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Gyuratz is hammering home a message

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Eight days before her 19th birthday in May, Hungary’s Reka Gyuratz made the biggest breakthrough of her career.

Just as the outdoor season was moving into full swing, Gyuratz launched a hammer throw sprinkled with stardust in Budapest, an effort of 70.39m.

In the handful of seconds from the turn and execution from the ring, she had moved into a new world.

Gyuratz's throw was a Hungarian junior and under-23 record, it was the best by a European junior this year and even some seniors would be proud of such an achievement. Breaking 70m is a big barrier, it is big news. She’s now part of a group every woman hammer thrower thrives to be part of.

The distance, which brought her victory at the 42nd Paulinyi Memorial, took her to 21st on the European Athletics’ senior rankings while she leads the juniors lists by over a metre from France’s Audrey Ciofani who has a best of 69.25m.

Their duel could be a classic confrontation at this week’s European Athletics Junior Championships which start in Eskilstuna on Thursday.

Next behind them on the junior list is Poland’sKatarzyna Furmanek, who like her two rivals is also 19, but she needs to make up more than five metres on Gyuratz having thrown 64.83m at the end of June.

Of course, the pressure of the championship can change the mindset and what happened in the build up is not always repeated when the tension is at its greatest.

But Gyuratz is becoming a seasoned championship performer, even at these tender years.

She was second at the European juniors in Rieti 2013 with her then personal best of 65.01m as Belarusian Hanna Zinchuk won with 65.44m, but the Hungarian arrived there already as a champion.

The previous week in Donetsk, throwing 73.20m with the lighter 3kg hammer compared to the 4kg used at the juniors, she had won gold at the IAAF World Youth Championships.

Then last summer it was about medals and experience too.

First she was an impressive second with 64.68m at the world junior championships in Eugene - Ukraine's Al'ona Shamotina won with 66.05m - before achieving just one legal throw among the seniors at the European Athletics Championships in Zurich where her opening effort of 62.14m was not enough to reach the final.

But time is so much on Gyuratz’s side, and so is Olympic and double European hammer champion Krisztian Pars, one of her national heroes.

She has trained with Pars and in the past has talked about the encouragement she has had from him, words which can only add to the mix of a young athlete determined to be going places.

And naturally, the next place she would like to be is at the top of the podium at the Ekängen Stadium on Sunday afternoon for the medal ceremony having won gold the night before.

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