Roundup | Mechaal defeats Katir in a 1500m thriller at the Spanish Championships

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  • Roundup | Mechaal defeats Katir in a 1500m thriller at the Spanish Championships

Experience told as Adel Mechaal outsprinted world bronze medallist and Spanish record-holder Mohamed Katir in a fast and thrilling 1500m final at the Spanish Championships in Torrent on Sunday (30).

Katir made a bold bid for victory just before the bell sounded which broke the rest of the field except for the grimacing figure of Mechaal who tracked Katir resolutely on the last lap.

Katir was still a stride ahead of Mechaal coming into the home straight but with 50 metres remaining, the long-striding Mechaal moved wide and kicked past Katir for a highly significant victory with the World Athletics Championships in Budapest less than one month away. 

Mechaal was also rewarded with a championship record of 3:33.44 ahead of Katir 3:33.76 with European bronze medallist Mario Garcia a distant third  on this occasion in 3:34.77.

Reigning European indoor champion Adrian Ben won the 800m in 1:45.01 ahead of Mohamed Attaoui in 1:45.06. Olympic bronze medallist Ana Peleteiro also continued her comeback by winning the triple jump with 14.21m ahead of recently crowned European U23 champion Maria Vicente who jumped 14.20m. 

Vicente was also second in the long jump behind Tessy Ebosele, the pair achieving wind-assisted marks of 6.89m (2.8) and 6.81m (2.1) respectively. 

Zhoya clocks 13.01 at the French Championships…twice 

The wind might have been over the legal limit but Sasha Zhoya gave further notice to his immense talent at the French Championships in Albi on Saturday (29).

Zhoya clocked 13.01 in both the heats and the final. The recently crowned European U23 champion was propelled by a following wind of 5.3 m/s in the heat but the wind reading in the final was just above the legal limit at 2.3 m/s.

Zhoya defeated a field brimming with domestic talent with former European indoor champion Wilhem Belocian and European indoor and outdoor bronze medallist Just Kwaou-Mathey second and third respectively in 13.07 and 13.19 respectively. 

In all conditions, only Pascal Martinot-Lagarde (12.95) and Zhoya’s coach Ladji Doucoure (12.97) have run faster than Zhoya from a French standpoint.

The 100m hurdles final was every bit as exciting as Cyrena Samba-Mayela displayed some of the form which took her to a surprise world indoor title in Belgrade last March. 

However, Samba-Mayela was pushed all the Laeticia Bapte and the pair were rewarded with lifetime bests of 12.68 and 12.69 respectively.

At the Italian Championships in Molfetta, Ayomide Folorunso won the 400m hurdles title in a national record of 54.22 and Filippo Tortu blasted to victory in the 200m in 20.14.


Leonardo Fabbri got the better of his training partner and European indoor champion Zane Weir in the shot put - 21.80m and 21.69m - and Simone Barontini won a fast 800m in 1:44.50 ahead of Catalin Tecuceanu (1:45.04) and Francesco Pernici (1:45.23). 

Daisy Osakue won the discus with 63.25m and European bronze medallist Sara Fantini won the hammer with 71.02m.

Alekna produces another big throw at the Lithuanian Championships

Mykolas Alekna won the discus at the Lithuanian Championships with 69.30m and led an Alekna one-two. His older brother Martynas won the silver medal  with 63.26m, finishing just ahead of former world and European champion Andrius Gudzius (62.75m).

At the Estonian Championships in Tallinn, Rasmus Magi ran a solo 48.04 to win the 400m hurdles. This was the second fastest time of the 31-year-old’s career and puts him at eighth on the 2023 world list. 

Lina Muze highlighted the Latvian Championships by winning the javelin with 64.78m. 


Kambundji’s season gathers pace with 11.05 at the Swiss Championships

Mujinga Kambundji has raced sparingly since the indoor season due to a foot injury but the 31-year-old seems to be rounding into form.

At the Swiss Championships in Bellinzona, Kambundji won the 100m in a season’s best of 11.05. Her younger sister Ditaji was also among the winners in the 100m hurdles in 12.72.  


Jason Joseph won the 110m hurdles title in 13.16 and Simon Ehammer, who led Joseph out of the blocks in that final before falling at the final hurdle, won the long jump with 8.03m.

Due to a shoulder injury, Ehammer only intends to contest the decathlon at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest. 

Recently crowned European U23 champion Lionel Spitz improved to 45.25 to win the 400m final. 

At the Dutch Championships in Breda, Tasa Jiya won the 200m title in 22.77 ahead of Femke Bol in 23.05 against a headwind of 2.2 m/s. This was Bol’s first loss at any distance since the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon.

However, Bol did set a lifetime best of 22.88 in the 200m heats. 

European champion Jessica Schilder returned to form with victory in the shot put with 19.35m ahead of Jorinde Van Klinken (18.24m) who went on to win the discus with 64.62m.

Elsewhere around Europe…

Angelina Topic will have realistic ambitions of winning two gold medals at next week’s European Athletics U20 Championships in Jerusalem based on her performances at the Serbian Championships in Kraljevo.

Topic cleared 1.90m in the high jump before three attempts at an outright Serbian record of 1.98m and she displayed her all-around talent by winning the long jump with a lifetime best and European U20 leading mark of 6.58m. 

At the Czech Championships in Tabor, Ondrej Macik won the 200m in a Czech record of 20.39 and Lada Vondrova won the 400m in 51.13 ahead of Lourdes Gloria Manuel whose time of 51.23 was not only a lifetime best but also a European U20 lead. 

In field events, Tomas Stanek won the shot put with 21.13m and Radek Juska won the long jump with 8.15m.

At the Finnish Championships in Lahti, European indoor and outdoor champion Wilma Murto cleared 4.64m in the pole vault and European indoor 60m hurdles champion Reetta Hurske won the 100m hurdles in 12.85 from Lotta Harala in 12.94.

Recently crowned European U23 champion Silja Kosonen won the hammer with 73.54m and Oliver Helander won the javelin with 85.32m. 

Henrik Larsson set a Swedish 100m record of 10.13 in the semifinals at the Swedish Championships before winning the final in 10.20. He also won the 200m in 20.74. Fanny Roos also won the shot put with 19.00m. 

At the Ukrainian Championships in Lutsk, Iryna Gerashchenko won the high jump with 1.97m ahead of Yulia Levchenko with 1.95m. Yaroslava Mahuchikh did not compete. 

At the Belgian Championships in Brugge, recently crowned European U23 200m champion Delphine Nkansa won the 100m title in a heavily wind-assisted 11.03. 

In a rematch of the European Athletics U23 Championships, Sarah Healy outsprinted Sophie O'Sullivan in the last 250 metres of the 1500m final at the Irish Championships in Dublin, 4:11.39 to 4:12.00. 


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