ISTANBUL, Turkey – Miltiadis Tentoglou, Greece’s Olympic champion, made history on Sunday (5) by becoming the first man to secure a third consecutive long jump title at the 2023 European Athletics Indoor Championships in Istanbul. He also won titles in 2019 and 2021. Read more: Samuele Ceccarelli upsets Lamont Jacobs in Istanbul
Tentoglou’s victory was thanks to a superior first-round jump of 8.30m that put pressure on the rest of field, which in the end, no other competitor was able match. The 24-year-old’s impressive performance continued his perfect record in European competition, where he has also won outdoor gold medals in 2018 and 2022.
Not A Fan Of Early Morning Competitions
Tentoglou’s achievement was made even more impressive considering he jumped so early in the morning. He admitted that the early morning start to the competition affected his ability to jump further.
He commented: “If the final was in the afternoon, we would definitely see jumps over 8.50 not only from me but also from the other jumpers.
“I tried to sleep early last night, but then I was waking up like every hour. Now it is time to look forward to the world championships, and I want to try to win gold, of course.”
Tentoglou had an excellent series that included jumps of 8.16m, 8.05m, 8.07m, and 8.29m.
Meanwhile, Sweden’s Thobias Montler once again proved to be Tentoglou’s closest rival, recording a jump of 8.19m, equaling his season’s best.
He said after the defeat, “Miltiadis is the greatest long jumper right now, and to challenge him at big competitions feels good.”
Too Many Fouls Prevented A Serious Challenge Says Thobias Montler
Montler said he was hoping to challenge is chief rival, but was too inconsistent on the run away. He felt he had the distance in his body to challenge Tentoglou, but too many foul jumps prevented him from winning gold.
“There was distance in my body that I could challenge, but I had too many false jumps, and it won’t work if you have so many false attempts,” he said.
Romania’s Gabriel Bitan took the bronze medal with a jump of 8.00m, his first major medal at the senior European championships.
Nation U-20 Record For Bozhidar Saraboyukov
Bozhidar Saraboyukov from Bulgaria jumped 7.76m, 7.68m, and 7.97m, setting a new under-20 national record and personal best on his final attempt, to finish in fourth place.
Bitan was thrilled with his first major medal at the senior European championships.
“It was an exciting final – I started with a good jump, but I knew from the beginning that I needed to jump 8m or more to get a medal. I hope this is not my last major medal,” he said.
He also confessed that he wasn’t a fan of early mornings.