Greek athlete adds another title in Glasgow to his massive list of achievements and then criticises plans to remove the take-off board from his event

Miltos Tentoglou of Greece successfully defended his world indoor long jump title after a close battle with young Italian Mattia Furlani and then slated the much-publicised proposals to introduce ‘boardless long jump’ rules.

“I consider long jump to be one of the hardest events because of the board and the accuracy you need,” he fumed.

The 25-year-old is also the reigning Olympic, outdoor world and European champion and added: “You need to run like a sprinter, to hit the board perfectly – this is the hard part of the long jump.

“The jump itself is easy. They want to remove the difficult part and what makes long jump the long jump. So if they want to remove this, the long jump would be the easiest event.

“If that happens, I will stop doing long jump. I will be a triple jumper.”

He added: “It’s so bad, it’s funny. I think nobody likes it apart from maybe some of the guys who do a lot of fouls.”

With controversial proposals creating much debate in the sport lately, it was ironic that this final on Saturday morning a thrilling contest. Apart from the heptathlon, it was the only final for spectators during the session but they go home with memories of a classic duel between Tentoglou and Furlani.

The duo’s best distance was the same – 8.22m – but the Greek athlete won on countback courtesy of his next best mark of 8.15m compared to Furlani’s 8.10m.

Miltiadis Tentoglou and Mattia Furlani with Carey McLeod (Getty)

To add to the excitement, Carey McLeod of Jamaica jumped 8.21m – only one centimetre away from the two leaders – in the fifth round to take bronze.

In addition to Tentoglou’s fierce comments, there were a number of comments from traditionalists in the Emirates Arena arguing “why do we need to change the long jump rules?”

No doubt the topic will also be fiercely discussed at the Coaches’ Club event unfolding in Glasgow over this weekend with “horizontal jumps ideas” set to be discussed by Florian Weber and Jakob Larsen on Sunday afternoon followed by a question and answer session with Jon Ridgeon, the chief executive of World Athletics who broke the news of the “boardless long jump” proposals in a podcast last month.

On his victory in Glasgow, Tentoglou was not as thrilled as the spectators, though, despite winning gold. He said: “This result does not mean anything to me. I did not like the competition today, it was really bad for me. I jumped terrible.”

Tentoglou was also not a fan of jumping in the morning and added: “I am just lucky guy. It was very close. I hope everyone had some fun today, at least, it was exciting in the end.”

Furlani, the European under-20 champion, was more enthused: “Wow, what a great day. I am so excited because it is the first steps for me on the world stage. I have been dreaming about this medal for weeks and I want to thank everybody who has worked with me.”

Miltiadis Tentoglou, Mattia Furlani, Carey McLeod (Getty)

Furlani, who won European under-18 titles in long jump and high jump in 2022, added: “I have got time now (in my career) to improve my speed and my power. But I am so excited to have done this.”

The Italian teenager also had a huge final round jump but it was a foul.

McLeod passed American Jarrion Lawson to win bronze and said: “It just took me a while to get going. I knew I had to come out here and do something special. I was just 1cm shy of that gold medal. But I’m so grateful. I’m kinda used to the pressure. I think I jump better under pressure. Whenever you want to see the best of me just put me under a little bit of pressure.”

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