Long jumper Abigail Irozuru feels early Euro exit sums up season

·2-min read
Fans in action during the ATHLETICS - MEN'S DECATHLON JAVELIN THROW at during the European Championships 2022 on August 16, 2022, in Munich, Germany. Photo: Dominik Berchtold / Munich2022 (Dominik Berchtold / Munich2022)

By Will Jennings in Munich

Abigail Irozuru reckons her early multi-sport European Championship exit summed up her season after struggling for confidence in Munich.

The Sale Harriers long jumper finished 10th in her heat on Tuesday to round off an inconsistent few months in the pit.

Irozuru, 32, could only muster a 12th-place finish at the Commonwealth Games before showing signs of mental fragility in Germany.

She failed to qualify by almost half a metre and admits she needs to go back to the drawing board to get her career back on track.

Irozuru said: “I think it has been the pattern of the year.

“I am just not trusting my runway.

“Clearly that third round pressure is sometimes a bit too much when you don’t back yourself.

“It is what it is, it’s disappointing but it’s something I need to work on.”

British team-mate Jahisha Thomas progressed with a jump of 6.57m while in the other group, Stoke star Jazmin Sawyers finished fourth behind home favourite and Olympic champion Malaika Mihambo, Ukrainian Maryna Ekh-Romanchuk and super Serb Milica Gardasevic

Sawyers, 28, admits she was struggling for motivation after the Commonwealth Games but the magical Munich crowd roaring on Mihambo helped haul her into the final.

The former European silver medallist, who narrowly missed out on a medal in Birmingham after a ninth-place finish at the World Championships, said: “I have been ultimately disappointed with the results of the two Championships so far this summer.

“That feeling of trying to drag myself back up to the level where I am excited to compete has been really tough.

“This crowd helped today.

“We were standing there for the warm-up and it seemed like the entire stadium migrated to the long jump pit to watch Mihambo.

“I like being a part of these long jump events because we have superstars dotted all around the world.

“We get the same in Serbia, it happens in Germany, it’s just so great. This is really cool that I get to do this.

“Yes I am tired, but ultimately this is something I get to do and I am very grateful for it.”

The multi-sport European Championships Munich 2022, featuring Athletics, Beach Volleyball, Canoe Sprint, Cycling, Gymnastics, Table Tennis, Triathlon, Rowing, Sport Climbing, takes place 11th-21st August on the 50th anniversary of the Olympics Games in the German city. Watch daily live coverage across BBC One, Two, Red Button, BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport website