This is Stuart Weirs’ column on the field events from ROMA 2024, which happened on June 12, 2024. I missed Stuart’s columns and the next few days in June, and I am finally catching up prior to Paris 2024. 

A field day at the European Championships (June 12, 2024) 

It was a great final night for field events in the Stadio Olimpico as the European Championships came to an end with a crowd of 32,000 in attendance.

Jakub Vadlejch won the javelin for the Czech Republic with 88.65, carrying on the Czech traditions of Jan Zelezny and others.  Julian Weber (Germany) had thrown 85.94 in the first round and had held the lead until Vadlejch’s final throw.  The winner said afterward: “It is just unbelievable what just happened. My dreams came true today. I suffered quite a lot during the whole competition. I knew I was in shape, but it just did not click. Maybe it was really the last attempt that everything just came together, enhanced by the support of this crazy crowd. It is the most I could wish for. I knew well that the throw would go much further if I only improved one small detail. After the competition, Julian Weber came to me and told me: ‘You should have thrown it earlier. Do not do this to me again, please”.

Mondo Duplantis dominates the Men’s PV once again, as shown in the photo by European Athletics via Getty Images.

Mondo Duplantis reached a winning 6.10 with five successful vaults.  He then attempted 6.25 but failed three times.  His assessment of the evening was: “The main goal was to go out there and to win, take home my third gold. I am very satisfied with the height; I did not really think I was attempting the WR today. It was not part of the plan. After the 6.10m, there was just too much energy there. I looked at my parents and we all had the same idea, we were like ‘it is just fun, so why not?’ I cannot complain. You need a great team and you have trust in them, I trust my parents, they led me and guided me to where I am today. It is such a special relationship we have. We find a good balance also. We love pole vaulting so much. It is always super special to have them here”. 

Clutch jumper Malaika MIhambo just missed a medal in Istanbul but made up for it in ROMA 2024! Photo by Chiara Monteeano for European Athletics

A stellar long-jump competition saw Malaika Mihambo jump a world-leading 7.22 in the second round to win the competition.  She achieved a second seven-meter leap for good measure.  Agate da Sousa and Mikaelle Assani each recorded 6.91 in the third round, seemingly for the other medals, but with her final jump, Italy’s Larissa Iapichino recorded 6.94 for silver, leaving Assani outside the medals. Mihambo said: “The 7.22m were close to a perfect jump, I hit the board well. But the headwind was disturbing, so the result could have been even better. But we never know how this will continue. With the 7.22m, I was quite sure, but you never know. I had a really good feeling. This is why I am looking forward to the summer at the Olympic Games in Paris. Before coming here, I knew that I had not yet shown in competition what I was doing in training. My training results showed that jumps of around 7.20 are possible. Now, the most important thing is to stay healthy. I am still young and know my career will last some more years. I am over the moon with this gold medal”. 


Larissa Iapichino commented: “I wanted to give an even better result to this crowd. I consistently performed consistently, perhaps my best series ever (6.82, 6.84, X, 6.86, 6,90, 6,94). But I really wanted to mark an over-7 jump. At the beginning of the competition, I felt some tension in my legs, and I was afraid I wouldn’t find the right feeling, but I managed everything well. Now I am very proud of this. I always tried to push myself further, to improve jump after jump, competition after competition. I never settle, but now I will enjoy this medal, achieved in such an atmosphere”.

It was great to see field events in the limelight.