Long jump Olympic champion Malaika Mihambo is keeping open a start at the European Indoor Championships in Istanbul in March. “We’ll decide that over the course of the season,” said the 28-year-old after the successful season opener at the Karlsruhe Athletics Meeting. After the 60-meter sprint, the exceptional athlete from the LG Kurpfalz was happy to set her sights on the first competition of the year in her special discipline. The long jump at the Istaf Indoor in Düsseldorf is scheduled for her on Sunday. “The anticipation is very great,” said Mihambo, who was satisfied with her performance as a “hobby sprinter”.

In Rheinstetten near Karlsruhe, where, as expected, she missed the final in 7.43 seconds on Friday evening, but was faster than a year ago, Mihambo was the big star. She was constantly asked for souvenir photos from the many fans.

The highlight for track and field athletes this year is the World Championships from August 19 to 27, 2023 in Budapest. The World Cup does not play a role for them yet, said Mihambo. “I’m actually thinking from week to week, from competition to competition. Now I only think about Düsseldorf and try to do the best there.”

The indoor season is all about medals from March 2nd to 5th in Istanbul. Before that, after a total of two sprint and two long jump competitions, Mihambo will still be at the German championships on 18/19. February 2023 in Dortmund.

“After the German championships, we’re considering whether it makes sense to start at the European Indoor Championships in Istanbul. We have to see how it looks physically,” said coach Ulli Knapp of the German Press Agency. “We want to develop the form in the indoor season and do some nice competitions.”

After the postponement of title fights during the Corona pandemic, Mihambo unusually had to defend her world title won in the USA in 2022 after just one year. “I was able to keep my title a year longer than that, so it’s only fair to fight for it a year earlier,” said Mihambo, laughing. In Doha, Mihambo became world champion for the first time in 2019.

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