European Cup Winter Throwing was born in 2001. From them till 2004 it was primary known as European Throwing Challenge. Long throwers (discus, hammer and javelin ones) never had the opportunity of participating in international competitions during winter due to these disciplines cannot be held in indoor facilities. European Cup has fulfilled this empty. Competition is very well fixed in the international calendar and is always held in March. This fact maintained motivation and preparation of international throwers during winter with the aim of competing in the Cup. In addition, shot put, an event that is also programmed in indoor competitions, is joined to the trio of long throwings.
Cup has been traditionally held in countries with a favorable climate during winter. The first edition was disputed in French city of Niza, second in Pula in the Croatian cost, and then it moved to Gioia Tauro, in the South of Italy. In 2004 it was disputed in Malta and next year, under the new name of European Cup, in the Turkish city of Mersin. Next sites included Tel Aviv (2006), in the first international competition celebrated in Israeli soil; Yalta (2007), in the Ukrainian coastal side of the Black Sea, and Split, again in Croatia (2008). In 2009 the Cup was celebrated for the first time in Spain, in Tenerife, specifically in Los Realejos stadium and Puerto de la Cruz throwing facility. This was the first international competition held in Canarias soil. Arles, in the French Blue Coast, was the venue of this competition in 2010. In 2011 Sofia, Bulgarian capital, was the site and finally last edition was celebrated in Bar, in Montenegro, also the first international competition organized in this new country.
In 2007 Under'23 category was included in the competition. In addition, European Cup has also countries classification despite other athletes could compete in an individual basis. This classification till 2006 was obtained by the sum of points of the performances. Two athletes by country and event were taken into consideration and the country must summed in the four events. Starting in 2007, with the inclusion of the Under'23 competition, only an athlete per event is taken into consideration, always with the condition of sum in the four throws. There are men and women classification, in absolute category and in the Under'23.
By countries, the main success one in history of this competition has been Russia, with 18 golds medals by teams. Half of the titles disputed during these years have been for the Russians who have summed a total of 32 medals. Germany has achieved a total of 21 medals, 6 of them golds. Ukraine follows with 13 medals (8 golds). Italy with 15 medals but only 1 gold and Belarus, country with a very long tradition in throwings, with 8 medals. In total, 13 countries have gained medals by teams.
The main outstanding athlete of the competition is Estonian Gerd Kanter, who has achieved six victories in discus throw during 2003 and 2009. Kanter was Olympic champion in 2008 and world champion in 2007. Dutch athlete Rutger Smith dominated four times the shot put (2003 to 2008). Also Hungarian hammer thrower Krisztian Pars has won three times the competition from 2004 to 2011, an athlete who proclaimed last year European and Olympic champion in this discipline. Other illustrious European throwers who have known the victory in this competition included Slovenian Primoz Kozmus, hammer winner in 2007 and Olympic champion in 2008, or Polish Szymon Zyolkowski, winner in 2006 and Olympic champion in 2000.
Among women, eight athletes share the honor of having the highest number of victories. These are Belarus Nadezhda Ostapchuk and Ukrainian Vita Pavlysh in the shot put; German Nadine Müller and Romanian Nicoleta Grasu in discus; in hammer Moldavian Zalina Marghieva and in javelin Ukrainian Vira Rebryk, German Steffi Nerius and Russian Mariya Abakumova. We must also underline winners of the European Cup and also Olympic champions: Russian Natalya Sadova in discus, Russian hammer thrower Olga Kuzenkova and Polish hammer thrower Kamilia Skolimowska, winner in 2005 and who have conquered the Olympic title the previous year.