Greece’s Miltiadis Tendoglou has retained the European title in the long jump for his third consecutive event, which no athlete has ever previously achieved.

In a night where his dominance was never in question, the Olympic and world champion had no rival in the final of the European Athletics Championships in Rome.

Tentoglou made five extraordinary eight metre jumps leaping to 8.65 metres on his fifth attempt, locking in his first place on the podium and achieving both the championship record and his personal best.

Tendoglou’s first jump landed at 8.42m, the world’s best performance this year. His second attempt was invalidated, while in the third he jumped far behind the mark, improving his own best world performance of the year by seven centimetres at 8.49m.

In his fourth jump, Tendoglou reached 8.45m, and in his fifth he broke all championship records with 8.65m. This performance was only one centimetre behind the national record held by Louis Tsatumas of 8.66m from 2007. In his sixth and final he again jumped 8.65m.

Tendoglou who’s best performance of the year was 8.36m before the championships in Rome will now focus the Paris Olympics which begin in July.

Italy’s Mattia Furlani came second with 8.38m, while Switzerland’s Simon Ehammer was third with 8.31m.

(L-R) Mattia Furlani of Italy, Miltiadis Tentoglou of Greece, and Simon Ehammer of Switzerland after the men’s Long Jump Final during the European Athletics Championship, in Rome, Italy. Photo: AAP via EPA/Eiliano Grillotti

His first statement

A few minutes after his triumph at the European Athletics Championships in Rome, Miltiadis Tendoglou described… cursed his last two jumps of 8.65m, which did not allow him to break the national record.

The details of what Miltos Tendoglou said on ERT TV:

“I want to apologise, but I’m very tired. I tried to make the national record. It’s a curse that I did 8.65m twice.”

On whether this was the best final at a European Championship: “Just for fun it’s the best final ever. They are beasts, the athletes. All of them are fantastic. Furlani is awesome.”

On whether he’s close to the world record of 8.86m: “It’s a long way off, but I got a little bit closer. These performances are not done for fun, they are unthinkable.”

On whether he will celebrate it more than the other two golds he has in European open track and field: “I will enjoy it more than the other medals.”

On his goal for the Paris Olympics: “At the Olympics I want to defend my title and I believe in a better race than this one. I will be good in Paris because the whole year is going well this year.”

Congratulations from Greek leaders

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis congratulated Miltos Tendoglou on his third consecutive gold medal at the European Championships in a post on “X”.

“The incredible Miltos Tendoglou is European Champion again! With a great performance he won the gold medal at the European Championships in Rome and made us proud once again! Congratulations!” wrote the Prime Minister in his post.

President of SYRIZA-PS Stefanos Kasselakis wrote on “X”: “Miltos once again on top. We are proud not only of his performance, but because he is simultaneously ‘flying’ and staying grounded as a human being. A model champion! Congratulations!”

“The amazing Miltos Tendoglou made us proud once again by winning gold at the European Athletics Championships.Congratulations!” said PASOK-Change Movement President Nikos Androulakis.