Michal Haratyk demonstrated on Wednesday (13) night that he is in the form to become European champion in Berlin in less than two months.
The Polish shot-putter not only broke the national outdoor record for the second time in 18 days but he now has the overall top mark after a superb performance at the Ostrava Golden Spike.
Never mind the rain, never mind the cold, Haratyk was hot as he finished second with 22.08m as New Zealand’s Tom Walsh won with a meeting record of 22.16m with the Czech Republic's Tomas Stanek reaching a season's best of 21.46m for third to finish ahead of Olympic champion Ryan Crouser in fourth with 21.43m.
Haratyk, 26, began the outdoor season with a personal best from last year of 21.88m but he extended that to 21.97m at the IAAF Diamond League in Eugene on 26 May and now he has finally smashed through the 22m barrier to extend his spot at the top of the 2018 European lists.
He is in pole position for glory in Berlin having won silver at the European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam in 2016 and now has the best distance ever by a Pole after this effort went further than Konrad Bukowiecki’s national indoor record of 22.00m set in Torun this February.
Vadlejch edges out Rohler in the javelin
In front of a crowd of 10,000, Jakub Vadlejch gave the home fans much to cheer about - and much to look forward to - as he won the javelin and beat the Olympic champion in the process.
Throws of over 90 metres by Germans Johannes Vetter, Andreas Hofmann and Thomas Rohler have dominated the event this season but Vadlejch, the world silver medallist, will be a big player in Berlin.
As he showed in round two here, with a throw of 88.36m - his third best of the summer behind his 89.02m and 88.76m - to triumph from Rohler who was second with 87.28m.
Danil Lysenko, who won the world indoor high jump title in Birmingham, will be feeling good after tying the European lead with 2.36m, although he was a narrow second to Mutaz Essa Barshim who cleared a meeting record of 2.38m after carrying failures at 2.34m and 2.36m.
Poland's Pawel Wojciechowski banked another good win ahead of Berlin as he cleared 5.75m to triumph in the pole vault from America’s world champion Sam Kendricks (5.60m).
Schippers holds off Ahoure; Guliyev with another fast time
The European Championships will be another major occasion for the Netherlands’ Dafne Schippers and the two-time world 200m champion showed she means business again.
Schippers has expressed the desire to go for another double in Berlin - to repeat her exploits from Zurich in 2014 - and she won here in 22.52 from the Ivory Coast’s world indoor 60m champion Murielle Ahoure in 22.60. Switzerland’s Mujinga Kambundji was third in 22.78.
— Dafne Schippers (@dafneschippers) June 14, 2018
In the men’s 200m, Turkey’s world champion Ramil Guliyev was a close third in 20.09, the same time as Trinidad’s Commonwealth champion Jereem Richards in second as Canada's Aaron Brown won in 20.05.
In a meeting where Cuba’s Dayron Robles broke the world record in 2008 with a run of 12.87, France’s Pascal Martinot-Lagarde took a good win in the 110m hurdles in 13.45 with Hungary’s world bronze medallist Balazs Baji third in 13.52.
There was a brilliant comeback from Antje Moldner-Schmidt, 34, in the 3000m steeplechase. In her first international race over the barriers since 2014, the European champion from that same season secured the qualifying time for Berlin of 9:45, finishing 12th in 9:43.38.
“European Championships standard done, thank you Ostrava!” she tweeted after the race.