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Men Hammer throw final

Men Hammer throw final

The great tradition of Hungarian hammer throwers is alive and well with its future assured. After Andrea Keri’s victory in the women’s event, 17-year-old Josef Horváth outclassed the men’s contest today despite this afternoon’s boiling temperature of 41 degrees.

When he stepped in the circle for his - and the whole competition’s - last attempt, Horváth knew he would be crowned World Youth Champion.

Horváth was the undoubted favourite for the title here in Debrecen.

Not only did he set a new championships record of 77.72 at his first attempt in the qualifying round but he also had the best career performance of today’s finalists.

Throwing in sixth position, Horváth opened with a massive 80.11m a new championships record and what would remain the only throw beyond the 80-metre line.

Horváth could have bettered this mark at both his fourth and fifth tries when the 5-kilogram hammer landed well beyond the 80-metre mark. But carried away by his rotation speed, he couldn’t help fouling.

Silver went to South Africa’s Werner Smit whose best attempt was measured at 79.48m while bronze was awarded to Russia’s Kirill Ikonnikov who set a new personal best of 77.75m.

A native of Szombathely, Horváth said after his victory: “It was a real boost for me to learn that Andrea Keri won gold yesterday. The technical result isn’t exactly what I expected, I would have liked to thrown a new personal best (83.29m) but throwing over 80 metres was enough for me today.”

Horváth will take part in next week’s European Junior Championships in Grosseto where the hammer will weigh 7.267 kg, with which Horváth has a personal best of 68 metres.

Horváth who grabbed a Hungarian flag and went for a loudly applauded lap of honour, was given a standing ovation by the crowd.

“I would like to thank the crowd for supporting me today, the people of Debrecen were truly fantastic.”