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Mykolas Alekna's Ascension Continues - He Beats the Olympic Champ in Stockholm

The Cal freshman breaks his own mark for the longest discus throw by a teen-ager.

In his first throw at a Diamond League competition, Cal freshman Mykolas Alekna merely broke the meet record in the 55th edition of the Bauhaus Galan meet at  Stockholm, Sweden.

Alekna wound up finishing second in the competition at the 110-year-old Stockholm Olympic Stadium on Thursday night, but his throw of 229 feet, 0 inches (69.81 meters) was the longest ever by a teen-ager. Along the way, the 19-year-old beat the reigning Oympic champion.

His throw also is the longest by a college athlete in any competition, although it won’t count as the NCAA record because it was outside of a collegiate setting. Alekna’s previous best was 226-4 (69.00 meters), which he made last weekend to win the Lithuanian national championship.

Alekna climbed to No. 3 on the 2022 world list and will move up to No. 31 on the all-time world chart.

As Cal throws coach Mo Saatara said this week, Alekna appears to be “a once-in-a-lifetime talent.”

Kristjan Ceh, a 23-year-old from Slovenia, uncorked a throw of 229-8 (70.02) in the fifth of six rounds to pass Alekna and win the meet. Ceh, who stands 6-foot-9, has a longer throw this season.

Sweden’s Daniel Stahl, 30, who owns the world-leading mark this season and won gold at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, finished third with a mark of 221-8 (67.57). Alekna faced Stahl at the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif., back in April, and Stahl prevailed by a margin of nearly 3 1/2 feet. On Thursday, Alekna won by more than 7 feet.

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Alekna’s subsequent throws on Thursday were: 222-5 (67.80), 220-6 (67.20), 220-6 (67.21), 221-8 (67.57) and 213-8 (65.14).

Ceh fouled on three of his first four attempts before unleashing his winning mark. Likewise, Stahl had two foul throws among his six.

Alekna will return to the Bay Area to continue training with Saatara in preparation for the World Championships at Eugene, Oregon. The prelim round will be held on July 17, with the finals set for July 19.

The son of two-time Olympic champion Virgilius Alekna broke the collegiate record three times this season and was undefeated against college rivals until finishing second at the NCAA championships.

Meanwhile, American-raised Swedish pole vaulter Mondo Duplantis set a world outdoor record of 20 feet, 2 1/2 inches (6.16 meters) two years after his 6.15 clearance toppled Sergey Bubka's 1994 world record of 6.14.

Cover photo of Mykolas Alekna by Ben Lonergan, Eugene Register-Guard

Follow Jeff Faraudo of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jefffaraudo