Five memorable home victories at the European Indoor Championships

Ivana Spanovic
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Ivana Spanovic retained her European indoor long jump title in Belgrade two years ago which was capped by a lifetime best of 7.24m

There is nothing like a home victory to highlight any major championships and there are hopes that event ambassador Laura Muir, who lives and trains in Glasgow, will produce one - or two - of those performances which will be linger long in the memory.

With the Glasgow 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships just over a fortnight away, we have taken a look back at five memorable home victories in championships gone by. 

Ivana Spanovic, Belgrade 2017

With the weight of a nation on her shoulders, where better place to celebrate and let all those emotion out than at the scene of the greatest moment of your career. 

And that is just what Serbia’s Ivana Spanovic did as she lay flat in the sand, her arms stretched out wide, to provide the lasting image of the lasting performance from the last European Indoor Championships in Belgrade. 

Those in the Kombank Arena were treated to the performance they had hoped for as one of the biggest names in Serbian sport - and the face of the championships - delivered brilliantly. 

Having qualified with a seven metre-plus jump, a first round foul was just a blip as her next jump of 7.16m took her into the lead but then came something truly special – a jump of 7.24m which was the longest jump indoors for nearly 28 years and the third longest of all-time.

There were lifetime bests all round as Lorraine Ugen broke the British record with a second round 6.97m and Germany’s Claudia Salman-Rath smashed her personal best with a fifth round 6.94m.

Nicola Sanders, Birmingham 2007

Running from the outside lane, Nicola Sanders produced one of the greatest performances in the championship history to win the 400m title in Birmingham. 

Sanders seized on her starting position to quickly establish a lead, reaching the bell in a sizzling 23.31 - a time which left BBC commentator Steve Cram almost speechless - before easing across the track as the stagger ended to move further away, winning by almost a second in 50.02. 

Not only was her time just four tenths outside the world and European record, nobody has ever run faster indoors since. 

Tom McKean, Glasgow 1990

When Glasgow last hosted the European Athletics Indoor Championships, it was the final time the event was an annual championships - and a memorable one of one of Scotland’s home stars.

Born in Bellshill, North Lanarkshire, less than an hour away from Glasgow, Tom McKean, 26, had become one of the best 800m runners. He had shown that by winning at the World Cup in Barcelona in 1989 before adding to his title haul at the Kelvin Hall at the start of 1990.

In front of his home crowd, McKean led all the way, creating a two-metre gap and hitting the halfway mark in 53.35. While Spain’s Tomas de Teresa looked to make a challenge on the last lap, it didn’t materialise as McKean stretched his lead even further for a memorable victory. 

Teddy Tamgho, Paris 2011

A year before his exploits at the Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy, France’s Teddy Tamgho had become world indoor champion in Doha by leaping 17.90m to break the world indoor record but that was just the beginning of his brilliance. 

By the time the European Indoor Championships came to his home city 12 months later, Tamgho had stretched that mark to 17.91m to show he was poised to deliver another title winning performance. 

Tamgho’s aspirations of winning two gold medals fell narrowly short after finishing fourth in the long jump on the final day of the championships, Tamgho broke his world record of 17.91m twice in the space of two jumps. 

After landing at 17.46m in the first round which was not even good enough for the lead as Romania’s Marian Oprea put down a championship record of 17.62m, Tamgho sent the stadium wild with a jump of 17.92m with his next jump - a world record distance. 

He matched that mark in the fourth round, rising to the occasion like the greatest of champions.

Jakub Holusa, Prague 2015

It was the gold medal that the Czech Republic did not expect - that was Pavel Maslak in the 400m - but Jakub Holusa had the 02 Arena rocking with an amazing last lap in the 1500m final. 

Turkey’s Ilham Tanui Ozbilen had been the long-time leader but Holusa would not give up on that final lap, every stride edging close, every stride being accompanied by the roar of the crowd.

With the finish almost upon Ozbilen, the Czech star thrust himself over the line first to not only win the gold medal from a seemingly impossible position but to break the national record with 3:37.68. 

“The crowd was pushing me till the end and it was not possible for me to lose,” said Holusa in the aftermath of one of the all-time great races at the European Indoor Championships.