Mohamed Ibrahim Moaaz in the discus at the IAAF World U20 Championships Bydgoszcz 2016 (Getty Images) © Copyright
Preview Tampere, Finland

Preview: men’s discus – IAAF World U20 Championships Tampere 2018

Mohamed Ibrahim Moaaz will have to overcome some staunch competition to retain the discus title which he won in Bydgoszcz where he was the youngest athlete to reach the final.

Moaaz, who trains at the famous Aspire Academy whose alumni include world high jump champion Mutaz Essa Barshim, leads the world U20 lists with 66.47m but the 19-year-old has also chalked up some notable losses in the build-up to Tampere.

Kristjan Ceh is ranked second to Moaaz but the Slovenian had the better of Moaaz when their paths crossed in an U20 contest in Slovenska Bistrica in May, 64.47m to 64.19m.

Two weeks later, Moaaz suffered a surprise defeat at the Asian U20 Championships in Gifu to Iran’s Hossein Rasouli although he did win the shot put – his secondary event and an event which he won’t be contesting in Tampere.

Cyprus has never won a medal of any description at the World U20 Championships but Giorgis Koniarakis could end this drought. He is third on the world U20 lists with 65.90m and brings a wealth of international experience to this competition. Most recently, he won the Mediterranean U23 Games title, throwing 58.56m with the senior implement.

Another athlete with international credentials to his name is Claudio Romero. Romero created history for Chile by winning his country’s first ever medal with gold at the World U18 Championships in Nairobi last year, although he is four metres down on his best form in 2018 with a best of 58.96m.

And following in the footsteps of his father Virgilijus, Martynas Alekna will be making his international debut for Lithuania in Tampere. At 17, Martynas is not expected to challenge for medals just yet but he is improving rapidly and has already added nine metres to his lifetime best in 2018. In his most recent competition, he threw a lifetime best of 59.26m.

Steven Mills for the IAAF