Athletics: Long jumper Mihambo wins European Championship gold for the second time

Athletics: Long jumper Mihambo wins European Championship gold for the second time
Athletics: Long jumper Mihambo wins European Championship gold for the second time

Germany’s athletes have a lot to celebrate at the end of the European Championships. Especially thanks to Malaika Mihambo, who won the first title for the team. But that’s not the only thing that gives them hope for the Olympics.

Gold medalist Malaika Mihambo grabbed a German flag after winning the title with a world best performance of the year and jumped happily next to the long jump pit. With 7.22 meters and the second best distance of her great career, Mihambo was crowned European champion again at the European Athletics Championships in Rome, just like in Berlin in 2018. The 30-year-old caused the German Athletics Association in Italy to rejoice over her first victory on the final day.

“It’s crazy in some ways. I got goosebumps because it was the second longest jump of my life,” said the Tokyo Olympic champion after the impressive jump in less than perfect conditions. “Then you know you can go even further. Now I’m even more excited about Paris.”

Happy ending for athletes

Led by the outstanding Mihambo, who came second in the European Championships two years ago after a corona infection, Germany’s athletes celebrated a happy ending in the Olympic Stadium. Despite failing to defend his title in the javelin throw after 85.94 meters, Julian Weber proudly flexed his muscles and celebrated with the German flag. “Of course I would have liked to defend my title, but I’m super happy with silver,” said the 29-year-old.

Brilliant relay performances in the men’s 4×100 meters and 4×400 meters secured two bronze medals. “Germany, who would have thought?” said Manuel Sanders from the long relay quartet. More surprising was Oleg Zernikel’s bronze in the pole vault. The athlete from Landau also secured his ticket to the Olympics.

Lückenkemper twice fifth in European Championships

The women’s sprint quartet around double European champion Gina Lückenkemper, who was dethroned in the relay and individual events, was less successful. The Berliner finished fifth in the individual event and also fifth in the 4×100 meter relay.

While Weber had to let the Czech Jakub Vadlejch pass after his last attempt (88.65) after a long lead, Mihambo shocked the competition early on. The three-time Sportswoman of the Year had only jumped further when she won her World Championship title in Doha in 2019. Now she is number 1 in the world, ahead of the American Tara Davis-Woodhall (7.18). Her 21-year-old teammate Mikaelle Assani was just behind the bronze medal despite setting a personal best of 6.91 meters.

Mihambo and Neugebauer as the biggest Olympic hopes

A month and a half before the Olympic Games, Mihambo impressively positioned himself for the fight for gold. Unlike the decathlete Leo Neugebauer, who boasted a German record in the USA, only a small part of the European Championship delegation of over 100 athletes raised hopes of major Olympic honours. Weber is one of them.

Two years after the European Championships summer fairytale in Munich, when Germany led the way with seven golds, seven silvers and two bronzes to become number one, not everything went according to plan in the Eternal City. Unlike the hosts, led by high jump showman Gianmarco Tamberi, whose team celebrated one Italian night after another.

Trend reversal? The Olympics will show

In terms of medals, “we have been in the lower range over many European championships,” said DLV sports director Jörg Bügner, almost a year after the World Championships in Budapest ended in a draw. However, the European Championships are a sign of a small trend reversal.

After winning silver in her comeback to the title fight a good year after the birth of her daughter Lola, Gesa Felicitas Krause mastered an important “milestone” on the way to Paris. Discus throwers, heptathletes and high jumpers were not able to do this. “We have a very good basis, but we must also acknowledge that we have not performed well in certain areas,” said Bügner.

Source: Stern

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Posts