The form book is turned on its head in the women’s pole vault and long jump at the European Indoor Championships
Pole vault favourite Holly Bradshaw was relegated to third place as victory went to unheralded Angelica Moser of Switzerland with a winning height of 4.75m. It wasn’t the only turn up on in the women’s jumps finals on Saturday (March 6) at the European Indoor Championships in Poland either as Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk beat more fancied athletes to take the long jump crown.
Moser, the daughter of 1988 Olympic decathlete Severin Moser, had a prodigious teenage career winning Youth Olympics, world under-20 and European junior titles.
But Bradshaw, the 2013 European indoor champion, was the athlete to beat and the Briton was out to reclaim her title.
Moser cleared 4.60m and 4.65m on her third attempts but went over 4.70m first time and then 4.75m at her second try. Runner-up Tina Sutej of Slovenia also went over 4.70m first time but failed at 4.75m and 4.80m to take silver.
“I didn’t expect that, I hoped for a medal, but this… I am so delighted,” said Moser.
Bradshaw began well with first-time clearances at 4.60m and 4.65m but couldn’t get over 4.70m despite having a best of 4.85m this year. Ultimately she shared bronze as well with Iryna Zhuk of Belarus, who also cleared 4.65m.
“You can’t sniff at a European Indoor medal, but I’m incredibly disappointed,” said Bradshaw. “I felt great. The other girls handled their jumps really well and I just didn’t quite jump as well today. It’s frustrating to come into the most important meet of the year and jump by far your lowest.
“In pole vault, it’s all about fine margins. At 4.70m, I thought I was still doing good jumps. I was executing them well and the bar just wasn’t staying on for me and on any other given day it could have done, but today it didn’t.”
In the long jump Bekh-Romanchuk was a good medal contender but the Ukrainian was not expected to win. After defending champion Ivana Spanovic withdrew on the eve of the championships, the likely winners were thought to be in-form youngster Larissa Iapinchino of Italy and world outdoor champion Malaika Mihambo of Germany.
Bekh-Romanchuk jumped 6.80m in the third round as Mihambo led with 6.88m. But while the German struggled with her run-up and could not improve, Bekh-Romanchuk soared out to a world lead of 6.92m in the final round to secure victory.
“It was perfect evening,” said the winner. “I am very happy. It is my first gold medal, I couldn’t imagine better competition. Before last jump, I was very focused, I knew I am well prepared and despite short indoor season, I achieved fantastic result.”
In third, Khaddi Sagnia of Sweden jumped 6.75m whereas Nastassia Mironchyk-Ivanova of Belarus was fourth and Iapichino fifth.