German sprinter Tatjana Pinto progressed her ambitions of a medal in front of her family and friends at the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships, part of the inaugural multi-sport European Championships with co-hosts Glasgow, with a sparking performance over 60m in the same city on Friday night.
More than 12,000 spectators packed the Mercedes-Benz Arena in the German capital for the annual ISTAF Indoor meeting and were treated to the 25-year-old Pinto flying to a world-leading time of 7.08 in the 60m heats, just 0.01 away from her personal best set when winning the German title two years ago.
She couldn’t replicate that time in the final 50 minutes later but, despite a relatively poor start, was still a confident winner in 7.13, holding off the Swiss talent Mujinga Kambundji who was just 0.01 in arrears.
After setting a 60m world-lead at the ISTAF Indoors, Tatjana Pinto looks on course for a standout season culminating at the European Championships in @berlin_2018.#TheMoment is coming!https://t.co/uTiGiIfPW7 pic.twitter.com/mSd02FyNFx
— European Athletics (@EuroAthletics) January 27, 2018
After winning 100m bronze medals at European U20 and U23 championships earlier in her career, and finishing sixth in the last European Athletics Championships 100m in Amsterdam two years ago, she now wants to add to her collection.
“My run in the heats was really sensational but it was already clear in training that I'm in good shape,” said Pinto, who expects the Berlin fans to propel her to fast times again in the summer. “Running here, and in front of this crowd, is simply awesome.”
Pinto is also a key part of Germany’s 4x100m relay team – which took the bronze medals in Amsterdam and then finished fourth at both the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and IAAF World Championships London 2017 – and they will surely challenge for the medals, and maybe the title, in Berlin with Lisa Mayer and Gina Luckenkemper augmenting the team.
At the ISTAF Indoor meeting, Mayer equalled her personal best of 7.17 and Luckenkemper clocked 7.19 for fourth and fifth place respectively.
Belarus hurdler Alina Talay knows what is required to be a continental champion after taking gold medals at the 2012 European Athletics Championships and the 2013 and 2015 European Athletics Indoor Championships and showed impressive form over the barriers in Berlin, winning the 60m hurdles in 7.89.
"Today was my first international competition in 2018. I was really nervous but now I am really satisfied coming first with such a time and with a strong field,“ commented Talay.
She defeated the formidable German pair of Pamela Dutkiewicz and Cindy Roledar with both women being given 7.93, but the verdict for second place went to the former by 0.004 – 7.926 to 7.930 – after the photo-finish was analysed.
Great Britain’s Andy Pozzi won the men’s 60m hurdles in 7.58 with Hungary’s 2017 world championships 110m hurdles bronze medallist Balazs Baji second in 7.61.
The pole vault saw Poland’s reigning European Indoor champion Piotr Lisek go over 5.83m on his second attempt to claim the win.
Lisek then failed three times at what would have been a world-leading 5.88m. Neither Brazil’s Rio Olympic gold medallist Thiago Braz nor France’s world record holder Renaud Lavillenie could go any higher than 5.70m and finished second and third respectively.
Germany’s Nadja Kather was the surprise winner in a modest long jump competition with her third round 6.56m while a special – and spectacular – indoor discus staged after all the other events had ended produced a win for Austria’s Lukas Weisshaidinger who tossed his implement out to 63.91m with his last throw to beat local hero Robert Harting, who got second place with 62.32m.
More information on the 2018 European Championships:
- The Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships will be part of the first multi-sport European Championships along with co-hosts Glasgow.
- It will be a must-watch, must-attend experience that elevates the status of European Champions, uniting existing European Championships to celebrate the highest honour in European sport and celebrating the defining moments that create Champions.
- It is the continent’s ultimate multi-sport event, an 11-day celebration of European sport staged every four years.
- Seven of Europe’s leading sports (athletics, aquatics, rowing, golf, cycling, gymnastics, triathlon) will be brought together for the first edition.
- The European Athletics Championships in Berlin will be staged 7-12 August. The six other sports will be staged in Glasgow through 2-12 August.
- 4500 athletes and 52 nations will compete across the seven sports.
- Potential TV audience of over one billion with millions more across multiple digital platforms.
- Over half a million spectators expected.