Long jump Olympic champion Malaika Mihambo started the European Indoor Championships for track and field athletes in Istanbul with the best result of the season.

The 29-year-old landed at 6.87 meters after a difficult competition. That meant second place in the qualification behind European outdoor champion Ivana Vuleta from Serbia. The three-time European indoor champion jumped 6.98 meters. The long jump medals will be awarded in the Turkish metropolis on Sunday evening. Mihambo, who has won every title in outdoor competitions, is aiming for her first indoor gold.

“It was a bit difficult because the pole vault was running at the same time. I almost got a pole or the bar in my face twice because my run started exactly where the bars fell. It’s difficult to concentrate,” said Mihambo. “I’m looking forward to tomorrow, even if pole vaulting is going on at the same time again. Now you can deal with this situation.”

The 20-year-old Mikaelle Assani was 13th in the long jump with 6.38 meters and tasted the atmosphere of a title fight. But it wasn’t enough for the final. Maryse Luzolo (27) had to forego a start due to muscular problems.

Title fights in the absence of dominator Duplantis

After gold by Hanna Klein over 3000 meters and a total of four medals on Friday evening, Mihambo woke up

Sam Parsons, who is starting for SCC Berlin, qualified safely for the final over 3000 meters in the shadow of 1500 meter winner Jakob Ingebrigtsen from Norway.

“Hanna Klein and Konstanze Klosterhalfen gave me a lot of power for the race with their performance yesterday,” said Parsons, who struck up thoughtful words. “A young woman from my training group has cancer, she’s doing very badly. That’s so sad. You don’t know how much time you have in this world. That was a run for her today.”