Events & Meetings

Ramadani wins Kosovo’s first ever European title with U20 gold in Tallinn

  • News
  • Ramadani wins Kosovo’s first ever European title with U20 gold in Tallinn

Muhamet Ramadani created athletics history for Kosovo by becoming his country’s first ever European champion across all age groups and disciplines with gold in the shot put on the first day of the Tallinn 2021 European Athletics U20 Championships on Thursday (15).

Ramadani wasn’t even ranked inside the top-10 on the European U20 list ahead of the championships but the 18-year-old led this morning’s qualifying round with a lifetime best and national U20 record of 19.80m before dominating the final.

All four of Ramadani’s valid efforts would have sufficed for the title. Stepping into the throwing circle for the last time, Ramadani was assured of the title with his fifth round throw of 19.90m but he eclipsed that mark with his last attempt which landed on the turf at 19.92m.

While slightly rueful of the fact he just missed the 20 metre-line, Ramadani revelled in creating athletics history for Kosovo who were competing in only their second European U20 Championships.

“I want to say thank you to my family, my country and my dad - who is also my coach,” said Ramadani who now turns his focus to the World U20 Championships in Nairobi next month

“The field here was very strong but now I want to get to the World U20 Championships and I hope to get a medal there - preferably the gold medal.”

Ilya Misouski won a silver medal for shot putting powerhouse Belarus with 19.49m while Claudio Stoessel outperformed his German teammates to win bronze. The third-ranked German broke his lifetime best with 19.43m in the fifth round to reach the podium.

“I think I was one of the three Germans who wasn’t supposed to be on the podium today,” admitted Stoessel. “I defeated my own mind and the mental side was definitely what helped me to get the bronze and new PB.”

First and third on the entry list ahead of the championships, fellow Germans Steven Richter and Joel Akue had to settle for sixth (18.91m) and eighth (18.76m) respectively in the final.

The first track title was also decided at the conclusion of the first day programme in the women’s 10,000m race walk. 

In a see-sawing encounter between neutral athlete Yuliya Khalilova and Czech Republic’s Eliska Martinkova, Khalilova pulled clear on the penultimate lap for victory in 46:14.21 ahead of Martinkova in 46:23.74 with Maele Bire-Heslouis picking up a rare medal for France in the race walk with bronze in 46:32.94.

Even though the final began at 7.30pm local time, the temperatures remained steadfastly in the mid-to-high 20Cs. But while the conditions were far from ideal for the race walkers, six of the first 10 athletes - including all three medallists - came away from Tallinn with lifetime bests for posterity.

Fast times in prospect in the 100m finals

The men’s 100m heats were highlighted by a fine piece of sprinting by 17-year-old Jeff Erius from France who won the fourth and final heat in 10.29 which eclipsed the European U18 best.

Erius safely made it through the semifinal stage later in the day, finishing second in 10.35 behind Great Britain’s Jeriel Quainoo who set his second lifetime best of the day with 10.26.

That time was matched in the second heat by his teammate Toby Makoyawo who loped to the semifinal win with a mark which also represented a lifetime best. The prospect of a British clean sweep cannot be discounted as Ethan Wiltshire emulated his compatriots by qualifying for the final, also in a lifetime best of 10.34.

European U18 200m champion Rhasidat Adeleke from Ireland has secured an easy passage through the rounds in the 100m, easing through her heat in 11.37 before prevailing in the semifinal stage in 11.38.

However, her time was surpassed in the third semifinal by Dutchwoman Minke Bisschops who posted the fastest time of the day at 11.35. Her time was a lifetime best and she moves to second on the Dutch U20 all-time list behind a certain Dafne Schippers who ran 11.19 as a junior despite focusing primarily on the combined events in her U20 days.

In the heptathlon, Finland’s Saga Vanninen leads the standings by almost 200 points with her day one score of 3751 points. Vanninen won two of the four disciplines on the first day, smashing her lifetime best with 13.55 in the 100m hurdles and setting a championship best of 14.90m in the shot put.

Full results here.

Official Partners
Official Partners
Official Partners
Official Partners
Official Partners
Official Partners
Broadcast Partner
Broadcast Partner
Preferred Suppliers
Supporting Hotel
Photography Agency