Morning Chronicle - Mayer on track for Olympic qualification at Rome Euros

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Mayer on track for Olympic qualification at Rome Euros
Mayer on track for Olympic qualification at Rome Euros / Photo: Anne-Christine POUJOULAT - AFP

Mayer on track for Olympic qualification at Rome Euros

France's world record holder Kevin Mayer remains on course for a berth at the Paris Olympics, with just two events left in the decathlon at the European championships in Rome on Tuesday.

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Mayer sat eighth overnight and improved to fifth on 7,001 points after timing 14.29sec in the 110m hurdles and managing bests of 48.53m and 5.30m in the discus and pole vault respectively.

There is just the javelin and 1500m to come in Tuesday's evening session, with Mayer eyeing the Olympic qualification mark of 8,460 points.

Mayer said he felt under "pressure" as he tries to ensure he has a place at his home Olympics.

"I know a lot of people have bought tickets to see me at the Olympics, but me, I don't have my ticket yet," he told France Televisions.

Estonia's Johannes Erm leads the field on 7,207pts.

Defending 800m champion Keely Hodgkinson of Britain won her semi-final to move smoothly into Wednesday's final.

Hodgkinson took charge of the race and set a fast pace to win in 1min 58.07.

"It was so early! Jokes aside, I think I had a good pace and felt well," she said.

"I had to avoid any risks, so now we can wait for tomorrow."

Two-time world silver medallist Hodgkinson, however, would not be drawn on the Paris Olympics, where she will try to improve on the silver medal she won at the Covid-delay Tokyo Games.

"It's still too early to think about Olympics," she said.

"There is still a final to run."

In an upset, Britain's men's 4x100m relay team will be absent from the final after a botched final handover from Richard Kilty to 100m bronze medallist Romell Glave saw them finish eight and last in their semi-final won by Germany.

The Germans will fight it out with the Dutch, French and fancied Italians on Wednesday, with a new country's name to be etched on the men's sprint relay gold, Britain having won at all four European editions since 2014.

There was no such drama for the British women's quartet, with individual 100m gold medallist Dina Asher-Smith running the third leg as they won their semi in 42.25sec.

Femke Bol's hopes of three medals at these championships were maintained by her Dutch teammates in the 4x400m relay.

Bol, who won bronze as part of the 4x400m mixed relay team, has the final of the 400m hurdles in Tuesday's evening session so was not part of the Netherlands quartet who competed in the morning semi-final.

Eveline Saalberg, Anne van de Wiel, Myrte van der Schoot and Lisanne de Witte looked at one stage that they might miss out on qualification, but the latter produced a late burst for the line that saw them into Wednesday's final.

And Germany's Malaika Mihambo, the reigning Olympic champion, two-time former world gold medallist and European champion in Berlin in 2018, cruised into the final of the women's long jump, scheduled for 1854 on Wednesday.

Mihambo jumped an European lead of 7.03 metres in qualifying as she seeks to improve on her silver from Munich two years ago, which she won shortly after her recovery from a bout of Covid-19.

"I have seen a constant development in my last competitions, I saw how everything was coming together," she said.

"Today I wasn't nervous, but there was a little bit of tension, but that is good for a qualification."