Bol and Stahl make it three wins in six days in Székesfehérvár

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    • Bol and Stahl make it three wins in six days in Székesfehérvár

    European indoor 400m champion Femke Bol and world discus champion Daniel Ståhl impressively secured their third wins in less than a week at the Gyulai Istvan Memorial event in Székesfehérvár, Hungary on Tuesday (6).

    In a similar performance to Bol's 400m hurdles Diamond League victory in Stockholm on Sunday, the 21-year-old went out hard, before holding off 2015 world medallist Shamier Little on her outside to finish in a time of 52.81 at the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting.  

    Ståhl also followed up Oslo and Stockholm Diamond League wins by beating London 2017 world champion Andrius Gudzius with a best throw of 67.71m. 

    It was a strong evening for European athletes all-round as Pedro Pablo Pichardo set a triple jump world lead of 17.92m, while Maksim Nedasekau’s 2.37m equalled the best clearance this year in the high jump. Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk and Liveta Jasiunaite also won field events, with Elliot Giles and Yasmani Copello taking top spot on the track. 

    Having been separated by 0.02 seconds in Sweden, there was 0.04 between Bol and Little at the finish as the former ran at time that would have made her the fifth fastest European in history, had she not clocked an incredible 52.37 last weekend, which only European record-holder Yuliya Pechonkina has bettered.   

    Remarkably, she didn't seem to carry much evidence of a busy few days in her legs: ”It’s exactly the same as Stockholm, we were fighting until the end and I think that makes both of us better," she said afterwards. "I'm really happy that after two races in one week, I can still again (run) 52."  

    Ståhl had perhaps his closest competition of the past few days as Gudzius briefly led with 66.71m in the third round, before the Swede immediately reacted, showing agility with quick feet in the circle before sending the discus high and exactly one metre further.  

    While that competition was unfolding, an exciting men’s triple jump saw European indoor champion Pedro Pablo Pichardo initially stretch out to a world lead 17.82m, only for the French-based world indoor record holder Hugues Fabrice Zango from Burkina Faso to match him.  

    But, in similar fashion to Stahl, a determined Pichardo leapt long into the sandpit to add 10 centimetres to his best and claw back the lead. His winning jump of 17.92m was also his longest in more than three years.

    Fellow European indoor champion Maksim Nedasekau produced one of the loudest reactions from the crowd on the night when he cleared 2.37m in the high jump.  

    The feat matched the national record he set in claiming that title in March, meaning he is now the Belarusian record-holder both indoors and out. It also resulted in him joining competitor on the night Ilya Ivanyuk in heading this year’s outdoor standings, with the neutral athlete having cleared 2.37 in Russia in May, but bowing out at 2.33m last night along with teammate Mikhail Akimenko.   


    European athletes also dominated the long jump with Ukraine’s Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk the best of five women over 6.50m, thanks to a 6.79m best which beat Britain’s Abigail Irozuru (6.64m) and Belarus’ Nastassia Mironchyk-Ivanova (6.60m).  

    In a thrilling javelin competition, a three-and-a-half-metre final-round improvement saw European bronze medallist Liveta Jasiunaite of Lithuania snatch victory with a 62.73m season's best effort. 

    On the track, 2016 European bronze 800m medallist Elliot Giles also showed great competitive spirit. With one lap to go, only Cornelius Tuwei of Kenya had gone with the 51-second pace. Giles and an army of chasers sat 15 metres behind.   

    Using his racing nous, the British runner waited patiently before unleashing a brilliant kick down the home straight to both overtake Tuwei and hold off compatriot Jamie Webb’s attack as he clocked 1:44.85, with Webb behind in 1:45.12.  

    It was a more comfortable night for Turkey’s Yasmani Copello in the men’s 400m hurdles as the 34-year-old 2016 European champion worked hard down the home straight, building a 0.71 second lead by the time he came home in 48.35. 

    Over the sprint hurdles, European champion Elvira Herman and world silver medallist Orlando Ortega both impressed with second places in their respective races.  

    Herman got off to a sluggish start but the Belarusian smoothly gained momentum towards the finish, crossing the line in 12.67, 0.34 behind world leader Jasmine Camacho-Quinn of Puerto Rico.  

    Moments later, Ortega was up against world champion Grant Holloway, just over a week after the latter became the second fastest man in history with 12.81 at the US Olympic Trials.  

    With Holloway racing clear in front and two-time European champion Sergey Shubenkov challenging, the Spaniard put together a late charge in a close finish 0.07 seconds behind the American in 13.15, ahead of Shubenkov in 13.19. 

    Elsewhere, Croatia's Filip Mihaljevic cemented his status as one of the continent's top hopes for an Olympic shot put medal. He managed a best effort of 21.77m - his third farthest throw ever - behind a hard-to-beat 22.22m mark from 2017 world champion Tom Walsh from New Zealand. 

    Full results are available here. 

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