Tentoglou to target another title at the European U23 Championships

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

For most athletes the European Athletics U23 Championships act as a bridge between the U20 and the senior stage but Miltiadis Tentoglou is an already established name in the long jump.

Tentoglou has European indoor and outdoor titles to his credit and the European U23 Championships in Gavle between 11-14 July will represent an opportunity for the Greek to complete the set of major European titles at the age of 21.

“Yes, definitely. I will be there,” said Tentoglou after winning the European indoor title in Glasgow at the start of March with an outright lifetime best and Greek indoor record of 8.38m.

Tentoglou has made a rapid ascent through the ranks and his two senior titles have come within less than two years after winning the European U20 long jump title in Grosseto. He won the European title in Berlin on his debut at the European Championships with 8.25m before following suit at the start of the year in Glasgow.

“It’s even better because I got a good result, 8.38m is a pretty good jump for indoors and I’m pretty happy with that and I knew I can jump well so I came here to prove it,” reflected Tentoglou who moved to equal sixth on the European indoor all-time lists, also surpassing Louis Tsatoumas’ Greek record of 8.23m.

“It’s even longer than my outdoor PB. I knew that I was in shape to jump more than 8.30m for sure - maybe more than 8.35m.”

Tentoglou looked set to settle for silver for two thirds of the competition but the youngest competitor in the final kept his composure with his fifth round jump, sailing handsomely beyond Thobias Nilsson Montler’s second round lead of 8.17m with 8.38m.

“In the first jumps I wanted to find my rhythm. I did not find the performance I wanted but I was confident and optimistic about the result, I was cool in the competition and I managed to achieve a great result and a great jump,” he said.

The European U23 Championships will also be an important competition on the road to the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar which begin in late September.

Tentoglou exited in qualifying in London two years ago on his World Championships debut and while he has grown in stature since then, he is under no illusion that winning medals on the global stage will not be easy to come by.

“The level of the long jump is very great - Echevarria, Manyonga, Samaai - but if my preparation goes well and I’m healthy, we’ll see,” he said.

Tentoglou is one of a handful of European senior champions who will be eligible to compete at the European U23 Championships this summer along with Armand Duplantis in the pole vault and Elvira Herman in the 100m hurdles.