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Vicente and Nacheva to renew rivalry at the Youth Olympic Games

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Some 26 individual gold medallists from the 2018 European Athletics U18 Championships in Gyor, Hungary from July are on the provisional entry-lists for the third edition of the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina later this month.

The Youth Olympic Games takes place between 6-18 October with the athletics programme to run between 11-16 October. Many athletes competing at the Youth Olympic Games will also be contending for medals next year at the European Athletics U20 Championships in Boras, Sweden from 18-21 July.

The girls’ triple jump was one of the highlights of the European U18 Championships and Spain’s Maria Vicente and Bulgaria’s Aleksandra Nacheva will renew their developing rivalry in Buenos Aires.

Vicente, who set a world U18 best to win the heptathlon, won her second gold medal in Gyor with the last jump of the final - 13.95m to Nacheva’s 13.88m - although the Bulgarian topped the podium the following week at the World U20 Championships with a lifetime best of 14.19m, just six centimetres shy of the world age-16 best.

The second world U18 best at the European U18 Championships was set in the hammer by Myhaylo Kokhan, one of two Ukrainians looking to complete the full set of U18 titles in Buenos Aires. Kokhan surpassed his idol Bence Halasz’ world U18 best in Gyor with 87.82m with the 5kg implement, the longest throw ever recorded with any implement.

High jumper Yaroslava Mahuchikh also begins as the outstanding favourite to win her fourth international U18 title in the space of 15 months. After winning gold at the IAAF World U18 Championships and European Youth Olympic Festival last year, Mahuchikh cleared 1.94m at the European U18 Championships to win by 11 centimetres.

There could be a Ukrainian double in the hammer as Valeriya Ivanenko will be looking to follow up her title at the European U18 Championships with her second accolade of the season. Ivanenko warmed up for Buenos Aires by recording a lifetime best of 75.80m with the 3kg implement at a three-way international match in Lutsk last month, falling narrowly short of the world U18 best of 76.04m.

Another world U18 leader in action is Poland’s Marek Mucha. The 17-year-old won the European U18 javelin title with the 700g implement in Gyor with 80.01m which puts him at the top of the world U18 lists by nearly three metres.

On the track, prospective stars of the Youth Olympic Games include reigning world and European U18 champion Barbora Malikova from Czech Republic in the girls’ 400m while Iceland’s Gudbjorg Jona Bjarnadottir, who won the 100m title in Gyor, will be contesting the 200m in Buenos Aires.

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