Tentoglou shines in Sweden
Greece’s Miltiadis Tentoglou won a historic gold in the long jump at the European Athletics U23 Championships in Gavle, Sweden, while 19-year-old Emmanouil Karalis also starred by winning silver in the pole vault.
With a winning jump of 8.32 metres, Tentoglou became the first long jumper to ever win the “treble,” that is, winning gold at the European Championships at the U20, U23, and senior levels. The 21-year-old from Grevena in Macedonia had previously won gold at the European U20 Championships in 2017, and in 2018 at the senior European Championships. What is even more impressive is that he was able to achieve this feat within two years of winning his first European gold medal, and that he did so at such a young age. Additionally, he also won gold at this year’s European Indoor Championships at the senior level. Thus, Tentoglou has won four gold medals at the continental level over the past two years.
Tentoglou’s 8.32-metre jump in is currently first in Europe for 2019, and fourth overall in the world. It is also his new outdoor personal best, overtaking his previous personal best of 8.30 metres from 2017. In the final, Tentoglou also registered jumps of 8.25 metres, 8.22 metres, and 8.20 metres, all of which would have been good enough for gold, as Spain’s Hector Santos took silver with a jump of 8.19 metres. With the men’s long jump qualifying standard for the 2020 Olympics being 8.22 metres, Tentoglou has also become the fourth Greek track and field athlete to qualify for Tokyo, after Nikoleta Kyriakopoulou, Paraskevi Papachristou, and Ekaterini Stefanidi. In total, Greece now has 13 athletes across four sports qualified for next year’s Olympics.
Also winning a medal for Greece in Gavle was pole vaulter Emmanouil Karalis. His jump of 5.60 metres gave him his third career medal at a major competition, and first since 2016. Karalis has not yet booked his ticket for the 2020 Olympics, but he has qualified for the 2019 World Championships, where he will look to reach the Tokyo 2020 qualifying standard of 5.80 metres.
With one gold and one silver, this was Greece’s best performance at the European U23 Championships since 2011, a year in which the likes of Papachristou and Stefanidi competed and won medals for the Greek team.
Tentoglou and Karalis may have been the only medal winners on the 25-athlete Greek team, but several other Greeks also made good impressions in Gavle. Sofia Alikanioti came in seventh place in the 20 kilometres walk, and shot putter Odysseas Mouzenidis also finished in seventh. High jumper Antonios Merlos achieved a ninth-place finish in his event. Lastly, the men’s 4 x 100 metres relay team came in tenth place overall.
The next European Athletics U23 Championships will take place in Bergen, Norway, in 2021. Several of the younger members from this year’s Greek squad will be expected to return, including Karalis, Merlos, and Mouzenidis.