Jacob Fincham-Dukes out for redemption after Munich “robbery” – AW

    Controversially denied a medal at the European Champs in Munich two years ago, the British long jumper is keen to make the podium in Rome

    Two years ago at the European Championships in Munich, Jacob Fincham-Dukes looked like he won long jump silver with a leap of 8.06m. The British athlete even did a lap of honour draped in a Union flag.

    Soon after, though, his joy turned to disappointment as his mark was belatedly judged a foul. A French protest claimed that his foot was marginally over the line, which led to his best jump being ruled a foul moving him down to fifth.

    In Friday’s qualifying round at the 2024 European Championships in Rome, he qualified with 8.18m into a slight headwind of -1.1m/sec. This means the final on Saturday (June 7) in the Stadio Olimpico is very much about redemption.

    “Absolutely,” he agrees. “Most people agree I was robbed last time around with the silver medal.

    “This time it’s all about redemption and I’m not coming home without a medal. In the back of my mind I’m proving that I can do it with the best of the world.

    “It was only two centimetres short of my PB into a headwind,” Fincham-Dukes added, “so there is definitely way more distance to come. I am just glad I did the job and got the auto qualifier.

    Mattia Furlani (Getty)

    Simon Ehammer of Switzerland led the qualifiers on Friday with 8.41m (-0.6) with Fincham-Dukes the best of the rest as Italian youngster Mattia Furlani jumped 8.17m (-1.0) and defending champion Miltiadis Tentoglou of Greece 8.14m (-1.3). Altogether nine athletes beat the eight-metre barrier.

    “When I saw all these guys go over the eight-metre mark, it just goes to show how strong Europe is for long jump right now. Ehammer is going 8.41m, and we all know what Tentoglou is capable of, so you’ve got to turn up. It feels good to have a contender for GB in these finals, it has been a few years since we’ve got these type of distances, so I’ll be happy to contend in that final on Saturday night.”

    The 27-year-old is based in Texas where he works in health and safety compliance full time, squeezing his training sessions into the day before or after work, or both. The temperature there often rises above 40C with high humidity so he is not fazed by the heat in Rome.

    Whatever happens in Rome, though, he will return to home to Harrogate in North Yorkshire to prepare for the defence of his UK title in Manchester at the end of June.

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