Greek pole vaulter Emmanouíl Karalís has advanced to the finals of the Rome European Athletics Championships after clearing 5.60 meters on Monday.

The 9th ranked Greek athlete, who has a personal best of 5.85m, had a scare at the starting height of after clearing it only on his final attempt.

The 24-year-old will make his first appearance in a European Athletics championships final, having previously missed out on the final during his debut in Munich two years ago after failing to clear the qualifying height. Karalis, who has a personal best of 5.85 meters from the winter season which earned him a bronze medal in Glasgow, travelled to the eternal city with a record of 5.72 meters three times in outdoor events this year. His consistent performances have rightfully placed him among the top contenders for a spot on the winners’ podium in Rome.

The qualifying height of 5.75 meters proved too high for the competitors, as the preliminary round concluded at 5.60 meters with a total of 12 jumpers clearing the mark.

Speaking after the event in the mixed zone to public broadcaster ERT, Karalis stated: “It was one of the toughest competitions I’ve participated in this year. There was wind and rain. On the first jump, the wind took the pole and I couldn’t place it in the box, causing me to fall back. I slightly twisted my ankle, but we have until Wednesday to recover. Whenever I compete for the national team, I don’t feel pain or anxiety. I hope we have better conditions on Wednesday so you can see some great performances.”