Recently crowned European U18 champions Jolanda Kallabis from Germany and Niels Laros from the Netherlands were in record-breaking form this weekend.
On Friday (9) evening in Trier, Kallabis clocked 6:07.72 in the 2000m steeplechase to shatter not only the European U18 best of 6:19.23 set by Hungary’s Greta Varga in 2020 but also improve the world U18 best of 6:11.83 held by Ethiopia’s Korahubish Itaa in 2009.
And from a European standpoint, only four European seniors have run faster in history: Gesa Felicitas Krause (5:52.80), Marusa Mismas-Zrimsek (5:56.28), Luiza Gega (6:00.07) and Wioletta Frankiewicz (6:03.37).
Her performance was made all the more impressive as Kallabis - whose father Damian won the European 3000m steeplechase title in Budapest 1998 - didn’t have the luxury of pacemakers and she also stumbled at the final water jump. "The race went perfectly except for a little swim in the last water jump," Kallabis wrote on Instagram.
But despite the abundant early promise Kallabis has shown in the steeplechase, she looks set to drop down in distance as she graduates into the U20 ranks in 2023.
“I would have to run too many kilometers in training for that,” said Kallabis on the prospect of the 3000m steeplechase. "I'm concentrating on the 800 meters now."
Kallabis has a lifetime best of 2:04.65 for the 800m and she leads the European U18 list in the 1500m with 4:14.08. Her range of talents also extends to the 400m hurdles having clocked 59.71.
Laros shatters long-standing European U18 best in the 3000m
The multi-talented Niels Laros rewrote the record books again in Zagreb, Croatia on Sunday (11) evening at the Boris Hanzekovic Memorial.
Having broken Jakob Ingebrigtsen’s European U18 1500m best with 3:39.46 in Luzern less than a fortnight ago, the tall Dutchman took a significant chunk off the long-standing European U18 best in the 3000m.
Still only 17, the European U18 1500/3000m champion broke the eight minute-barrier for the first time in his nascent career with a sparkling 7:48.25 clocking.
Laros became just the second European U18 in history to break the eight minute-barrier in the 3000m and his time smashed the previous U18 best of 7:56.4 set by East Germany’s Hansjorg Kunze all the way back in 1976.
Laros also moves to second on the European U20 all-time list and has two full seasons to challenge the legendary U20 record of 7:43.2 set by Finland's Ari Paunonen in 1977.