Menkov takes gold while Torneus steals the show with a national record | 03.03.2013
|Russia's Aleksandr Menkov won the men's long
jump gold with a world leading leap of 8.31m.
In a final overflowing with class, Torneus had the consolation of setting two national records on the super-fast runway at the Scandanavium Arena but it was not quite enough to match the achievement of Mattias Sunneborn, who took this title for Sweden the last time the championships were staged in the country in Stockholm in 1996.
Christian Reif, the European outdoor 400m champion, secured bronze with a best leap of 8.07m as five men jumped at least eight metres.
In the wake of his success, Menkov, the World Indoor bronze medallist, said: "I love this arena, it is wonderful to jump here. I was prepared to jump long."
A philosophical Torneus added: "I was happy about beating the national record. Menkov was simply better today. I congratulate him."
With the jumps finals holding the sole attention in the centre of the arena, the competition started with a bang. Torneus was first up and to the delight of the home crowd he soared out to a world leading and new national record of 8.27m adding a further 0.07 on the previous mark.
Yet within just three more jumps, Menkov silenced the home fans with an 8.28m world leading jump in response. This was thrilling fare and once more confirmed the stunning speed of the runway here in the Scandinavium Arena as all four horizontal jumps in Goteborg gleaned world-leading marks.
Reif slotted into the provisional bronze medal spot with a useful 8.01m opener.
It was always going to hard to back up the drama of round one and so it proved.
Torneus went out to a very respectable 8.10m with his second effort. Menkov and Reif were both red-flagged. The only significant move in the second stanza saw Greek Louis Tsatoumas, a former European indoor silver medallist, climb up the leaderboard from sixth to fourth with 8.00m.
The big mover in an otherwise modest round three was Finnish record holder Eero Haapala, who propelled himself from seventh into the bronze medal position dislodging Reif in the process - with an 8.05m effort. Torneus went out to what looked about an 8.50m mark, but to the disappointment of the home crowd he was given a red flag. Menkov again failed to register a legitimate mark.
In round four Reif was the first athlete to make his move, regaining his position on the bottom rung of the podium with an 8.07m effort. Torneus could only manage a tired-looking 7.95m, however, Menkov made his decisive move adding a further 0.03 to his world-leading mark, modestly celebrated the feat with a tightening of the fist.
A sluggish fifth round saw no change to the overall picture as just three legitimate jumps were recorded and not one leap beyond eight metres.
In the final round, Reif went on to 8.03m his third jump beyond 8.00m of a consistent series. Yet for the Swedish crowd it was all about Torneus. Sprinting down the runway to a crescendo of noise, Torneus hit the board and produced the jump of his life. However, frustratingly for him, and the home crowd, despite recording a new national record of 8.29m this was 0.02 shy of Menkov and he had to settle for silver.