Athletics world loses it over bizarre act at European Championships

·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
Sweden's Jesper Hellstrom didn't exactly nail this attempt in the triple jump final at the European Championships in Germany. Picture: Instagram
Sweden's Jesper Hellstrom didn't exactly nail this attempt in the triple jump final at the European Championships in Germany. Picture: Instagram

Swedish triple-jumper Jesper Hellstrom managed to turn heads at the European Championships after sailing sideways through the air during the final.

The 27-year-old was a surprise qualifier for the final, but his turn on the big stage in Germany didn't go quite to plan as he made his way down the run-up.

LISTEN UP: Andrew Johns' advice to Kalyn Ponga after toilet cubicle controversy

'WORDS FAIL ME': Bombers fans furious over treatment of Ben Rutten

Having qualified for the final with a jump of 16.07 metres, Hellstrom's first effort in the final was a relatively conservative 16.02m.

Clearly looking to step it up in his second attempt, Hellstrom instead got things catastrophically wrong.

Overbalancing on his second step, Hellstrom knew he'd lost it even before his final push, smiling and laughing as he flew horizontally through the air before crashing into the sand.

While it was far from effective triple jump technique, the sight of Hellstrom gleefully catapulting through the air put a smile on the faces of many in the athletics world.

“I thought quite immediately afterwards, ‘I wonder if there will be any funny pictures from this,'" Hellstrom said afterwards.

Sporting fans on social media also saw the funny side of Hellstrom's error.

Some fans likened Hellstrom's effort to those of football Luis Suarez, while another compared it to the 'Fosbury Flop' high jump technique.

Another said: “Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it‘s Sweden’s Jesper Hellstrom in the triple jump. Brilliant.”

Fortunately for the Swedish star, his third jump went off without a hitch. His jump of 16.27m was a significant improvement on his earlier attempts, however it was only good for a 10th plac finish.

Swimming world in disbelief over teen phenom's 'insane' act

Romanian teenager David Popovici has capped off the most incredible week of his young career after claiming another gold medal at the European Championships in Rome.

Popovici left the swimming world gobsmacked after clocking the third fastest 200m freestyle time in history, in yet another extraordinary demonstration of his freakish talent.

The Romanian, who only turns 18 next month, cruised to victory in 1min 42.97sec with Switzerland's Antonio Djakovic in second place and Austria's Felix Auboeck third, both over two seconds behind.

The 17-year-old had already broken the world record to claim gold in the 100m freestyle in Rome on Saturday - his 46.86sec swim shaving 0.05sec off the previous benchmark set by Brazil's Cesar Cielo at the 2009 World Championships.

On Monday in the Italian capital, Popovici was at it again as he set about trying to break the 200m freestyle world mark of 1min 42sec that Germany's Paul Biedermann has held since 2009.

Not many expected Popovici to get so close to the record at this early stage of his career, with the teenager's incredible effort leaving the swimming world in awe.

"It was a hard race to swim and I think my time is well-earned. This is an excellent time," Popovici said.

"Finally, I could go under 1:43, which is great. The immediate plans are to relax a bit tomorrow and then test the waters in the 400m."

Popovici's world record in the 100m freestyle came after he also took double gold at the World Championships in June.

With agencies

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.