Tentoglou and Karalis highlight the Mediterranean U23 Indoor Championships

Miltiadis Tentoglou
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Greece's Miltiadis Tentoglou is targeting the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Glasgow from 1-3 March

Greece’s Miltiadis Tentoglou had a breakthrough season on the senior stage at the age of 20 with gold in the long jump at the Berlin 2018 European Indoor Championships and he began his 2019 season in style in Miramas. 

Tentoglou will be looking to further add to his tally from major events at the Glasgow 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships - and then later in the season at the Gavle 2019 European Athletics U23 Championships - and he already has a title from the inaugural Mediterranean U23 Indoor Championships in his back pocket.

Still only 20, he won with 7.99m and also had jumps of 7.98m and 7.96m in the series with Croatia’s Ivan Vujevic achieving a personal best of 7.84m in second. 

There was good news, too, for Tentoglou’s teammate Emmanouil Karalis who returned to action in the pole vault for the first time since last year’s IAAF World Indoor Championships because of injury.

Karalis, who cleared 5.78m and 5.80m at the age of 18 during the last indoor season, diced with elimination after two failures at his opening height of 5.35m but he cleared 5.45m on his only remaining try before improving to 5.55m to win by one clear height from France’s Thibaut Collet. 

Greece won a trio of titles in Miramas with former European U18 champion Odysseas Mouzenidis reaching out to 18.62m with the senior 7kg implement on his debut in the senior ranks. 

France topped the medal table in Miramas with six gold medals and 20 in total ahead of Spain and Greece with four and three titles respectively.

Tortu returns to action with 6.58 in Ancona

Competing for the first time since picking up an injury at the European Championships in Berlin, Filippo Tortu went straight to the top of the 2019 European lists with a lifetime best and Italian U23 record of 6.58 in the 60m. 

Another breakthrough performer in 2018, Tortu eclipsed Pietro Mennea’s long-standing Italian 100m record with 9.99 in June before finishing fourth at the European Championships in Berlin.

Tortu is planning a low-key indoor season before the summer campaign in which he is also planning to race over 200m as well as the 4x100m. 

After opening with 6.58, Tortu returned to the track to clock 6.63, a time he was equally pleased with. “In the first race I had a more convincing start but I'm almost more satisfied with the second race because I felt I was really flying in the last 20 to 30 metres. In anticipation of the summer season over 100m and 200m I'm very confident,” he told FIDAL.

The women’s 60m will be among the most competitive events at the European Indoor Championships in Glasgow and Asha Philip will be looking to retain her title in front of her British fans. 

Among those looking to beat her will be her training partner Mujinga Kambundji from Switzerland, who won world indoor bronze in Birmingham last March.

The pair came together on Sunday at the Southern England Championships at Lee Valley in London. They could not be separated in their semifinal as Philip took it from Kambundji, both on 7.30. Neither of them competed in the final. 

Rachel Miller ran a personal best of 7.24 in her semifinal also before scratching from the final with victory going to Page Fairclough in 7.55.

So much is about just achieving that Glasgow standard in the early weeks of the campaign and then building towards the championships, as will now be the case for many athletes from the Erima Meet in Vienna on Saturday.

Austrian sprinter Markus Fuchs secured the Glasgow 2019 qualifying standard again with 6.70 in the 60m while teammates Alexandra Toth, 7.38 in the 60m, and Susanne Walli, 53.44 in the 400m, also punched their tickets for Glasgow.