Marton bidding for a hat-trick of titles at the European Throwing Cup

Anita Marton
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Hungary's Anita Marton will be in contention for her third successive victory in the shot put at the European Throwing Cup in Samorin, Slovakia this weekend

With a third round throw of 19.00m, Anita Marton put herself on the podium once again at the Glasgow 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships when she won bronze in the shot put final but she will not be back home in Hungary, resting and celebrating another medal to her collection.

In Samorin this weekend, Marton will be on the search for more success as she looks to complete a hat-trick of titles at the European Throwing Cup in Samorin from 9-10 March. Day one is streamed here | day two here | live results here.

The shot put star has some record in this event, which regularly provides a telling pointer to the summer season that will start in earnest in a few months. For many throwers, this will be their first international competition of the season and a good chance to seal the qualifying standards for the major championships this summer.

In Leiria last March, Marton followed up her gold medal at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham by reaching out to 19.12m which remained the fourth best by a European all year.

That success came 12 months after winning in Las Palmas with 18.05m and now she will look to put down a marker for a long summer ahead with the IAAF World Championships not starting in Doha until late September. Marton won silver at the event in London in 2017 and would dearly love to go one step further this year. 

A field of 18 women from 14 countries take part in the shot put, one of eight disciplines at either senior or U23 level in this weekend spectacular but Marton will not have it all her own way. 

The shot put, which takes place on Sunday, could be one of the closest events over the two days as her rivals include the athletes who finish fourth, fifth and sixth respectively behind her at the European Indoor Championships; Belarusian Aliona Dubitskaya (18.71m from Glasgow), Poland’s Klaudia Kardasz (18.23m) and Sweden’s Fanny Roos (18.21m). 

The men’s shot put, which takes place on Saturday afternoon, will have a good Glasgow presence too, with Portugal’s Francisco Belo looking to build on his fine performance from the championships. He finished fourth in an overall personal best of 20.97m (he had a no throw in excess of 21 metres as well) and faces the likes of Bob Bertemes from Luxembourg who was fifth in Glasgow with 20.70m.

Strong German representation in men's and women's discus competitions

Both discus events include some of Europe’s leading competitors and the men’s competition could hardly have a bigger name in Germany’s Christoph Harting, the reigning Olympic champion. 

He achieved his personal best of 68.37m when he won the title in Rio in 2016 and should be too strong for most at his very best - but perhaps not Belgium’s Philip Milanov, a world and European silver medallist, whose best throw is 67.26m.

It was some year in 2018 for German athletics with Berlin staging the European Athletics Championships and there were two medals for the hosts in the women’s discus with Nadine Muller and Shanice Craft taking silver and bronze respectively. Along with Anna Ruh, this triumvirate will carry the flag for the home nation in some style. 

They should be among the main contenders in a strong field on Sunday on what will also be a big day for France’s Melina Robert-Michon. The Olympic silver medallist returns to international competition after not competing in 2018 due to maternity leave.

Authorised Neutral Athlete Denis Lukyanov, who has a lifetime best of 79.61m, has already thrown 78.97m this year in the men’s hammer which will install him at the favourite while in the women’s senior event, the likes of Belarus’ Hanna Malyshik, France’s Alexandra Tavernier and Poland’s Joanna Fiodorow should be in the mix while Slovakian veteran Martina Hrasnova will be in contention on home soil. 

European champions Hussong and Khaladovich poised to clash

A year ago, Germany’s Johannes Vetter produced a stunning javelin throw of 92.70m for a world lead as he took the men’s senior title by over 12 metres. 

He is not back to defend his title but Italy’s Mauro Fraresso will look to build on the 81.79m personal best he has already thrown in 2019. However there will be strong German representation in the women’s javelin courtesy of reigning European champion Christin Hussong who goes head-to-head with Belarus’ Tatsiana Khaladovich, the European champion in 2016. 

In a year where the European Athletics U23 Championships take place in Gavle, Sweden, between July 11-14, the level of competition in that age group this weekend will be high. 

Hungary’s Bence Halasz is not only the defending European Throwing Cup U23 champion but he will also be eligible to defend his title at the European U23 Championships. He will be first out on Saturday in the men’s U23 hammer while Halasz has also entered the U23 discus the following day.

The women’s U23 javelin is one of the first events of day two and will include two outstanding combined events specialists in Alina Shukh from Ukraine and Switzerland’s Geraldine Ruckstuhl who won silver behind Shukh in the heptathlon at the 2017 European U20 Championships in Grosseto.