Marton and Halasz primed for success in Leiria

Anita Marton in Belgrade
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Anita Marton won the shot put and discus titles at the Hungarian Winter Throwing Championships in Szombathely

It is less than two weeks until the European Throwing Cup in Leiria on 10-11 March and the weekend produced a series of good performances from those looking for glory in Portugal.

Hungary’s Anita Marton had a double success in Szombathely on Saturday (24) as she won national winter throwing titles in both the shot put with 18.70m and the discus with 56.01m. Marton will head back indoors next weekend for the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham where she will be looking to add a global title to her brace of European indoor titles.

In the men’s hammer, reigning European U23 champion Bence Halasz went out to 71.65m while his teammate Reka Gyuratz - the former world U18 champion - extended her season’s best to 70.57m to win the women’s competition.

Former world bronze medallist Alexandra Tavernier returned to form at the French Winter Throwing Championships in Millau on Sunday (25) with a throw of 71.20m. Quentin Bigot triumphed in the men’s hammer the day before with 74.37m.

One thrower with aspirations of performing well in Leiria next month is Irina Rodrigues who prepared for her home championships with victory in the discus at the Portuguese Winter Throwing Championships with 62.37m.

Elsewhere, Bulgaria’s Valentin Andreev, 16, broke the national U18 record with a superb 76.46m with the 5kg implement in Balchik while in Rieti, Marco Lingua reached out to 74.62m to take the Italian winter throwing hammer title.

Hughes sets 10.01 world lead; world age-15 best for Ogbechie

Britain’s Zharnel Hughes has suffered his fair share of injuries over the last two seasons but he sits atop of the world lists over 100m this morning.

Competing at the Gibson McCook Relays at the National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica on Saturday (24), Hughes broke his personal best of 10.10 set in 2016, winning in 10.01.

He will be equally pleased to have beaten Jamaica’s 2011 world 100m champion Yohan Blake who was second in 10.05 with teammate Nigel Ellis in third in 10.26.

Another rising star of British athletics is 15-year-old Dominic Ogbechie, who was making headlines in Sheffield. At the England U20 Championships on Saturday, Ogbechie - who began the day with a lifetime best of 2.12m - cleared 2.22m in the high jump for a world age-15 best. Ogbechie also won the long jump with an excellent 7.53m the following day.

At the Belgium Indoor Students Championships in Ghent on Sunday, Kevin Borlee ran an indoor personal best of 46.41 to win the 400m ahead of his brother Dylan 46.63 as European discus silver medallist Philip Milanov improved his indoor shot put lifetime best to 18.27m.

Jonathan Sacoor, who will join the Borlees on the Belgian 4x400m team for the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham, also ran a national U20 indoor 300m record of 33.41.

Kimeli defeats Bouchikhi in Brussels

Isaac Kimeli turned the tide on Soufiane Bouchikhi with a superb performance at the Belgian Cross Country Championships in Brussels on Sunday (25).

Back in Chia in 2016, Kimeli emerged on the big stage when he won the U23 race at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships but this winter, Bouchikhi has been Belgium’s leading senior male runner, having finished fifth at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships in Samorin in December.

The pair entered the home straight side-by-side but Kimeli found that extra gear to win the 10km by four seconds in 29:04 with Simon Debognies, who won U23 team silver in Samorin, in third in 29:47.

But there was reward for Bouchikhi as he lifted the Easykit CrossCup title after the winter series of races as Imana Truyers took the women’s overall title, after she was first in the 6km in 19:57.

On a crisp Saturday morning in North West London, Adam Hickey and Phoebe Law won the respective men’s and women’s senior titles at the English National Cross Country Championships at Parliament Hill.

Hickey triumphed in 39:35 from Andy Maud (39:44) and John Gilbert (40:01) as Law celebrated victory in 28:33 from Louise Small (28:54) and Iona Lake (29:05).

Harriet Knowles-Jones maintained the form which saw her win the European U20 cross country title in Samorin by taking this U20 event as Mahamed Mahamed won the men’s race.