Gold medallists from the European Championships Elvira Herman and Miltiadis Tentoglou came to the Gavle 2019 European Athletics U23 Championships with big expectations and they both capped their age-group careers with standout victories on the second day of competition.
The headwind which buffeted the sprinters and sprint hurdlers in the heats yesterday mercifully turned around on a benign Friday (12) evening at the Gunder Hagg Stadium which allowed Herman to come home marginally inside the championship record.
There was a tense wait as the clock initially stopped at 12.72 but it was soon changed to 12.70 - just 0.06 outside her lifetime best but significantly 0.01 inside Noemi Zbaren’s four-year-old championship record.
Herman now has two major championship records to her name after winning the world U20 title in Bydgoszcz, Poland three years ago in a still-standing mark of 12.85.
“It's exciting to run a championship record, I wanted to show that form here,” said Herman. “I've had a very good season and I look forward to competing at home in The Match in Minsk in September.”
Poland’s Klaudia Siciarz continues her slick progression through the age-group ranks, upgrading her bronze from the 2017 European U20 Championships to a silver medal in Gavle in a lifetime best of 12.82 with France’s Laura Valette winning bronze in 12.97.
In the long jump, Tentoglou had his best competition since winning gold at the Glasgow 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships. He surpassed his outdoor season’s best of 8.19m with four of his six valid jumps which culminated with an outright European leading mark of 8.32m in the sixth round.
Spain’s Hector Santos put down an early marker with an outright lifetime best of 8.19m to match Tentoglou’s seasons best but he immediately responded with 8.22m before improving to 8.25m in round five and then an outdoor PB of 8.32m with the very last jump of the final.
This was Tentoglou’s fourth major European title since winning at the European Athletics U20 Championships in Grosseto two years ago. While the Greek was pleased to come away with yet another title, he rued that he couldn’t make the most of the good conditions for the final and surpass his overall PB of 8.38m.
European U20 champion
European outdoor champion
European indoor champion
European U23 champion
Miltiadis Tentoglou does it again in #Gavle2019! He also improved to 8.32m in round six. pic.twitter.com/AA5cfYn0zj
— European Athletics (@EuroAthletics) July 12, 2019
Lithuania’s Diana Zagainova produced her best effort in the triple jump final in the first round with 13.89m. That mark stood the test of the six rounds but only just as Turkey’s Tugba Danismaz came within four centimetres of Zagainova with a national U23 record with her last jump.
With Norway’s Beatrice Nedberge Llano not competing, the path was clear for Sofiya Palkina in the hammer and the former world U18 champion duly dominated proceedings. She was the only thrower to surpass the 70 metre-line - something which she achieved in the first (70.13m) and third round (71.08m) - to win the title.
Croatia’s Marija Tolj was similarly dominant in the discus final, handing Moldova’s European and world U20 champion Alexandra Emilianov a rare defeat in a major competition. Tolj was in a perilous position after two throws - 49.05m and a foul - but then came a near two metre lifetime best of 62.76m which won the competition by more than five metres from Emilianov’s 57.30m.
Watch the European Athletics U23 Championships live and on-demand at https://athletics.eurovisionsports.tv/.