Tentoglou Lights Up Stadio Olimpico With Brilliant Long Jump Series

Tentoglou lights up Stadio Olimpico with brilliant long jump series

Greek athlete soars to European Championship record of 8.65m as Jacob Fincham-Dukes finishes fourth and GB team-mate Scott Lincoln is also just outside the medals in the shot

Jacob Fincham-Dukes’ quest to make the long jump podium in Rome following his heartbreak of Munich 2022 was thwarted as he finished fourth. Ultimately, though, he was proud to be part of a brilliantly high-quality competition led by Miltiadis Tentoglou’s championship record of 8.65m (-0.3).

TENTOGLOU

Runner-up Mattia Furlani, roared on by his home Italian crowd, set a world under-20 record of 8.38m (-0.5) with Simon Ehammer of Switzerland soaring out to 8.31m (-0.5) to earn bronze.

TENTOGLOU LIGHTS UP STADIO OLIMPICO WITH BRILLIANT LONG JUMP SERIES

Fincham-Dukes jumped 8.12m (0.3) in the first round and 8.00m (-1.0) in the second but didn’t improve as he finished just outside the medals. Two years ago, of course, he thought he’d won silver but was denied a medal after a French protest led to his mark being belatedly judged a foul. “I was robbed,” he said at the time, as he had to settle for fifth place.

At a time in the sport’s history where long jump regulations are being experimented with, this European final was further proof for traditionalists that nothing needs to be tweaked.

A riveting contest came to life right from the first round as Furlani jumped his world under-20 record and Tentoglou went even further with 8.42m (-0.2). The Greek’s series thereafter was incredible as he fouled the second jump but then jumped 8.49m (-0.1), 8.45m (-0.1), 8.65m (-0.3) and then another 8.65m (-0.3) – not only a championship record but a PB and world lead for the 26-year-old Olympic and world champion.

“I managed the PB – twice the same mark,” said Tentoglou. “I do not know, this is impossible – only me can do it.

“I wanted to do 1cm more to improve our national record (Louis Tsatoumas’ 8.66m from 2007) but it just did not happen. My coach told me after the first 8.65m that I should push myself even more because I could do it. I told him, that I did five jumps around 8.50m all of them and I felt tired.

“I am dead, I gave my everything. And he said, ‘come on, you can do it!’ And I did it – I tried but I was very tired.”

Mattia Furlani, Miltos Tentoglou, Simon Ehammer (Getty)

Fincham-Dukes, who is from Harrogate but based in Texas, said: “I’m really happy. I had a foul that would have contended for that third medal place for sure, definitely high 8.20s, but on paper that was the toughest European Championships in history, and I was up there contending for a medal and I really, really cannot be mad at that.

“There are a couple of Jamaicans doing some really big things, but the Americans haven’t done anything special yet so European jumping is where it’s at.

“This year I am having my best year ever by far and I’m not even close, I feel I am right on the cusp of doing something special – 8.40m I feel is easily reachable this year and if I can do it at the right time, it can result in something good.”

Tentoglou lights up Stadio Olimpico with brilliant long jump series

Scott Lincoln (Getty)

Scott Lincoln’s bittersweet fourth place

It was a night of fourth places for Britain in Rome. As well as Cindy Sember in the 100m hurdles and Jacob Fincham-Dukes in the long jump, Scott Lincoln was also in ‘the worst position’ as he finished just outside the medals.

Still, this was the best British performance in this event since Geoff Capes won bronze at the European Championships in Rome 50 years earlier.

Lincoln, who has enjoyed a superbly consistent season so far with a recent PB of 21.31m, threw 20.88m in the fourth round in Rome to miss a medal by just six centimetres.

With the host nation soaring to the top of the medals table with multiple successes, this event was won by Leonardo Fabbri with a championship record of 22.45m.

Defending champion Filip Mihaljevic of Croatia took silver with 21.10m as Michat Haratyk threw 20.94m for bronze.

Lincoln said: “I am very, very disappointed and a little bit gutted. Six centimetres short of a medal it is a bit bittersweet. It is a good, solid performance in a major championship, which I have struggled with in the past and it has given me a huge confidence boost for the summer.

“The thing with shot put is that it is strong all around the world at the moment, not just Europe. I am competing with them week in, week out now, which helps. It gets you comfortable in that environment and gets you in the best place possible to progress.”

Magnificent seven for Perković Elkasević

Sandra Perković Elkasević sealed an incredible seventh European discus title. The Croatian threw a season’s best of 67.04m in the opening round and it proved too much for her rivals.

Silver went to Jorinde van Klinken of the Netherlands with 65.99m as Liliana Ca of Portugal won bronze with 64.53m. Van Klinken had already won silver in the shot put the previous day, too.

“This gold medal means a lot to me,” said Elkasevic. “Here in Rome I won my seventh gold medal at a European Championships and as Rome was built on seven hills I wanted to have a medal for each hill. It was an amazing crowd. Thanks to the Italians and also to the Croatians who came here to support me.

“I knew that I am the best one here and that I can throw far. But I am still a human and I get a little nervous. If something does not go according to the plan, it is not good. I opened really good, and the second one was even better.

“It is emotional because this is my first medal for me and my husband under the name of Elkasevic, like there is a new girl in town. I won six under the name of Perkovic and this is the first one for our family. And that gold goes to him.”

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