German sprinter Tatjana Pinto progressed her ambitions of a medal at the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships, part of the inaugural multi-sport European Championships with co-hosts Glasgow, with a sparking performance over 60m in the same city on Friday night.
More than 12,000 spectators packed the Mercedes-Benz Arena in the German capital for the annual ISTAF Indoor meeting and were treated to the 25-year-old Pinto flying to a world-leading time of 7.08 in the 60m heats, just 0.01 away from her personal best set when winning the German title two years ago.
She couldn’t replicate that time in the final 50 minutes later but, despite a relatively poor start, was still a confident winner in 7.13, holding off the Swiss talent Mujinga Kambundji who was just 0.01 in arrears.
After winning 100m bronze medals at European U20 and U23 championships earlier in her career, and finishing sixth in the last European Athletics Championships 100m in Amsterdam two years ago, she now wants to add to her collection.
“My run in the heats was really sensational but it was already clear in training that I'm in good shape,” said Pinto, who expects the Berlin fans to propel her to fast times again in the summer. “Running here, and in front of this crowd, is simply awesome.”
Pinto is also a key part of Germany’s 4x100m relay team – which took the bronze medals in Amsterdam and then finished fourth at both the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and IAAF World Championships London 2017 – and they will surely challenge for the medals, and maybe the title, in Berlin with Lisa Mayer and Gina Luckenkemper augmenting the team.
At the ISTAF Indoor meeting, Mayer equalled her personal best of 7.17 and Luckenkemper clocked 7.19 for fourth and fifth place respectively.