Events & Meetings

European Throwing Cup: Five to watch

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  • European Throwing Cup: Five to watch

The annual European Throwing Cup has a habit of unearthing fresh talent on the senior international stage.

And this weekend’s event in Leiria, Portugal (9-10 March) is almost guaranteed to see another crop of continental throws athletes emerging as contenders for major honours this year. Both days will be streamed live through the European Athletics YouTube channel and will be accompanied by live results on the European Athletics website.

Here’s five names to watch this weekend.

Silja Kosonen, women's hammer

Finnish thrower Silja Kosonen has enjoyed a flawless age group career, winning World U20 gold (2021, Nairobi, Kenya). European U20 gold (2021, Tallinn, Estonia) and European U23 gold (2023, Espoo, Finland). In an event where the transition to senior glory can take time, Kosonen does not expect immediate success

But a fifth place finish at the Budapest 2023 World Athletics Championships with 73.89m also showed she will not be overawed on the big occasions either. A fan of Harry Potter, it will be interesting to see what magic she can conjure in Leiria.

Artur Felfner, men's javelin

Ukraine’s Artur Felfner is a special mix of speed and technique and is a likely threat on the senior stage having proved his championship credentials, winning World U20 gold (2022, Cali, Colombia). European U20 gold (2021, Tallinn, Estonia) and European U23 gold (2023, Espoo, Finland). 

Now consistently over 80 metres, he will compete in the senior men’s javelin competition in Leiria despite still being eligible for the U23 age group. A new threat has emerged in the form of 19 year old German Max Dehning, who threw 90.20m last month in Halle. It should be an intriguing tussle between established seniors and an emerging generation.

Nicola Tuthill, women's U23 hammer

Ireland’s reputation in international athletics has been founded on a heritage of distance running and in the sprints. But Nicola Tuthill is bucking that trend. From her family’s dairy farm in Ireland, she is fast establishing herself among the cream of the continent’s young hammer throwers.

Last year she became the first Irish athlete to win a medal at the European Throwing Cup, when she took U23 silver in the women’s U23 hammer competition.

She went on to improve her personal best to 67.85m at the European Athletics Team Championships in Silesia, Poland and was unlucky to finish fourth at the European U23 Championships in Espoo, Finland with a highly competitive 66.43m. 

Alyssa John, women's U23 javelin

Max Dehning’s 90.20m stole all the headlines from last month’s German Winter Throwing Championships. But in the women’s competition, another athlete was also making a significant breakthrough. 20 year old Alyssa John added a chunky 4.64m to her lifetime best, extending it to 57.65m. It will be interesting to see if she can maintain her progress in the U23 women’s javelin.

Steven Richter, men's U23 discus

Steven Richter is one of many talented Germans coming through in the men’s discus. He produced one of the performances of the whole competition last year, when he won the U23 men’s event with 64.23m. It was a mark only bettered by 2022 World champion Kristjan Ceh in the senior event.

Richter set a new senior shot put personal best of 19.36m during the indoor season, so the strength is there and if his technique holds, he will be hard to beat. 

Chris Broadbent for European Athletics

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