17-year-old Elina Tzengko broke the U20 world record in the women’s javelin throw.
Competing in the U20 Greek National Championships in Ioannina, Tzengko only threw the javelin once, as her throw of 63.96 metres was enough to secure the gold medal.
This world record was previously held by Cuba’s Yulenmis Aguilar, who had a throw of 63.86 metres back in 2015.
This is now the second world record for Tzengko, as she also broke the U18 world record last year (which she no longer holds), also in Ioannina. However, that was done with the 500 gram javelin which is used at the U18 level, while this new record was achieved using the 600 gram javelin (used at the U20 and women’s levels).
Tzengko is not the first Greek to set a world record at the U20 level, as Konstantinos Douvalidis (men’s indoor 60 metres hurdles), Konstantinos Gatsioudis (men’s javelin throw), Ekaterini Stefanidi (women’s pole vault), and Arsenios Tsiminos (men’s 2000 metres steeplechase) have all done so as well in the past.
In addition to setting a new U20 world record, Tzengko is now ranked second all-time amongst Greek female javelin throwers. Only Mirela Manjani, a two-time Olympic medalist, is ahead of Tzengko on that list (with her personal best being 67.51 metres). It should be added that Tzengko won gold at the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics, setting the Youth Olympic record along the way. Tzengko is now the sixth-best performing female javelin thrower in the world for 2020, and is the only one under the age of 25 in the entire top 10.
Furthermore, the Tokyo Olympic qualifying standard for the women’s javelin throw is 64.00 metres, meaning that Tzengko will likely be able to make her Olympic debut next summer at the age of 18. Even if she does not achieve this qualification standard, she would still have a great chance at qualifying via world ranking.
Unfortunately, no results from this year will count towards Olympic qualification (as it has been paused due to COVID-19), but given Tzengko’s constant improvement, it is almost certain that she will qualify.
Prior to this weekend, her personal best was 61.53 metres, achieved just last month in Thessaloniki.
With just under a year to go until next year’s Olympics, the Greek will continue to rise as long as she stays healthy.
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