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Olympic champion Mihambo aims to raise the bar, get his third world title

origin 1Malaika Mihambo of Germany celebrates with the gold medal and the German flag after the women’s long jump final competition during the World Championships in Athletics. Michael Kappeler/dpa

Olympic long jump champion Malaika Mihambo of Germany has big goals for 2023 as she wants to raise her bar even further and win a third consecutive world title in August in Budapest.

Mihambo defended her 2019 world title in Eugene five months ago, but then contracted the coronavirus which cost her some training ahead of her home European Championships in Monaco, where she had to settle for silver behind the Serbian Ivana Vuleta.

“I am very satisfied with my year. Of course I would have liked to compete without a handicap at the European Championships. But even there I was able to show an exceptionally good performance,” she told dpa.

“I am very happy that I was able to reach a higher level of performance again, similar to what I had in 2019. Now I am looking forward to building on this and hopefully I can improve my level even more in future year.”

Mihambo ran a personal best of 7.30m to win the 2019 world title in Doha and is hoping for a similar level at the Aug. 19-27 Worlds in Budapest to complete a hat-trick for the title.

She said the title in Eugene in the summer showed her she’s learned a lot about handling pressure at big events.

But first comes the indoor season for the three-time German sportswoman of the year, as Mihambo plans to compete in several races under one roof in Germany, and may even be at the European indoor championships in Istanbul from March 2-5.

“I always find it particularly important to go to high-level matches with stiff competition and a lot of spectators,” Mihambo said.