Craft and Mihambo star on the final day of Euro U23 Champs

Craft and Mihambo star on the final day of Euro U23 Champs
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Germany's Malaika Mihambo added the European under-23 long jump title to her European junior title from two years ago.

After winning gold and silver in the discus in Tampere, the Germans went one better in Tallinn with the first and only clean sweep of the championships to consolidate their position at top spot in the medal standings. In total, the Germans claimed seven gold medals and 16 medals over the four days of competition.

The order in the discus from two years ago was reversed with Shanice Craft turning the tables on her long-time domestic rival Anna Rüh. The reigning champion took the lead in the second round with 61.27m but Craft, who has won three silver medals from two editions of the European Athletics U23 Championships, responded immediately with 61.79m before improving to 62.89m in the fourth round.

With that elusive gold medal safely in the bag, she approached the championship record of 64.40m in the final round with a season’s best of 63.83m.

Kristin Pudenz ensured the German clean sweep with a final round effort of 59.94m.

In the long jump, Malaika Mihambo added the European under-23 title to her European junior title from two years ago. Her first round jump of 6.73m proved sufficient for her second accolade at continental level.

Mihambo was made to sweat after Great Britain’s team captain Jazmin Sawyers, the silver medallist behind Mihambo in Rieti two years ago, threatened the German’s leading mark in the fifth round but the Brit fell two centimetres short with a 6.71m personal best.

The most successful athlete of the championships was Rebekka Haase, who claimed a small slice of history by becoming the first woman to claim three sprint titles from the European Athletics U23 Championships.

Contesting her sixth race of the championships, Haase ran a storming second leg to help the German team to a commanding victory in 43.47.

While the Germans won the women’s 4x100m by more than half a second, the French team won the men’s equivalent by a whisker ahead of the Czechs, 39.36 to 39.38.

 

They also came from behind in the 4x400m with individual champion Thomas Jordier overhauling 200m winner Karol Zalewski from Poland in the home straight to win in 3:04.90.

In one of the highest quality races of the championships, Amela Terzic from Serbia successfully retained her title in the 1500m. Anastasiya Kalina set a fast early pace but the Serb made a long run for home with 600 metres remaining.

Renowned fast finisher Sofia Ennaoui from Poland loomed in the home straight but Terzic kicked again to retain her title in a national and championship record of 4:04.77 to Ennaoui’s 4:04.90.

 

The second repeat winner of the day was Italy’s Alessia Trost in the high jump. The event was touted as a head-to-head against Mariya Kuchina from Russia but the world and European indoor champion had a disaster of a competition, recording three failures at 1.81m.

In cold conditions, Trost’s first-time clearance at 1.90m sufficed for the title by a clear height ahead of multi-event specialist Nafissatou Thiam from Belgium, who claimed silver on countback from Iryna Herashchenko at 1.87m.

The Russian challenge didn’t materialise in the high jump but they came away with gold and bronze in the men’s triple jump. Dmitriy Chizhikov dominated the final with the four best marks of the competition: 17.05m, 17.00m, 16.86m and 17.04m.

Elise Malmberg was sixth with two flights remaining in the 400m hurdles but the former multi-eventer made a late run to claim Sweden’s second gold medal of the championships in a personal best time of 55.88.

With pre-race favourite Timofey Chalyy failing to make the final, Poland’s Patryk Dobek scored an unopposed victory in the men’s equivalent, setting a personal best of 48.84 to win comfortably ahead of Finland’s Jussi Kanervo in 49.66.

Dobek’s team-mate Kacper Oleszczuk upped his lifetime best from 77.97m to 82.29m for an unexpected title in the javelin ahead of Ukraine’s Maksym Bohdan with 81.08m.

In the shot put, Croatia’s Filip Mihaljevic claimed the title with his last throw of the competition of 19.35m ahead of Bob Bertemes, who claimed Luxembourg’s first ever medal at the European Athletics U23 Championships.

Overnight leader Pieter Braun from the Netherlands consolidated his position in the decathlon, winning the title with a total of 8195 points.

Janek Oiglane, who propelled himself into contention with a 69.15m javelin throw, claimed Estonia’s sole medal of the championships with bronze, setting a personal best of 7945 in the process. It was fitting he received his medal from 2000 Olympic decathlon champion Erki Nool.

In the last individual track final of the programme, Liv Westphal led from the gun in the women’s 5000m and was rewarded with the title in a French under-23 record of 15:32.75 ahead of Louise Carton (15:32.75) and Viktoriya Kalyuzhna (15:38.38).

Elsewhere on the track, Poland’s Artur Kuciapski claimed the 800m title in 1:48.11, Bulgaria’s Mitko Tsenov won the steeplechase in 8:37.79 while the British quartet claimed the women’s 4x400m title in 3:30.07.

Local Organising Committee