Antigoni Ntrismpioti collected another title this weekend at the Balkan Race Walking Championships in Antalya, Turkey on Sunday (9).
The double European champion from Munich 2022 won the 20km race walk title in 1:29:56 to win by a clear distance - along one kilometre - from former European U20 champion Meryem Bekmez from Turkey in 1:33:49.
Now 39, Ntrismpioti’s main target this year is the World Athletics Championships in Budapest this August but the veteran Greek race walker also has her sights set on the upcoming European Race Walking Team Championships in Podebrady on 21 May.
It was at that biennial competition in 2021 when Ntrismpioti came to wider attention by winning the inaugural staging of the 35km race walk to become the first ever Greek gold medallist at the European Race Walking Team Championships.
Ntrismpioti followed suit by winning the first ever staging of the 35km race walk at the Munich 2022 European Athletics Championships before taking a come-from-behind victory in the 20km race walk.
Ntrismpioti, who has been training in Australia this winter, was one of four individual Greek winners in Antalya. Former European U18 silver medallist Olga Fiaska won the 35km race walk in 2:58:44 and Alexandros Papamichail won the men’s event in 2:37:25.
Anastasia Antonopoulou also won the U20 women’s 10km title in 48:45.
Alekna opens with a world leading 68.39m in Berkeley
Fellow European champion Mykolas Alekna from Lithuania also began his season in auspicious form.
The 20-year-old, who also won silver at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon and was crowned 2022 Rising Star at the Golden Tracks last October, achieved a world leading mark of 68.39m in the discus at the Brutus Hamilton Invitational in Berkeley, California on Saturday (8).
In the hammer, Great Britain’s European U23 fourth-placer Anna Purchase added almost three metres to her lifetime best with 73.02m to finish second behind Canada’s Camryn Rogers who set a world lead of 77.30m.
In San Diego on Friday (7), European shot put bronze medallist Jorinde Van Klinken from the Netherlands achieved the second best mark of her career so far in the discus with 67.05m.
Olympic champion Valarie Allman from the United States won the competition with an excellent early season world leading mark of 70.25m.