The shot put competition was held today and provided the first gold medal of the 2014 European Athletics Championships.
David Storl of Germany, hot off personal bests this season in the shot put, got the proverbial party going with his 21.41 meter opener. And that was all that was needed. Storl fouled in round 2, round 3 and threw 20.75m for round four. His fifth round foul was followed by a 20.98 meter throw, again good enough for the victory. The two time World Champion in the shot put continues his domination of European shot put.
Borja Vivas of Spain threw 20.01m on his first throw, and then, 20.86 meters to move himself into second place. He continued to battle, looking for a throw to challenge Storl, but it would go no farther, that fickle sixteen pounds of steel. Vivas threw 20.01m, 20.86m, 20.59m, 20.69, a foul, and then, 20.38m for good measure. The silver was the Spaniards!
In third, Tomasz Majewski, Poland, the two time Olympic gold medalist, something not done since 1956, battled more against himself. A perfectionist, one could see Majewski self criticizing, looking for a better throw. He opened with 20.56m, then, his 20.83m got him into bronze medal position, and then, 20.65m, 20.76m, 20.57m and 20.50m.
In fourth was Stipe Zunic, Croatia, with a pb of 20.68m, and in fifth was Asmir Kolasinic, Serbia, who threw 20.55m in the sixth round. Sixth place was Jan Marcel, Czech Republic, in 20.38m.
After the competition, David Storl said: “The first attempt was really good for a start, to get into the competition and also for a win. But then I lost my line and tried to attack by force. But that’s when it got difficult. I lost my line completely and I am very upset about this and angry with myself. From the second attempt on I did many mistakes which I normally never do. So, yes, I am upset despite the gold medal because I am an athlete and therefore I always compare myself to my own performances. But of course I achieved my main aim which was to defend my title. But I also felt quite lonesome leading alone without anybody seriously attacking me. Now I will stay some more days in Zurich and enjoy the championships before I go home.”
Borja Vivas, noted of his silver medal; ” ‘m very surprised – I was fighting for the bronze medal and to get second, I’m happy and also it’s great to beat Tomasz (Majewski). I will now celebrate with friends and family who have come out here to support me.”
And Tomasz Majewski, noted, of his bronze medal: “Of course, silver would be better. I would be more satisfied even if I know there are still a couple of things to improve. I am a bit disappointed now because the throws were not bad. But what we can do. I wanted to show off in better style but I could not feel it in the first attempts. It is hard to describe it because it is very small difference between a good and worse attempt. This is not the end of Tomasz Majewski, I will still work hard in the trainings.”
A fine competition, and a great opening final for the European Championships!
Larry Eder has had a 50-year involvement in the sport of athletics. Larry has experienced the sport as an athlete, coach, magazine publisher, and now, journalist and blogger. His first article, on Don Bowden, America's first sub-4 minute miler, was published in RW in 1983. Larry has published several magazines on athletics, from American Athletics to the U.S. version of Spikes magazine. He currently manages the content and marketing development of the RunningNetwork, The Shoe Addicts, and RunBlogRun. Of RunBlogRun, his daily pilgrimage with the sport, Larry says: "I have to admit, I love traveling to far away meets, writing about the sport I love, and the athletes I respect, for my readers at runblogrun.com, the most of anything I have ever done, except, maybe running itself."
Theme song: Greg Allman, " I'm no Angel."
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