Asmir Kolasinac created history to earn Serbia their first ever gold medal – in fact it was also a first ever podium position – at a European Athletics Indoor Championships in Göteborg with a masterful performance!
The 28-year-old Serb, who had won a bronze medal at last summer’s European outdoor championships, had led the qualifiers into yesterday’s final and backed up that performance when it counted by producing the four longest throws of the competition.
In the final assessment Kolasinac’s fourth round throw of 20.62m was his best, however after leading with his first legitimate throw of the competition in round two (20.60m) he never looked likely to cede control of the final.
In silver, Hamza Alic claimed a maiden European Athletics Indoor Championship medal for Bosnia-Herzegovnia courtesy of a lifetime best effort of 20.34m in round four. Ladislav Prasil of the Czech Republic secured the bronze with 20.29m. There was disappointment for defending champion Ralf Bartels of Germany who has to settle for fourth with a season’s best of 20.16m.
Alic raised his arms aloft after opening with a season’s best 20.15m in round one to take an early lead in an otherwise forgettable first round, which witnessed just three other legitimate throws.
However, round two saw the final step up a notch as Kolasanic stamped his mark on the competition with a season’s best 20.60m. Portugal’s Marco Fortes also shifted into the bronze medal position with a respectable 19.90m.
Kolasinac looked frustrated with a 20.21m effort in round three. Meanwhile, Prasil elevated himself into provisional silver with 20.29m. At the halfway stage it was Kolasinac from Prasil with Alic in bronze.
An otherwise low-key final stepped up in class in round four. The first significant move was made by Alic, who switched podium positions with Prasil to move into silver with a personal best effort 20.34m. Kolasinac, meanwhile, further strengthened his grip on the final by improving his best by 0.02 out to 20.62m.
The penultimate round saw Prasil’s bronze medal position come under threat. Fortes of Portugal went out to 20.02m to briefly move into fourth until Ralf Bartels re-took that spot with 20.16m. Meanwhile, Kolasinac achieved his third longest distance of the day with 20.51m.
The final round was a little bit of a damp squib as there was no change to the overall placings. But perhaps appropriately the final word belonged to Kolasinac with a 20.49m effort.