4 August 14:55 (BST)

Women’s throws: Croatia’s PERKOVIC poised to make history

BERLIN - Four defending champions will be favourites for the women’s throwing events at the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships.

Sandra PERKOVIC (CRO), Anita WLODARCZYK (POL), Christina SCHWANITZ (GER) and Tatsiana KHALADOVICH (BLR) have won 10 gold medals among them at previous European championships and all four lead the 2018 European lists.

PERKOVIC will be going for an unprecedented fifth successive discus title. The 28-year-old has achieved the best five throws in the world this year.

Host nation Germany will provide three of her main challengers in the shape of Shanice CRAFT, Nadine MULLER and new star, 21-year-old Claudina VITA.

In the shot put, SCHWANITZ is aiming to make it three in a row, having returned to the sport this summer after giving birth to twins last year. She set a European-leading mark of 20.06m in July, showing that at 32 she has lost none of her power.

SCHWANITZ will face tough opposition from Paulina GUBA (POL) and Aliona DUBITSKAYA (BLR), who have both thrown beyond 19m.

Anita WLODARCZYK could receive the perfect birthday present in Berlin if she wins a fourth consecutive European hammer title two days after turning 33.

The dominant Pole has set the world record a number of times, most recently in 2016 with 82.98m, and no other European has been within three metres in 2018.

Tatsiana KHALADOVICH set the Belarusian record when she threw 66.34m to win European javelin gold in Amsterdam in 2016. The 27-year-old improved that to 67.47m at the 2018 Bislett Games in Oslo, the longest by any European this year.

Germany’s Christin HUSSONG and Martina RATEJ, now 36, have both thrown more than 66m this year.

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