Twelve months after winning the European title in Berlin, Malaika Mihambo returned to the Olympic Stadium to embellish her growing status in the long jump by extending her world lead to 7.16m at a brilliantly attended German Championships which attracted more than 60,000 spectators across the two days.
Mihambo struggled for consistency on the board in her first five attempts and almost didn’t make the cut after starting with two fouls. She moved into the lead in the third round with 6.76m which laid the foundations for her sixth round jump in which she hit the board perfectly, only giving away five centimetres.
Mihambo’s winning effort corresponds to a nine centimetre lifetime best and she also came within five centimetres of Heike Drechsler’s championship record which dates back to 1992.
"I did not get into the competition very well, but I knew there was more," said Mihambo. "It's a cool feeling to know that you're number one in the world, I know I have good chances for the World Championships and I'm looking forward to it."
Mihambo has surpassed the seven metre-line four times in her last five competitions and the European champion will be one of Germany’s foremost hopes for maximum points at next weekend’s European Athletics Team Championships in Bydgoszcz where the Germans will be defending their overall title.
Mihambo was also third in the 100m final on Saturday, equalling her PB of 11.21 in a high calibre final which was won by Tatjana Pinto in a season’s best of 11.09 ahead of European silver medallist Gina Luckenkemper in 11.20.
Pinto went on to win the 200m final the following day in a lifetime best of 22.65, crediting a change in her coaching set-up for her upturn in form in 2019.
“With the change in my new training group and with my new coach Rana Reider, I have a lot of consistency in the training routine. Everything is regular, more meticulous and very individual. We are an enormously strong training group and we push each other in training, which is great fun and this competitive situation brings me mentally forward,” she said.
European champion Christin Hussong won the javelin title on Saturday by nearly seven metres with 65.33m but reigning European and Olympic champion Thomas Rohler had to settle for third in a dramatic men’s javelin on the Sunday.
Rohler finished third with 82.70m as Andreas Hofmann prevailed in the sixth round with 87.07m to displace Julian Weber, the leader from the first round with 83.96m. Weber gamely responded to Hofmann by producing his best throw with the last throw of the competition, falling just short with a season’s best of 86.60m.
Johannes Vetter, who has been limited to just two competitions this season due to injury, was a non starter but he can still compete at the IAAF World Championships by virtue of the fact he is the reigning champion.
Two-time European 3000m steeplechase champion Gesa Felicitas Krause won her specialist event gun-to-tape in 9:28.45 while fellow European champion Mateusz Przybylko cleared 2.22m to win the high jump.
Full results here.
Huntington breaks Finnish U23 heptathlon record in Lappeenranta
Maria Huntington had to withdraw mid-event from the heptathlon at the European Athletics U23 Championships last month but the Finn was back in brilliant form at her domestic championships in Lappeenranta.
Huntington secured the standard for the IAAF World Championships with victory in the heptathlon with a score of 6339 points. This score broke the Finnish U23 record and the 22-year-old is now within 100 points of Satu Ruotsalainen’s national record of 6404 points which dates back to the 1991 IAAF World Championships.
Huntington set individual PBs in four of the seven events: 13.12 in the 100m hurdles, 24.29 in the 200m, 44.20m in the javelin and 2:20.27 in the 800m.
In the javelin, Lassi Etelatalo threw 84.11m to defeat former European champion Antti Ruuskanen’s 82.57m, Reetta Hurske won a competitive 100m hurdles final in 13.05 ahead of Nooralotta Neziri (13.12) and Annimari Korte (13.12) and 20-year-old Taika Koilahti improved her PB to 6.69m to win the long jump.
At the Turkish Championships in Bursa, Jak Ali Harvey won the 100m in 10.32, Emel Dereli won the shot put with 18.01m and European U23 20km race walk silver medallist Salih Korkmaz won the 10,000m race walk in 39:31.96.
However the best performance of the championships came from Nigerian guest Ese Brume who won the long jump with 7.05m.