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Storl's triple gold as Tamberi, Mamona and Fajdek seal title glory

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  • Storl's triple gold as Tamberi, Mamona and Fajdek seal title glory

David Storl today showed what makes a true champion when he became the first man to win the shot put three times at the European Athletics Championships.

Having led after round two here in the Olympic Stadium in Amsterdam with 21.03m, he then saw Poland's European No. 1 Michal Haratyk produce 21.19m in round four to snatch top spot from him.

As one of four men to have won this title twice, Storl had flirted with history when in charge and he was not going to be beaten.

He had suffered a foul in round four before approaching the circle slowly for his next go and what an effort it was. Spinning and launching the device with precision, he took it to 21.31m, the gold medal and the best in Europe this year, replacing the 21.23m in which Haratyk had dominated the rankings.


Storl had been alongside Iceland's Gunnar Huseby (1946, 1950), Hungary's Vilmos Varju (1962, 1966) and East Germany's Harmut Briensenick (1971, 1974) and Udo Beyer (1978, 1982) as a double men's champion but now he stands alone as the greatest European in the event.

When the pressure was on, Storl, a double world champion and also the European indoor champion, never cracked, delivering with style to land this hat-trick in front of a full house.

'My last season was really good but this year it has been a little bit harder,' said Storl. 'But this result helps me...and it wasn't yet what I had expected to do.'

Haratyk, who only made his international debut at the world indoors in Portland in March, was delighted and said: 'This is the biggest step in my career and I am happy. It's an unexpected result and I am a bit surprised.'

Patricia Mamona last set the Portuguese national triple jump record with 14.52m four years ago but what a stage to improve it and what emotion as she digested her success.

Entering the last round, Mamona had three fouls out of her five jumps with a best of 14.38m not guaranteeing her a place on the podium but then she took the event by the scruff of the neck and leaped 14.58m to overtake long-time leader Hanna Minenko, of Israel.


Minenko had been in charge from the third round with 14.51m which was her only legal effort. It gave her silver with Greece's Paraskevi Papahristou taking bronze with 14.47m.

Mamona was ecstatic with her win and said: 'I can hardly believe it. I am shaking and my heart is beating so fast. I am going through so many emotions. I felt good and knew I could jump far. My last jump was literally everything or nothing but it ended up being everything.'

Italian high jumper Gianmarco Tamberi is one the great showmen of track and field, competing with a beard only on the left side of his face, but he has the substance to go with the style.

For the second time this year Tamberi is a major gold medallist, adding European glory to his world indoor triumph, and winning without knocking the bar over.

Tamberi cleared 2.19m, 2.24m, 2.29m and 2.32m with no trouble, raising his right hand in delight to the crowd cheering him on when he went over the last of those four heights.


He was in control of the competition and gold became his once Great Britain's 2012 European champion Robbie Grabarz failed with his last go at 2.32m. But he won silver on countback with 2.29m, as bronze was shared by his teammate Chris Baker, with a personal best, and Germany's Eike Onnen.

Tamberi, who then missed out on his three attempts at 2.40m as he looked to break his outdoor best of 2.37m, said: 'I was in good shape today. When I started jumping, I had a good feeling.'

After putting himself through the nervous scenario of needing his final throw to qualify for the final, Poland's Pawel Fajdek left no room for error as he won his first European hammer gold.

The Polish double world champion would have won the title with any of his six throws, the first reaching 80.46m which would have been such a deflating feeling for the rest of the field, seeing him in such form.

He then threw 78.85m, 79.09m and 80.37m, before going even further in round five with 80.93m, his best of the day, before ending with 79.69.

It looked like it was going to be a Polish one-two as Wojciech Nowicki had cleared 77.53m but then with his final throw, Belarusian Ivan Tikhon improved on his opening round 76.60m with 78.84m to take silver.

Fajdek said: 'I threw over 80 metres and have the gold but I wasn't feeling excellent.'

And Tikhon said: 'I am in a happy mood - sport gives you an amazing rush.'

The people of Amsterdam would surely agree after an amazing five days of these European Athletics Championships.

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