Torsten Hülsemann Wins Inaugural IHGF European Lightweight Championships

Continuing its pattern of opening up traditional Highland Games to more competitors, the IHGF held its first ever European Lightweight Championships.

Here’s the podium from the 2014 IHGF European Lightweight Championships: L., Stefan Dumitrica (second place); c., Torsten Hülsemann (first place); and r., Lukas Prettenthaler (third place). IronMind® | Photo courtesy of Torsten Hülsemann
Here’s the podium from the 2014 IHGF European Lightweight Championships: L., Stefan Dumitrica (second place); c., Torsten Hülsemann (first place); and r., Lukas Prettenthaler (third place). IronMind® | Photo courtesy of Torsten Hülsemann

2014 IHGF European Lightweight Championships
by Francis Brebner
CEO, International Highland Games Federation
The inaugural International Highland Games Federation (IHGF) European Lightweight Championships took place in Gyor, Hungary, and ten athletes from five countries made up the field: Torsten Hülsemann (Germany), Stefan Dumitrica (Romania), Lukas Prettenthaler (Austria), Conan Robert Quinn (Scotland), László Szalai (Hungary), Daniel Kiss (Hungary), Brian Harrold (Scotland), Tibor Boda (Hungary), Harry Hancock (Scotland) and Jürgen Garschall (Austria).

The championships got off to a great start in the 16-lb. open stone with Dumitrica nailing the win with a best of an impressive series of throws of 46’ 6”.  Kiss was second with a fine putt of 43’ 1”, and Hülsemann third at 40’ 7”.

Dumitrica dominated in the 28-lb. weight for distance, notching his second victory with a distance of 70’ 5”. Hülsemann followed at 65’ 9” with Quinn third at 54’ 5”.

The 16-lb. hammer was a tussle between Hülsemann and Dumitrica, with the win going to Hülsemann at 94’ 9”, inches ahead of second-place Dumitrica at 94’ 3”; third was Prettenthaler at 85’ 9”.

In the 42-lb. weight over bar, Szalai pulled off the win at a height of 15’ 7”, followed by Hülsemann at 15’ and Prettenthaler at 13’ 7”.

Moving to the 19-lb. Braemar stone, Dumitrica had to work a little harder for the win with Hülsemann snapping at his heels, but Dumitrica prevailed in his specialised event with a win of 39’ 1”. Close behind was Hülsemann at 38’ 7”, with Kiss third at 36’ 4”.

In the 42-lb. weight for distance, Hülsemann cranked it up a gear and lashed out a throw of 37’ 5” to take the win. Dumitrica was second at 33’ 1”and Prettenthaler third at 29’ 7”.

The climax was the 22-lb. hammer, the event that would decide the overall winner. In the first round, Hülsemann let loose with an increasing series of throws, his best being 74’ 5”, more than enough to clinch the championships victory.  Second was Dumitrica at 70’ 2” and third Quinn at 68’.

Dumitrica, Prettenthaler, Quinn, Hancock, and Hülsemann will all compete at the IHGF Lightweight World Championships in Tucson, Arizona on 1 November.

Ádám Darázs of the IHGF and organiser of the IHGF European Lightweight Championships deemed it a good competition overall:  “Our young Hungarian athletes put up a great all-round performance and this is all good for the sport. We look forward to promoting more major IHGF championships in the future. All our events are televised and receive large ratings on TV. The Highland Games are big and growing fast in Hungary and in neighboring countries. The IHGF Stones of Strength and the IHGF Strength Games are a huge hit here on Hungarian TV, and next year we look forward in hosting both of these championships in Hungary. Qualifiers for Canadian and American athletes for both of these events will take place next month in San Clemente, California.    
Overall results:
1.  Torsten Hülsemann (Germany)      65 points
2.  Stefan Dumitrica (Romania)          64
3.  Lukas Prettenthaler (Austria)         50
4.  Conan Robert Quinn (Scotland)    42
5.  László Szalai (Hungary)     41
6.  Daniel Kiss (Hungary)       34
7.  Brian Harrold (Scotland)   25
8.  Tibor Boda (Hungary)       20
9.  Harry Hancock (Scotland) 15
10.  Jürgen Garschall (Austria)  7


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