Swedish teenager Tilde Johansson set herself up for a pursuit of more gold at this month’s European Athletics U20 Championships in her own country by taking sole ownership of the national U20 long jump record at the Karlstad Grand Prix, a European Athletics Classic Permit Meeting, on Wednesday (3) night.
A fortnight today the European U20 Championships begin in Boras and Johansson showed what an impact she could make when she cleared 6.73m to beat a good international field assembled in Karlstad.
The European U18 champion in Gyor last year, Johansson had matched the 27-year-old mark of 6.72m held by Erica Johansson when she cleared that distance in Gothenburg on Saturday. Going that memorable one centimetre further came in the fifth round and now she will look to replicate her namesake even more.
Erica Johansson was crowned European U20 champion in San Sebastian in 1993 – a year after she had won the world U20 title in Seoul – and she progressed to become European indoor champion in Ghent in 2000.
Speaking to SVT Sport, Johansson, who is also eligible for the IAAF World U20 Championships in 2020, said: “I surprised myself so many times. It is really fun to have the junior record (to) yourself. Today it almost felt like I had a little longer in me. I feel in great shape.”
Even though she began with 4.82m and a foul, she then jumped 6.64m before another foul. Then came her brilliant 6.73m - also a world U20 lead - before ending with another foul. It was easily enough for victory as she beat Romania’s Alina Rotaru with 6.60m, and Great Britain’s Jazmin Sawyers who was third with 6.46m.
Stahl approaches the 70-metre line again to beat Dacres
But small distances in sport can be as cruel as they can be glorious – just ask Daniel Stahl.
In the past two summers, the Swedish discus thrower has missed out on gold by two centimetres at the IAAF World Championships in London in 2017 and then by 21 centimetres at the European Athletics Championships in Berlin last summer.
On both occasions he won silver behind Lithuanian Andrius Gudzius but at home on Wednesday, he showed once more how he means business again this year as he looks to finally land a major title.
At the end of June, Stahl produced his greatest ever throw as he broke his national record with a world lead of 71.86m to move to equal fourth on the world all-time list. Now it is now less than three months until the start of the World Championships in Doha and Stahl is maintaining superb form with victory over one of his principal global rivals.
Stahl had five legal throws out of six and all of them would have been enough for victory - his best being a fifth round throw of 68.93m - as he defeated Jamaica’s Fedrick Dacres (65.43m) and Estonia’s Martin Kupper (63.49m).
All of Stahl's valid throws were over 67 metres. He began with 67.22m followed by a foul before concluding his competition with throws of 68.88m, 67.28m, 68.93m and 67.92m.
Germany’s Olympic and European champion Thomas Rohler will be looking to complete the golden set of titles in Doha and he secured another win.
He had four fouls from his six attempts but the two that counted were impressive, reaching 83.76m in the second round and 83.45m in the fourth round to win from Sweden's Kim Amb with 81.61m and Chinese Taipei's Chao-Tsun Cheng with 81.22m.
There was also a victory for Ukraine's Maryna Kylypko in the pole vault with 4.17m after Sweden's Angelica Bengtsson no-heighted at 4.47m while Sweden's Fanny Roos was second in the shot put with 18.40m as Canada's Brittany Crew won with 18.46m.
Full results here.