Italy’s Larissa Iapichino and Sweden’s Tilde Johansson both surpassed the automatic qualifying mark of 6.35m with their first attempts in the long jump at the Boras 2019 European Athletics U20 Championships.
Contesting the same event some 32 years after her mother Fiona May won the European U20 title in Birmingham in 1987, Iapichino led the two pools of qualifying with 6.50m with a 1.0 m/s wind at her back to safely progress into the final.
“I'm one of the youngest here so I just want to have fun and get some experience - if I get a good result, even better,” said Iapichino, adding that she tries to block out any comparisons with her mother, twice a world outdoor champion in the event.
“I try not to listen to all the heavy talk around me being the daughter of another athlete,' she said. 'It's a lot to handle.”
One jump and through to the final!— European Athletics (@EuroAthletics) July 20, 2019
Italy's Larissa Iapichino sails out to 6.50m in long jump qualifying on her first attempt. #Boras2019 pic.twitter.com/QNIEBlSZgG
Her foremost rival will be Sweden’s Johansson who is attempting to win two titles at the championships. The 18-year-old will be contesting the 100m hurdles final later this evening and the reigning European U18 champion expended the minimum of energy this morning.
Johansson took off some way behind the board but she landed far in excess of the automatic qualifying mark with 6.48m.
Other notable qualifiers included former European U18 champion Holly Mills, who finished fourth in the heptathlon last night, with 6.28m. Switzerland's Annik Kalin, who won bronze in the heptathlon last night, also made it through with 6.17m.
Hunt qualifies fastest for the 200m final in 23.14
Amy Hunt’s margin was such that she could afford to ease down and coast through the line but the precocious 17-year-old was still by far the fastest qualifier across the two semifinals with 23.14.
Hunt was the fastest in last night’s heats by 0.44 in 23.23 and her level of ascendancy was almost identical in the semifinals, qualifying fastest for tonight’s final by 0.41.
“I am so excited to race in the final tonight. I cannot wait to go out there and race. The semifinal went very well. Everyone starts off very fast. I wanted to be out on the home straight first to relax at the end,” she said.
.@AmyHunt02 goes even faster in the semifinals of the 200m!— European Athletics (@EuroAthletics) July 20, 2019
The Brit eased down to a 23.14 clocking to reach the final which takes place at 6:25pm local time tonight. #Boras2019 pic.twitter.com/peeVDHm8n2
Hunt will be joined in the final by teammate Georgina Adam (23.77) along with Iceland’s European U18 100m champion Gudbjorg Jona Bjarnadottir (23.63) and Italy’s Youth Olympic Games winner Dalia Kaddari (23.64).
While the Brit is reluctant to make any predictions ahead of the final, her form before and during the championships is such she could challenge the championship record of 22.85 which has stood to Barbel Eckert since 1973, one of two records on the books which date all the way back to the second edition of the championships in Duisburg.
Switzerland's Simon Ehammer leads the decathlon standings after seven events but his advantage was chipped back from 409 points to 96 points after the discus. Ehammer began his day with a championship best of 13.54 in the 110m hurdles but he was restricted to a best throw of 35.24m in the discus.
The leading Germans had an indifferent first day but world U20 leader Leo Neugebauer and Malik Diakite both set significant lifetime bests to embellish their medal prospects. Neugebauer advanced from 46.16m to 51.04m to top the two pools while Diakite improved by more than six metres from 44.65m to 50.74m. Maximilian Kluth also set a lifetime best of 44.59m to complete an excellent event for the German triumvirate.
After seven events, Ehammer leads with 5916 points ahead of Neugebauer (5820 points) and Kluth (5605 points) with Diakite seventh (5544 points).