Relaxation cannot be prescribed, but those who have such a well-founded self-confidence as Malaika Mihambo no longer feel the pressure to perform.

Not even in difficult times.

Despite having only just overcome corona disease, the German long jump queen from the Kurpfalz region showed herself to be resilience personified after qualifying at the European Athletics Championships in Munich.

The defending champion delivered 6.99 meters in the second attempt on Tuesday, giving away a good 16 centimeters on the take-off board and still being the best of the day and smiling and waving goodbye from the Olympic Stadium.

Achim Dreis

sports editor.

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Her Covid infection, which she suffered after the World Cup in Eugene, did not affect her at least apparently.

She had been lying flat for ten days and only finally decided on Friday to actually compete in Munich.

"I wasn't nervous," she said now.

Not even after she narrowly defected in the first attempt.

She knew what was technically wrong.

No reason to panic.

And because of Corona, she said, she might feel even less pressure than usual.

Pressure is no longer a parameter for the 28-year-old anyway.

"I don't have to prove anything anymore," is one of her mantras.

Not yourself, and certainly not others.

Mihambo's lightness feeds on a number of successful experiences and can no longer be easily shaken.

The defending champion from Berlin 2018 traveled to Bavaria as a double world champion and Olympic champion.

She has won four gold medals at the past four major events.

So what should happen?

Before qualifying, she appeared in a black baseball cap – probably to protect herself from the blazing sun, but also to shield herself a bit.

Almost all the spectators had gathered in the corner of the Olympic Stadium where the long jump pits are located, thus creating a festive mood in the morning.

"A great atmosphere," said Mihambo - secretly knowing that most of them had come because of her.

But she didn't let this pressure rest on her strengthened shoulders either.

She hugged her three teammates before the first attempt and encouraged them.

And at least one, Merle Homeier from Göttingen, made it into the final with 6.49 meters.

Mikaelle Assani (6.46) and Maryse Luzolo (6.29), on the other hand, were eliminated.

Before the final on Thursday (8:58 p.m. / ARD), the big favorite is now looking forward to having another day to regenerate.

Because Mihambo had to admit that she got tired faster.

Nevertheless, she feels "fitter" than last week: "The body regulates it now" she said about the further plan of her regeneration.

Klosterhalfen's second chance

Also on Thursday (9:25 p.m.) long-distance runner Konstanze Klosterhalfen will perform a second time in the Olympic Stadium.

The 5,000m final is her second chance for a medal after narrowly missing out on bronze over double the distance on Monday night.

She finished fourth behind Yasemin Can (Turkey), Briton Eilish McColgan and Lonah Chemtai Salpeter from Israel.

Afterwards she smiled bravely, but the lightweight of the career was not completely happy, because she had only achieved one of her two goals: the good time.

In 31:05.21 minutes, the 25-year-old stayed just three and a half seconds above her German record.

She is now aiming for the hoped-for medal over half the distance.

In 2019 in Doha she ran over 5000 meters to bronze at the World Championships, but her EM program contains an imponderability: she has never dared to start twice before.

"I'm excited to see how that turns out," she said.

Klosterhalfen was also ill with Corona, but already in June, which is why she was weakly eliminated in the lead-up to the World Cup in Eugene.

Long jumper Mihambo, who according to her own assessment "has not lost so much substance" due to the infection, dares to jump over seven meters in the final without further ado.

At the same time, she still gives life advice to those who look too much at numbers.

Her general goal is to “do my best” and “enjoy the competition”.

Everything else will then follow.