Imperious Jacobs rules Rome as Italy basks in 'Super Saturday'

football08 June 2024 21:35| © AFP
article image
Marcell Jacobs © Getty Images

Home favourite Marcell Jacobs retained his European 100m crown in Rome as Team Italy basked in their very own 'Super Saturday' with two further golds to surge to the top of the medals table.

In a night of high-quality track and field at Rome's Stadio Olimpico, there was a record-extending seventh discus title for Croatia's Sandra Elkasevic.

There were also third successive European golds for Norway's Jakob Ingebrigtsen in the men's 5 000m, Belgium's Nafi Thiam in the heptathlon and Greek Miltiadis Tentoglou in the men's long jump.

But the night had a decidedly Italian hue to it as the host nation soared atop the medals table with five golds, four silvers and a bronze for an overall tally of 10. In second place after two days of competition are the Netherlands, with a gold, silver and bronze.

Italian team captain Gianmarco Tamberi, the world high jump champion, had said  he wanted to end up number one after a seventh place finish last time out in Munich in 2022.

And Jacobs lived up to his billing, scorching to victory in a season's best of 10.02 seconds in what was a perfect tonic ahead of the Paris Olympics, just seven weeks away.

Italian teammate Chituru Ali took silver in 10.05sec, with Briton Romel Glave claiming bronze in 10.06sec.

It capped off a magical 20 minutes for the Italians, after first world silver medallist Leonardo Fabbri threw a championship record of 20.45m as he dominated the men's shot put to deny Croatian Filip Mihaljevic back-to-back Euro golds.

Then just minutes later and the crowd were chanting like football fans as Lorenzo Ndele Simonelli surged to victory in the 110m hurdles in 13.05sec to set up Jacob's final fanfare.


Norwegian Ingebrigtsen also shone on a heady night's entertainment by taking the lead of the 5 000m at the bell and sprinting away for gold in a season's best of 13:20.11.

There was to be no denying Croatian discus legend Elkasevic -- better known by her maiden name Perkovic, who claimed a convincing victory with a best of 67.04m.

The 33-year-old, twice Olympic gold medallist and a two-time former world champion, is now unbeaten on the European stage since Barcelona in 2010, winning successive continental editions in Zurich, Helsinki, Amsterdam, Berlin and Munich over the past 12 years.

In a session that favoured old heads, Thiam, herself a two-time Olympic champion and twice world title holder, also wrapped up her third successive European heptathlon gold in dominant style.

Over the two days of competition, she clocked 13.74sec in the 100m hurdles, managed bests of 1.95m in the high jump and 15.06m in the shot put, timed 24.81sec in the 200m, went out to 6.59m in the long jump and threw 53.00m in the javelin.

The Belgian completed the 800m in a personal best of 2:11.79 to leave her on  a winning 6,848 points. France's Auriana Lazraq-Khlass took silver with 6,635pts, while Thiam's teammate Noor Vidts rounded out the podium (6,596).

In the long jump, Tentoglou -- also the Olympic and world champion -- made it a third continental title in style, smashing the championship record twice to win in 8.65 metres.

Tentoglou sailed out to three world leads before improving, by 24cm, the previous season's best set by Switzerland's Simon Ehammer in qualifying on Friday.

Ehammer failed to improve on that form, managing 8.31m for bronze behind 19-year-old Italian Mattia Furlani, whose 8.38m was a world under-20 record and best ever championship jump for silver.

There was a third championship record of the night in the women's 100m hurdles, Cyrena Samba-Mayela clocking 12.31sec for the win ahead of Swiss Ditaji Kambundji (12.40) and Poland's Pia Skrzyszowska (12.42).

Sweden's world silver medallist Perseus Karlstrom fought off the attentions of Spain's Paul McGrath to win the 20km race walk in 1hr 19min 13sec.

Italy's Francesco Fortunato taking bronze to set up a night of medals for the host nation.