Tentoglou sets a world-leading 8.38m to win European indoor long jump title

Miltiadis Tentoglou
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At the age of 20, Greece's Miltiadis Tentoglou is now the reigning European indoor and outdoor long jump champion after gold at the Glasgow 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships

Greece’s 20-year-old European long jump champion Miltiadis Tentoglou added the indoor version of that title to his CV here this morning (3) with a superb fifth round effort of 8.38m – an outright lifetime best and the furthest in the world this year.

And another fifth round personal best proved critical in the following field event final, the women’s shot put, as Radoslava Mavrodieva registered 19.12m to take over the lead from Christina Schwanitz by a single centimetre, ensuring the Bulgaria’s first medal at Glasgow 2019 would be gold.

The German, who gave birth to twins in 2017, now has twin European silvers, having finished runner-up in last year’s outdoor European Championships in Berlin.

For most of the long jump competition it looked as if the second gold of the concluding morning at the championships was destined for Sweden’s 23-year-old Thobias Nilsson Montler.

The 2017 European U23 bronze medallist moved into a clear second round lead with a personal best of 8.17m – adding nine centimetres to his indoor best, and seven to his outdoor record. Montler, who missed the medal podium in Berlin by one place last summer, followed up with 8.13m, which proved to be his only other scoring effort.

Meanwhile Tentoglou, who used to be a talented performer in parkour - or free running - was making it clear that he saw 8.17m as an obstacle to be surmounted. Having cleared 8.12m in round two, he moved to within a centimetre with his fourth round effort before winding up for an effort in the penultimate round that ticked all the boxes.

“The crowd was amazing,” Tentoglou said. “I knew I could jump well but I just needed to find my rhythm and get my run-up right. Finally I did that with my fifth jump. It is great now to add the indoor to my outdoor title last year.”

The fifth round had further significance for this event as Spain’s Eusebio Caceres, having failed to register a mark up to that point, went out to 7.98m, establishing himself in the bronze medal position.

But his tenure there was brief as Serbia’s Strahinja Jovancevic produced a national record of 8.03m to claim a third-place finish. It was one of those happy occasions when every medallist appeared satisfied with their achievement.

Not so in the women’s shot put, where Schwanitz looked a little grim at her failure to respond to the Bulgarian’s lead with her two final attempts.

Bronze medal in a high quality final went to Hungary’s world indoor champion Anita Marton with a season’s best of 19.00m. “It is fantastic to win today, on March 3, the national day of Bulgaria,” said Mavrodieva. “So this medal is for all the Bulgarians who supported me.”

Schwanitz commented: “Losing by one centimetre is very cruel, I know this. Today it was very hard. I tried but I couldn't do better. I had too much power and less technique. I really didn't want this. Now the focus is Doha and the World Championships.”

Britain’s defending champion Andy Pozzi, cheered on by his very own branded Pozzi Patrol in the stands, was the second fastest qualifier for tonight’s final. The Brit clocked 7.61, his best so far in a year that has seen him recover from injury, with Spain’s Olympic silver medallist Orlando Ortega fastest with 7.57.

In the women’s 60 hurdles, a national record of 7.97 sent Hungary’s Luca Kozak into tonight’s final as fastest qualifier ahead of world indoor bronze medallist Nadine Visser of the Netherlands (7.99) and Germany’s defending champion Cindy Roleder (8.02).