Ingebrigtsen makes Euro history, Duplantis and Jacobs delight

Jakob Ingebrigtsen of Norway leads the field during the men’s 1 500m final at the European Athletics Championships at the Olympic stadium in Rome on June 12, 2024. AFP

Jakob Ingebrigtsen became the most successful male European athlete in Rome on Wednesday, while Armand ‘Mondo’ Duplantis won his third pole vault title and Marcell Jacobs set the crowd alight with a second gold as part of the Italian relay team.

In a high-octane night of track and field featuring some of the leading competitors on the global stage, the large crowd at the Stadio Olimpico was treated to some sterling performances.

Not least from Olympic champion Ingebrigtsen, who at just 23 years of age claimed his third successive 1500/5,000m double after winning the 1500m in a championship record of 3min 31.95sec.

Those six golds establish him as Europe’s leading male athlete, beyond Britons Mo Farah and Roger Black and then-West Germany’s Harald Schmid, who all also won six European medals, but whose tallies included five golds and a silver.

“I just do my best in every race and sometimes it goes out very well,” said Ingebrigtsen.

Duplantis, the Olympic and two-time world champion, was untouchable in the pole vault, an event he has dominated in recent seasons. He bettered his own championship record by 5cm to 6.10m for gold and went close on three occasions to improving his own world record of 6.24m.

Italy topped the medals table with 11 golds, nine silvers and four bronzes for an overall haul of 24. France, Britain, Norway and Switzerland each collected four golds.

Given Team Italia’s dominance, it was fitting that Olympic champion Jacobs, who had retained his 100m crown on Saturday, had the final word by helping the 4x100m relay team to victory.

Jacobs teamed up with Matteo Melluzzo, Lorenzo Patta and Filippo Tortu for victory in 37.82 seconds.

Draped in Italian flags, Jacobs immediately led his teammates up into the stands to embrace Italy President Sergio Mattarella, government and federation officials, to wild applause and cheers from the partisan crowd.

Lke Jacobs, Britain’s women’s 100m winner Dina Asher-Smith led her country’s quartet to victory in the 4x100m relay in 41.91sec.

Hodgkinson, Mihambo confirm

There was a second British gold thanks to Keely Hodgkinson, who retained her 800m title with a trademark gun-to-tape race for victory in 1:58.15 ahead of fast-finishing Slovak Gabriela Gajanova.

Hodgkinson, a two-time world silver medallist who also won silver at the Covid-delayed Tokyo Olympics, was in control for the duration of the race, confirming her status as one of the hot favourites for the two-lap race at the Paris Games.

Germany’s Malaika Mihambo, the reigning Olympic champion, two-time former world gold medallist and European champion in Berlin in 2018, claimed victory in the women’s long jump with a world-leading 7.22m.

It was the third best result ever at a Euros, behind Heike Drechsler’s 7.30m in 1990 and 7.27m in 1986.

The relays saw a handful of athletes ensure they leave for home with more than one medal.

Gold medallist in the 400m hurdles, Femke Bol secured her second gold and third medal of the championships (after also sealing a bronze as part of the 4x400m mixed relay) as she anchored the Dutch women’s 4x400m relay team to victory.

Bol, along with Lieke Klaver, Cathelijn Peeters and Lisanne de Witte timed 3:22.39.

Ireland took silver in a national record of 3:22.71, allowing Rhasidat Adeleke to also pick up her third medal after a silver in the 400m flat and gold in the mixed relay.

“I wanted to give all my own for our team and we took this amazing victory,” said Bol. “I feel a lot of enthusiasm: my teammates did a great job and I made sure to complete their job.”

There was also a second gold for 400m champion Alexander Doom, who superbly anchored the Belgian quartet also featuring Jonathan Sacoor, Robin Vanderbemden and Dylan Borlee to victory in the men’s 4x400m relay in 2:59.84, finishing ahead of Italy and Germany.

Switzerland’s Dominic Lobalu followed up on his 5,000m bronze with gold in the 10,000m in 28.00.32, while Czech Olympic silver medallist Jakub Vadlejch denied Germany’s Julian Weber back-to-back European javelin titles with a best of 88.65m for gold.

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