Navarro grabs gold as Gemili and Williams comfortably secure spots for sprint finals

Summary of day one at the European Under-23 Championships in Tampere where Spain’s Gabriel Navarro took the first title on the track and Brits impressed over 100m

Adam Gemili (Giancarlo Colombo)

Spain’s Gabriel Navarro went into the 10,000m as one of the favourites, but with competition including the likes of Belgium’s Mats Lunders, Ukraine’s Dmytro Siruk and Russia’s Igor Maksimov it was never going to be easy. But it was actually Romania’s Nicolae Soare and Denmark’s Abdi Ulad who provided the biggest threats on the day, with Lunders suffering a fall with five laps remaining.

Having picked up the pace, double European junior champion Navarro battled with Soare, Ulad and Ireland’s Shane Quinn for the line, the Spaniard eventually crossing in 29:43.22 to claim the first gold on the track at these championships, as Soare claimed silver with 29:43.76 and Ulad bronze with 29:44.78. A personal best 29:49.43 secured Quinn fourth place as Lunders could only manage 29:59.37 for eighth.

The 10,000 was one of two finals on the first day of track and field action in Tampere. The first gold out in the field went to Poland’s Jakub Szyszkowski in the shot, his final round throw of 19.78m bettering the previous best mark of 19.63m posted in the fifth round by his compatriot Dominik Witczak, who eventually clinched silver ahead of Belarussian Mikhail Abramchuk (19.42m).

The sole Brit in finals action was Zane Duquemin in the shot who took an early lead thanks to his 19.19m PB in the first round, but later dropped to fourth. It had been a busy day of action for Duquemin, who admitted after the final he was frustrated with finishing just outside the medals, despite adding 9cm to his personal best, as he also qualified for the discus final thanks to a throw of 58.19m.

Back on the track and GB’s athletes fared well in the sprints, with all three men’s 100m representatives making it through to tomorrow’s final. All eyes were on London 2012 Olympian Adam Gemili (pictured) and he didn’t disappoint, winning the first of the two semi-finals in a season’s best 10.18 despite running into a headwind of -0.5m/s. Team-mate Samuel Osewa finished third with 10.54 before Deji Tobais won the second semi-final with a season’s best 10.27 into a headwind of -1.1m/s.

In the women’s event, Britain’s Jodie Williams won the second semi-final in 11.44 to qualify as second fastest behind the dominant Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands, while GB’s Rachel Johncock finished fourth in the first heat with 11.79 to make it through to tomorrow’s final as a fastest loser.

Although still qualifying comfortably, it was a bit of a surprise to see someone other than Frenchman Pierre-Ambroise Bosse cross the line first in heat 2 of the men’s 800m. Outkicked in the fight for the line, it was Ukrainian Taras Bybek who finished first, clocking a personal best of 1:47.63, with the pair coming out of the heats as the fastest two qualifiers.

With five down and five to go in the decathlon, Germany’s Kai Kazmirek is in the lead thanks to his 4358 points, putting him 171 points clear ahead of second-placed Ilya Shkurenyov of Russia. Personal best performances from Britain’s Ashley Bryant in the long jump and shot helped him on his way to 4147 points for fourth at the halfway stage.

Wins for Niall Flannery and Sebastian Rodger in their respective 400m hurdles heats puts them through to tomorrow’s semi-finals, however there was disappointment for defending champion Jack Green as he pulled up after hitting the third hurdle.

» For full results from Tampere so far see here

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