September 24, 2022

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Munich (dpa) – Completely exhausted but beaming with happiness, Niklas Kaul enjoyed the applause on a lap of honour after a magnificent final sprint to take gold in the decathlon at the European Athletics Championships in Munich. Stunned, Gina Lückenkemper opened her eyes and could hardly believe at first that she had become European 100-metre champion in a neck-and-neck final race. At the end of a sensational European Championships day, the 40,000 enthusiastic spectators in the Olympic Stadium sang: “Oh, wie ist das schön” – Oh, how beautiful it is.

“The stadium is absolutely amazing today. I’m so incredibly grateful to you,” said Lückenkemper, who finished in 10.99 seconds to win ahead of the world indoor champion Mujinga Kambundji of Switzerland. “I don’t feel anything right now, I’m so full of adrenaline,” Lückenkemper shouted into the microphone in the stadium as spectators celebrated with a Mexican wave, four years after she had won silver at the European Championships in Berlin.

Kaul had already turned the arena into a party zone on Tuesday evening. Thanks to a storming performance in the final 1500-metre race, the 24-year-old from Mainz was able to oust Simon Ehammer (8,468) from Switzerland from first place with 8,545 points. He was still in seventh place before the last two events, but then managed a surprising turnaround by throwing the javelin 76.05 metres and achieving a personal best of 4:10.04 minutes in the 1,500 metres.

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