlier this season. “We always chase the highest and with hard work we can achieve it.”