Home favourite Mihambo delivers a world lead of 7.07m in Berlin

Reigning European and world long jump champion Malaika Mihambo said at the pre-event press conference that she was aiming to surpass the seven metre-line at the ISTAF Indoor in Berlin on Friday (14) and she duly delivered in front of her home audience.

But she left it late in the German capital. Mihambo was assured of back-to-back victories at the ISTAF Indoor courtesy of a fourth round jump of 6.84m but she handsomely surpassed that mark – as well as her meeting record and indoor lifetime best of 6.99m – with a sixth round jump, landing out to 7.07m. 

Mihambo also overtakes Ukraine’s Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk, who defeated Mihambo on her season’s debut in Karlsruhe on 31 January, as the world leader and her winning effort also propels Mihambo to tenth on the world indoor all-time list.

“The competition wasn’t easy for me, I needed some time to get into it. But for the last jump I tried to remain relaxed and use the impetus and power that was coming from the audience,” said Mihambo, who paid tribute to the 12,000-plus crowd that packed into the Mercedes Benz Arena. 

“The standing ovations pushed me to the 7.07m. I knew that I was able to jump over seven meters, but just knowing it isn’t enough – you have to show that you are able to perform under all conditions. I am very happy that I succeeded again today,” she added.

Mihambo will compete in both the 60m and long jump at the German Indoor Championships next weekend before turning her focus to the outdoor campaign. 

“Last year I jumped 6.99m here at the ISTAF Indoor and during the outdoor season [I jumped] 7.30m. I would say that means the trend still goes upwards and I am optimistic that with this new meeting record of 7.07m, the season started off very well.” 

In a high class competition, Nigeria’s Ese Brume was second with an indoor lifetime best of 6.79m. European indoor silver medallist Nastassia Mironchyk-Ivanova was third with 6.75m. 

More to follow…

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