ESPOO, Finland (July 13) — The 2023 European U23 Athletics Championships witnessed a thrilling performance in the women’s shot put final, with Alida Van Daalen of The Netherlands clinching gold with a European U23 leading mark of 18.32 meters.
This victory adds to Van Daalen’s impressive list of honors in the event, which includes being the European U20 Championships silver medalist in Tallinn in 2021 and the European U18 Championships bronze medalist in Győr in 2018.
Alida Van Daalen Praised Florida Coach After Success
Van Daalen’s winning throw came in the sixth round, capping off a series of consistent performances that saw her surpassing the 18-meter mark three times. The University of Florida representative also threw 18.10m in the third and fifth rounds.
“I have enjoyed every single second of this competition,” said Van Daalen. “My new coach helped me through the shot put because I was a discus thrower when I [went to the USA]. They got me as a discus thrower, and I turned to the shot putter.”
She added: “It has been great and you can see it in the performance. For sure, I was already very strong in the weight room so it was more that my mental health was growing a lot.
“That was the key to turn into the shot put and also to take off the pressure from the discus throw.”
A European U23 silver and PB for Serena Vincent
The silver, meanwhile, went to Serena Vincent of Great Britain, who achieved a personal best of 16.93 meters in the fourth round and also did 16.92m in the second round of the competition.
“I come out of the competition with a silver medal and the PB so I cannot ask for more at the European stage at the moment,” Vincent said.
Emilia Kangas of Finland secured bronze with a throw of 16.75 meters, achieved in round four, while she only had two legal attempts during the contest.
“The overall competition went well, even though I was really nervous,” Kangas said. “I think Van Daalen did a great work. I just love to see her throws- they are one of a kind.”
Other notable performances in the final included Milaine Ammon of Germany, who finished fourth with a throw of 16.11 meters, and Katrin Brzyszkowská of the Czech Republic, who finished fifth with a throw of 16.03 meters.
The European U23 Athletics Championships continue in Espoo, Finland, from July 12-16, 2023.
For more details about the European U23 Athletics Championships, visit the European Athletics Championships site here