Slovenian discus thrower Kristjan Ceh (© Peter Kastelic)
Little more than two weeks after breaking the long-standing Slovenian discus record, European U23 champion Kristjan Ceh added more than two metres to the mark with his 68.75m victory in Maribor on Tuesday (23).
The 21-year-old, who stands at 2.06m (6ft 9in) tall, opened his series with a foul before landing a valid 67.71m in round two, smashing his previous PB of 66.29m. He then registered another foul but launched his discus out to 68.75m in round four to add another metre to his best. After one more foul in round five, he completed his series with 68.63m.
Not only is Ceh’s mark a Slovenian record, it is also the farthest throw ever achieved by someone in the U23 age group, bettering the previous best of 68.60m set by Wolfgang Schmidt in 1976.
“It’s unbelievable,” he said. “I never dreamed I’d achieve the results I’m setting now. I can be proud and so is my whole team. But I think regular throws of about 64-65 meters are realistic goals this year. Long throws just happen. The wind helped a little today and I took advantage of the good conditions.
“At the beginning of the season, I wasn't aware of the results I was achieving. Now I feel it more,” added Ceh, who will face world bronze medallist Lukas Weisshaidinger in his next two competitions in St Polten on 27 June and Eisenstadt on 2 July. “I'm doing well in training and the competitions are proving it. Today I had a very good throw right at the beginning, then two more that were better. I don't know what my limits are; we will see what will happen in next few years.”
The discus is one athletics discipline that hasn’t suffered too badly during the current pandemic. Given that athletes and officials naturally keep their distance in this event, low-key competitions have been able to go ahead with relatively few problems.
World discus champion Daniel Stahl, for example, threw a world-leading 70.25m last weekend with his fellow Swede Simon Pettersson setting a PB of 67.10m in second place. Jamaica’s Fedrick Dacres threw 69.67m earlier in the year, while Weisshaidinger has also been throwing well, setting a season’s best of 68.63m a few weeks ago.
With four men throwing beyond 68 metres so far this year, the standard at the top of the world list is already better than it was in 2019.
Elsewhere in Maribor, World University Games triple jump silver medallist Neja Filipic broke through the 14-metre barrier for the first time in her career. The 25-year-old, who recently set a long jump PB of 6.56m, sailed out to 14.22m (0.5m/s).
Jon Mulkeen for World Athletics