Olympic discus champion Gerd Kanter and Betty Heidler, the reigning world champion in the hammer throw, will be the key names at this weekend’s European Cup Winter Throwing competition in Los Realejos on the Spanish island of Tenerife.
The 29-year-old Estonian, the world leader in the discus last year at 71.88m [235-10] and the winner of this event last year, will face a strong field which includes Spainiard Franak Casanas, Russian Bogdan Pischalnikov and Dutchman Rutger Smith, all Olympic finalists in Beijing last year.
Heidler, the 2007 world champion and also an Olympic finalist, faces an equally strong field in the hammer, with Beijing finalists Daryia Pchelnik of Belarus, Manuela Montebrun of France and Italian Clarissa Claretti all on the slate.
Elsewhere, Hungary’s Olympic silver medallist Krisztian Pars leads a field of six who have thrown beyond 80m [262-5] in the men’s hammer throw. Olympic silver medallist Mariya Abakumova of Russia leads the field in the women’s javelin.
Leading contenders in the men’s shot put are Frenchman Yves Niare, who threw a national record at last weekend’s European Indoor Championships, Yuriy Belov of Belarus and Smith, who will be doubling. Multiple world and Olympic medallist Nadezhda Ostapchuk of Belarus leads the field in the women’s shop put.
NOTE: A schedule and start lists are on the event website here: www.losrealejos2009.com.