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Mihambo lays down huge marker with 7.03m long jump qualifier

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  • Mihambo lays down huge marker with 7.03m long jump qualifier

Germany’s Malaika Mihambo, seeking to regain the European women’s long jump title she won in Berlin six years ago, laid down a huge marker with her first qualifying effort – 7.03m, the best European mark of the year.

It was also the second best ever mark in qualification after the 7.09m registered by Vilma Bardauskiene - who was competing for the Soviet Union - in 1978. “I knew that I had the 7.03m in me,” Mihambo said. “I have seen a constant development in my last competitions, I saw how everything was coming together.
“About the special runway, well I am always trying to make the best out of everything, every situation, not matter what kind of runway or track I am running on.
“Today I was not nervous, but there was a little bit of tension, but that is good for a qualification. At the moment there is nothing that disturbs me unlike at the Munich Championships in 2022 where I had just came out of a corona infection.
“It was here in Rome that I jumped over 7.00m for the first time in my life - 7.07m - so I have good memories about this stadium.”


But the Olympic and two-time world champion, who took silver at the last European Athletics Championships in Munich behind Ivana Spanovic who is missing from these championships, will have plenty of serious opposition in tomorrow’s final.

Switzerland’s Annik Kalin, who long-jumped 6.84m en route to finishing fourth in the heptathlon, produced the second best qualifying jump of 6.83, and France’s Hilary Kpatcha registered 6.82m.

Portugal’s Agate de Sousa recorded 6.72m, and 6.71m was achieved by Alina Rotaru-Kottmann of Romania and Italy’s title hope Larissa Iapichino.

Gletty's title hopes remain alive...but only just 

France’s Makenson Gletty saw his medal hopes in the decathlon fall and then rise as he successfully appealed after finishing last in his 110m hurdles heat in 15.30, claiming he had been left in the blocks as he didn’t hear the starting gun.

Offered an individual re-run, the 25-year-old - who finished fifth at this year’s World Athletics Indoor Championships in Glasgow – took full advantage, beating his chest in celebration after clocking a personal best of 13.88, the fastest time run this morning.


That moved Gletty up into the lead on 5529 points from Norway’s Sander Skotheim on 5502 and Estonia’s Johannes Erm on 5477.

The discus saw the top two changing places, as an effort of 46.18m took Skotheim to 6293, with Gletty dropped to second place on 6266 after a best of 43.54m. Erm’s effort of 44.56 saw him into third place on 6235.

Fastest ever European 800m semifinal for Hodgkinson 

Britain’s defending champion Keely Hodgkinson moved serenely through to tomorrow’s 800m final as she won her semifinal in 1:58.07, the fastest time ever in the semifinals at the European Athletics Championships, beating the mark of 1:58.26 set by East Germany’s Sigrun Wodars in 1986.

Behind her three athletes set personal bests – France’s Anais Bourgoin ran 1:58.65, Majtie Kolberg of Germany clocked 1:58.74 and Poland’s Anna Wielgosz recorded 1:59.07.

“It was so early! Jokes aside, I think I had a good pace and felt well. Many athletes thanked me because I helped them keeping a high pace and improved their PB. I am happy for this, but I am only doing my part. It's still too early to think about Olympics: there is still a final to run.”

Just as she did in earning gold for Ireland in the 4x400m mixed relay, Sharlene Mawdsley timed her winning surge to perfection in the second heat of the women’s 4x400m, coming home in the fastest time of 3:24.81.

Mawdsley, who had been called in to run at the last minute to replace an injured teammate, clocked a split of 49.76 only 12 hours after competing in last night's individual 400m final.

France were second fastest on 3:25.15, ahead of Belgium, who ran a season’s best of 3:25.16, and Spain, in a national record of 3:25.25.

For a few moments in the opening heat it looked as if Femke Bol’s hopes of earning a medal in three events here were about to go west, but Lisanne De Witte’s efforts over the final 10 metres took her past Norway’s Amelie Iuel to secure the third automatic qualifying place.

France qualified fastest for tomorrow’s men’s 4x400 relay in 3:00.77, with Belgium – minus the previous night’s individual champion Alexander Doom – clocking 3:01.09 and Poland third fastest on 3:01.31.

In the men’s 4x100m heats the Netherlands were fastest qualifiers on 38.34 from Italy on 38.40, with Germany and France both clocking 38.43.

A superb bend run by the individual champion Dina Asher-Smith helped Great Britain earn the top qualifying place for tomorrow’s women’s 4x100m final in a time of 42.25, the fastest run in Europe this year.

France were second fastest on 42.35, followed by the Netherlands on 42.39.

Mike Rowbottom for European Athletics

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