ISTANBUL (AP) — Olympic long jump champion Malaika Mihambo took on a massive spur of the moment from the medal-less European Championships.
“Of course it’s a pity that it didn’t work out with a medal,” said the 29-year-old world champion after finishing fourth at the European Championships in Istanbul. “It’s good motivation to keep working on yourself, to be hungry for more in the summer and to be able to attack better.”
Victory in Istanbul went to Britain’s Jazmine Sawyers, who brought the long jump title to Great Britain for the first time in 39 years with a best of 7.00 metres. Mihambo was one of the first to wish her well, hugging her longtime rival after the golden jump.
“I’ve been waiting for Jazmine Sawyers for a long time for Seven Meters, so I was very happy with her,” Mihambo said. Until the fifth round, the 29-year-old was still leading with a 6.83 metres. But then the trio overtook the two-time world champion. The silver medal was won by Italy’s Larisa Yapichino, who scored 6.97 meters, and the bronze went to Serbian Ivana Voleta, with a difference of 6.91 meters.
Gathering strength at Allgäu
“As the competition progresses, my tenure is becoming more stable. That’s a good sign. We’ve been working on it during the indoor season. I have a feeling it’s paying off,” Mihambo said. The highlight for track and field athletes is the World Outdoor Championships in August in Budapest. “She was in a very good mood, but unfortunately she didn’t exactly jump,” said trainer Uli Knapp of the German Press Agency. “Now it’s about preparing more for the summer.”
After the trip back to Germany, a training camp was planned in Allgäu. “There, Malaika will do fitness with cross-country skiing, yoga or hiking at an altitude”; Knapp said. “We had very good experiences with that a year ago. I think it makes sense for the body to experience completely different loads as a training stimulus.”
Even without a first title in the hall, Knapp and Mihambo are taking a big summer with confidence. Knapp said, “Our goal was to change the pace this indoor season and it worked. Malaika hasn’t been as fast as it is now for three years. This is promising – also for the summer,” Knapp said.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 230306-99-845152/2
“Internet nerd. Avid student. Zombie guru. Tv enthusiast. Coffee advocate. Social media expert. Music geek. Professional food maven. Thinker. Troublemaker.”