Barely out of the junior ranks, David Storl was a fresh-faced 20-year-old when he competed at his first European Athletics Championships in
. He finished
fourth. Tonight, just four years later, at the ripe old age of 24, the German
part-time policeman made athletics history by becoming the first man ever to
win two shot titles at both European and World Championships cementing his
status as the (almost) unbeatable championships performer. Barcelona
Storl had arrived in
overwhelming favourite and lived up to his billing in the Letzigrund Stadium
with a commanding victory in a contest that never really demanded his best. Zurich
He had improved to 21.97m this year, more than half a metre further than anyone else in the field, and had gone beyond 21.50 in his last four competitions. Not surprisingly, he had the magic 22m mark in mind, and this would have been appropriate setting for it, with Swiss great Werner Günthör’s championships record a realistic target at 22.22m.
But Storl didn’t get close to those distances this evening, and never needed to, his first round effort of 21.41 enough to secure the first gold of the 22nd European Athletics Championships.
Photo: ©Getty Images