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A Discus Battle in Kuortane

This was a competition with plenty of good throwers and it turned out to be very exciting. Besides Daniel and Simon, there was the 2016 Olympic champion Christoph Harting and Guðni Valur Guðnason--the kid who broke my Icelandic record last year. The main guy to keep an eye on, though, was Kristjan Čeh, the best young thrower since Lawrence Okoye. In 2011, when Lawrence was only nineteen, he threw 67.63m. The next year, he threw 68.24m. Kristjan topped that last year when he threw 68.75m as a twenty-year-old, and already in May this year he broke sixty-nine meters.

The conditions in Kuortane were nothing special, no great discus wind, so I was very happy when Simon threw 67.39m, his best effort since setting a huge PB of 69.48m in May. His series was very good, too: 65.19m, 65.36m, 67.39m, foul, foul, 65.33m. He showed once again that he has the capacity to throw very far as his technique and rhythm improve. The big drama, though, involved Daniel and Kristjan. Lately, Daniel has been getting closer to throwing less like a Caterpillar tractor and more like a discus thrower. Our goal on this day was to throw with extreme smoothness, and he for sure made progress at that.

He opened with 63.61m and then a foul, but I could tell he had some big throws in him. He was generating a lot of power, and he just needed to stay calm and throw with rhythm. Meanwhile, Kristjan went 67.81m on his second attempt, and then 70.35m on his third! This made it not so easy to throw with extreme smoothness. When someone hits a big throw like that, it is only natural to get crazy and try to kill your next one, but Daniel kept things nice and easy and went 69.99m. Kristjan fouled in round four, and Daniel improved to 70.21m. It is not usual to be in second place after a throw like that, but when the world is your playing field you have to expect surprises. The only thing you can do is prepare and focus on things you have power over.

Kristjan hit 68.54m on his fifth throw, and Daniel fouled. Kristjan showed that his 70.35m was no accident by throwing 70.22m on his final attempt, and that left Daniel with one final chance to respond. He took the win with a throw of 70.55m.

This was, I think, the first time that two people threw over seventy meters since Virgilius Alekna beat Gerd Kanter 71.56m to 70.96m in Kaunas in 2007. My takeaway from this meeting was that, one, Daniel and Simon both showed capacity for bigger throws in the future, and two, Kristjan Čeh is for real. To throw a PB against the World champion is impressive, and he himself is likely to be a future champion if things keep going as they have.

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Our athletes in 2021

DISCUS THROW
 
1 Daniel Stahl 70.55m  
2 Simon Pettersson 69.48m  
3 S.M. Skagestad 62.99m  
       
SHOT PUT  
1 Marcus Thomsen 21.09m  
       
1 Fanny Roos 19.34m