Ukraine topped the medal table at the European Throwing Cup in Leiria on 11-12 March.
The Ukrainian team accrued four gold medals across the weekend including gold in the men’s shot put in which Roman Kokoshko - who is based in Portugal under the tutelage of Volodymyr Zinchenko - improved on his breakthrough bronze medal at the Istanbul 2023 European Athletics Indoor Championships.
Kokoshko launched the implement out to an early season European leading mark of 21.52m - also an outdoor lifetime best and the third longest throw of his career - to defeat one of the strongest line-ups of the weekend and land the fourth Ukrainian gold of the weekend.
Luxembourg’s Bob Bertemes, who led at halfway with 21.21m, was eventually shunted down into silver by Kokoshko’s fifth-round winning throw while recently crowned European indoor champion Zane Weir had to settle for third (20.98m). His fifth round throw landed around the 22 metre-mark but Weir could not stay in the circle and the throw wasn’t measured.
The Ukrainian teams also excelled in the U23 competitions which bodes well for the European Athletics U23 Championships which take place in Espoo, Finland later this summer.
Still only 19, Artur Felfner won the U23 javelin by almost eight metres with 80.09m, an effort which also surpassed the winning mark in the senior competition.
And there were also expected Ukrainian victories in the men’s and women’s U23 hammer competitions.
Mykhaylo Kokhan, who has won European titles at U18, U20 and U23 level, defended his U23 title at the European Throwing Cup with 75.80m while his teammate Valeriya Ivanenko-Kyrylina followed suit in the last event of the weekend, winning the U23 women’s hammer with her sixth round throw of 65.51m.
By far the youngest athlete in the field at the age of 18, European U18 champion Mykhaylo Brudin also performed exceptionally well to win silver in the U23 discus with a lifetime best of 58.60m behind Germany’s Steven Richter who set the standard with a lifetime best of 64.23m in the third round.
Full results from the European Throwing Cup can be found here.
The entire Leiria 2023 European Throwing Cup was live streamed on the European Athletics YouTube channel and both days can be replayed here.