Goldie Sayers came out top performer of the British outfit on show at the European Cup Winter Throwing in Bar, Montenegro, as she received high marks on her second pre-season assignment by means of a further Olympic A qualifier and a new UK leading figure in the javelin this season.

Goldie Sayers in her post-competition interview

The Beijing fourth-placer took some time to get into her rhythm through the competition but got her throwing together in the fourth round to reach 62.75m and improve on her 62.18m opener from Loughborough for an eventual runner-up behind Slovenian Martina Ratej, the current world leading marker setting 63.59m in her second effort.

If there could be an early note of caution for the Briton, that should be pointed out to putting up her average across her series as she couldn’t find her way over the 60m line in any of her other five efforts (X, 57.53, 59.32, 62.75, 59.56, X) – but there is plenty of time for that to be ironed out.

Daegu finalist Brett Morse might have been looking for something more than fifth at a SB and UK leading 61.63m, having flung the overweight 2.5kg implement in the same region in training, but had to endure a long wait before he clicked into gear in his very last effort of a competition convincingly won by Dutchman Eric Cadee at a SB of 64.09m.

Yet, the Welshman can still be content with a distance that was over 2m on his respective outing last year, his series 56.68, 59.22, X, 58.36, X, 61.63, whereas Chris Scott struggled down in last place at only 56.78m.

Coming on the back of a potential world indoor best of 58.97m in Vaxjo, Jade Nicholls found the particular discus circle tough going, just like Scott, to languish down in ninth place at a third-round 56.92m in the women’s A competition with three fouls to her account.

But it’s very much about blowing away some winter cobwebs at the moment and she has got to wait for all components of her performance to fall in place, as has Eden Francis who opened her discus account with 54.85m in the B pool.

Global silver medallist Nadine Muller (GER), though, has come out all guns blazing this season to fire a thunderous warning to her major rivals with a last-round early PB of 68.89m, the farthest mark set worldwide since Irina Yatsenko‘s 69.14 in 2004, backed up by an earlier marginally lower intermediate PB of 68.81m and two more throws in the 67m, displaying frightening form and consistency.

Croatian European champion Sandra Perkovic, returning from a ban, was no slouch either to show that she has lost none of her throwing prowess by way of a 67.19m to clinch the U23 competition as the event looks to be working up to an exciting prospect in view of the Olympics.

Francis suffered a nightmare showing in the women’s shot on the opening day as she could only register a mere valid attempt of 16.03m to finish way down in 14th place as red-hot favourite Nadzeya Ostapchuk comfortably asserted herself with a last-gasp 20.29m topping out a consistent series ahead of Germany’s Nadine Kleinert (19.12).

Portoguese Marco Fortes made amends for a disappointing world indoor campaign in Istanbul, crashing out of the final, as he put an outdoor world-leading and national record of 21.02m at his third attempt in the men’s edition.

In the women’s hammer, Sarah Holt placed a useful second in the B group at 64.17m in her third attempt behind Tereza Kralova‘s (CZE) 66.13m while Moldova’s Zalina Marghieva served up a major upset on world champion Tatyana Lysenko (RUS) by landing a national record of 73.60m against the latter’s 72.87m, with France’s Stephanie Falzon third at 72.60m in a close tussle.

Alex Smith slotted in a decent fifth spot in the men’s equivalent A pool where Russia’s Kiril Ikonnikov prevailed at 75.95m as men struggled to meet their standards on the first day, with Scot Mark Dry getting the win in the B competition out of a 69.69m best on the day.

Closing out the British entries, Merwyn Luckwell and Lee Doran suffered below par displays with 74.98 and 73.73m for sixth and eighth in the senior men’s javelin well down on Turkey’s Avan Fatih who turned out the only marker over 80m with a SB of 81.09m.


Meanwhile, Oklahoma-based U20 Nick Miller hurled a big PB of 72.80m with the junior implement (6kg) to win at the Tulsa Duels in Stillwater and go top of the UK respective charts for an encouraging opener to the season. His previous best was down to 66.79m from two seasons ago at the UK U23 Championships in Bedford.