Reigning European and world long jump champion Malaika Mihambo said at the pre-event press conference that she was aiming to surpass the seven metre-line at the ISTAF Indoor in Berlin on Friday (14) and she duly delivered in front of her home audience.
But she left it late in the German capital. Mihambo was assured of back-to-back victories at the ISTAF Indoor courtesy of a fourth round jump of 6.84m but she handsomely surpassed that mark - as well as her meeting record and indoor lifetime best of 6.99m - with a sixth round jump, landing out to 7.07m.
Mihambo also overtakes Ukraine’s Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk, who defeated Mihambo on her season’s debut in Karlsruhe on 31 January, as the world leader and her winning effort also propels Mihambo to tenth on the world indoor all-time list.
“The competition wasn't easy for me, I needed some time to get into it. But for the last jump I tried to remain relaxed and use the impetus and power that was coming from the audience,” said Mihambo, who paid tribute to the 12,000-plus crowd that packed into the Mercedes Benz Arena.
“The standing ovations pushed me to the 7.07m. I knew that I was able to jump over seven meters, but just knowing it isn't enough - you have to show that you are able to perform under all conditions. I am very happy that I succeeded again today,” she added.
Mihambo will compete in both the 60m and long jump at the German Indoor Championships next weekend before turning her focus to the outdoor campaign.
“Last year I jumped 6.99m here at the ISTAF Indoor and during the outdoor season [I jumped] 7.30m. I would say that means the trend still goes upwards and I am optimistic that with this new meeting record of 7.07m, the season started off very well.”
In a high class competition, Nigeria’s Ese Brume was second with an indoor lifetime best of 6.79m. European indoor silver medallist Nastassia Mironchyk-Ivanova was third with 6.75m.
Craft surpasses world indoor best in the discus
Three-time European bronze medallist Shanice Craft topped the standings in the discus, extending the world indoor best to 64.03m although the men narrowly prevailed in the Battle of the Sexes format - 25 to 24 points.
“That was once again an amazing competition. Great, that I am now holding the new world record, but it's a pity that the women couldn't win the discus duel,” said Craft. “This really motivates me. I am surprised about this result. My training has been going well so far. After the 64.03m I had to pull myself together in order to be able to continue the competition.”
Romania’s Alin Alexandru Firfirica was the best performer on the men’s side, throwing 62.27m in the last round to surpass Martin Wierig’s 62.07m. Olympic champion Christoph Harting finished third with 61.28m.
There was also a home victory in the 60m for Lisa Marie Kwayie on her season’s debut who ran down the fast starting Klara Seidlova from the Czech Republic in the final, 7.25 to 7.26.
This was very much a home win for Kwayie who lives and trains in the German capital. “Usually it takes some time to get into the season,” she said. “At the ISTAF I don't have time for that because of course I want to perform well in front of my home audience.”
Greece's Konstantinos Filippidis won the 60m hurdles in 7.67 and Türkiye's Emre Zafer Barnes won the men's 60m in 6.60.
Full results here.