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Athletics: Mihambo gold favorite in European Championship final – Weber still strong

Athletics: Mihambo gold favorite in European Championship final – Weber still strong

Two years ago in Munich, Malaika Mihambo won silver at the European Championships despite Corona. This time in Rome, the title seems possible at the end. Javelin thrower Weber also dreams of that. He has to worry a little at first.

In a great mood, Malaika Mihambo signed autographs for fans after her short but brilliant performance in the Olympic Stadium in Rome. With her first seven-meter jump of the year, the 30-year-old catapulted herself into the role of favorite for her second European championship title this Wednesday evening (8:54 p.m./ZDF). It is therefore no wonder that after the jump of 7.03 meters in the first attempt of the qualification, some of the few fans in the otherwise almost empty stadium came to get an autograph from the Olympic champion and two-time world champion on the elevated long jump facility.

Defending champion Julian Weber also whetted his appetite for the big final evening in Rome two years after his triumph in Munich, reaching the final as the best with 85.01 meters – albeit only after two weaker throws in the qualification. All four German relay teams will also be taking part in the European Championship finale after good performances on Tuesday, and 800-meter runner Majtie Kolberg also raised quiet medal hopes.

Mihambo delivers the required distance in the first attempt

The confident performance of competition specialist Mihambo made the biggest impression. One year after her muscle tear, which prevented her from taking part in the World Championships, the model athlete from Heidelberg presented herself as strong as in her best days. The plan to translate her own positive feeling into a valid attempt in a competition worked straight away.

“It was clear to me that my form was good. So I knew that I could go far,” said Mihambo, who was pleased with the seven meters. But it was more important to her to achieve the required distance in the first attempt. For the final, she plans to “of course pick up where I started today.” Mihambo doesn’t want to rest on her laurels after winning the qualification, she wants to start solidly again and then show what she can do.

Two years after she won silver at the European Championships in Munich, which she won while still ill after a corona infection, her chances of winning gold are good. Defending champion and world champion Ivana Spanovic from Serbia is missing, as is European indoor champion Jazmin Sawyers from Great Britain. Mikaelle Assani is the second German in the final.

Weber in the qualification with the best distance

Two Germans, Julian Weber and talented Max Dehning, are also in the medal elimination round in the javelin throw (8:28 p.m.). Weber started relatively weakly with 78.76 meters and 80.18 meters, before showing what he can really do in his last attempt, exceeding the required 82.00 meters by three meters.

Afterwards, Weber shook his head slightly, raised his arms questioningly to himself, before clenching his fist with a smile. “I approached it a little too relaxed. I assumed that I had enough power to be able to clear the 82 meters with a nice, relaxed, technically clean throw,” he reported afterwards. “Then I realized that maybe I should give it a little more gas.”

He doesn’t want to compete on Wednesday with too much self-confidence. Instead, his plan is: “Now I can go full throttle straight away, then I’ll get serious.” 90-meter thrower Max Dehning just managed to qualify for his first major final with 80.52 meters, coming in twelfth and last.

The German sprinters, like Weber, are also competing as defending champions. After changes in line-up, the quartet around Gina Lückenkemper, like the German men who won their heats, are more of an outsider’s chance of winning a medal.

Source: Stern

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