Round-Up of European Throwing Cup Day 2
Stephen Rice shines at European Throwing Cup in Leiria
The final day of the European Winter Throwing Cup was held in torrential rain in Leiria, Portugal - so bad were the conditions that cancellation was seriously considered.
Stephen Rice's Javelin 3rd place performance in his competitive pool was all the more extraordinary as he smashed his personal best by 3 metres in the Under 23 event with 68.31m. This is a great step forward by Rice and Irish javelin legend Terry McHugh who was advising him on the day says he is ready to go over 70m straight away.
Junior Discus thrower Niamh Fogarty started the day with a very brave performance in an absolute downpour with 46.76m just shy of her personal best and finished well ahead of her ranking in 10th place. This will be very encouraging as she chases qualification towards World Junior Championships this summer.
John Kelly threw 16.98m in the U23 Shot Put for an outdoor personal best and 9th place. This is another positive result for Kelly after his superb indoor performance a few weeks ago in Abbotstown.
Sean Breathnach 17.62m and 8th place in the senior Shot Put was also positive and better conditions would have yielded an 18m plus performance. Breathnach moves on to Madrid next weekend for the European Masters Championships with a medal as target.
Michaela Walsh 58.03m 10th place Hammer throw was a combination of two factors - torrential rain and reduced throwing practice due to Leaving Certificate studies. A return to the podium will not be far away after exams have been overcome.
The highlight of the day for all teams in Leiria was to witness Germany’s Johannes Vetter’s incredible javelin throw of 92.70m – one of the longest throws in history.
Overall, team coaches Dave Sweeney and Peter Collins were well satisfied with the weekend's performances and the experience gained for this up and coming group of athletes. Several new alliances were established with leading throws nations with opportunities for young Irish throwers to train with and learn from some of the world's best.