Shot put winner Konrad Bukowiecki at the European Junior Championships (© Getty Images)
Polish shot putter Konrad Bukowiecki provided the highlight from the first two days of competition at the European Junior Championships held in the Swedish town of Eskilstuna.
Heavy rain in the first two rounds of the shot put final left Bukowiecki throwing some way below his best but, taking advantage of the improving conditions in the third round, the world junior champion sent the junior 6kg implement out to 22.62m to break David Storl’s championship record by 22 centimetres.
To underline Bukowiecki’s supremacy in the junior ranks, his last four throws would have all won the competition by more than a metre but in better conditions, the 18-year-old is confident he would have even surpassed the world junior record which stands to New Zealand’s Jacko Gill at 23.00m.
“If it wasn’t raining, I’m sure I could have thrown over 23 metres,” said Bukowiecki, although he does still have another season left in the junior ranks to claim this record.
Bukowiecki is no stranger to throwing with the senior 7.26kg implement and the ambitious Pole, whose lifetime best with this shot stands at 20.46m, is aiming to reach the final at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing next month, having also made the final at the European Indoor Championships back in March.
Romania’s Andrei Toader was a distant second with 20.78m.
In the men’s hammer final, Bence Halasz continued Hungary’s excellent tradition in the event with gold in a championship record of 79.60m.
Spain's Miguel Alberto Blanco came close to eclipsing the Hungarian with his final-round effort of 79.05m with Croatia’s Matija Greguric taking bronze with 77.35m.
Russia tops medal standings after second day
Russia claimed nine medals on the opening two days of competition in Eskilstuna, including a clean sweep of the medals in the women’s 10,000m race walk on the first morning of competition.
Klavdiya Afanasyeva moved away from Mariya Losinova with three kilometres remaining to claim the title in 43:36.88.
Olga Shargina finished second with 44:01.08 while Losinova, who led through halfway in close to world junior record pace, drifted back to third in 44:07.44.
The 10,000m race walk was first staged in 2001 and, since then, Russian walkers have claimed 17 of the 24 medals on offer.
Valentina Kosolapova was by far the second-ranked of the Russians heading into the triple jump final but she claimed the title with her second-round jump of 13.27m to defeat team-mate Kristina Malaya by two centimetres.
“It’s a great win and a great late birthday present,” said Kosolapova, who turned 18 on Saturday. “This is only the beginning.”
Ryapolov gets more gold
Most of the triple jumpers were some way off their best but the top five in the men’s long jump final all set or equalled their PBs.
Russia’s 2013 world youth champion Anatoliy Ryapolov’s opener of 7.78m came under some pressure over the course of the final but the Russian extended his lead with his fifth-round jump of 7.96m.
Two years after winning silver in the 100m at the IAAF World Youth Championships, Great Britain’s Ojie Edoburun went one better in his final year as a junior.
Edoburun pulled away from his fast-starting team-mate Joseph Dewar in the last 40 metres to claim the title in 10.36 against a -1.0m/s headwind. Dewar finished 0.10 down in silver while the hosts claimed a bronze medal courtesy of Emil von Barth in 10.64.
The pre-event favourite also lived up to her billing in the women’s equivalent with 17-year-old Ewa Swoboda, a European indoor finalist over 60m this spring, claiming the title for Poland in 11.52 into a -1.2m/s headwind.
There was also a British one-two in the women’s 400m final with Laviai Nielsen claiming the title in 52.58 ahead of Cheriece Hylton in 53.16.
As an aside, Laviai’s twin sister Lina finished eighth in 54.72 while Cheriece’s twin sister Shannon comfortably qualified for the 200m semi-finals in 23.24.
Caroline Agnou added more than 400 points to her Swiss junior record to win the European junior heptathlon title.
The 19-year-old led by more than 150 points after the first day before consolidating her lead with a 6.28m long jump and a 49.34m javelin in the fifth and sixth events.
After closing an excellent two days with a 2:23.90 800m, Agnou improved her Swiss junior record from 5722 to 6123 and claimed the qualifying standard for the IAAF World Championships in Beijing for good measure.
Steven Mills for the IAAF