Williams confirms comeback with gold in Tampere

Summary of day three at the European Under-23 Championships where GB won five medals including golds for Jodie Williams and Sophie Hitchon

Jodie Williams (giancarlo colombo)

Jodie Williams further proved that she is well over her injury woes by adding 200m gold to the 100m silver she had won the day before at the European Under-23 Championships in Tampere on Saturday.

The 19-year-old, who last year sustained a hamstring injury and subsequently missed the chance to compete at the London Olympics, clocked a season’s best 22.92 to finish four hundredths of a second ahead of Lenora Guion Fermin of France who was fresh from claiming 400m gold just an hour before.

“I’m so happy,” said Williams, whose winning time also bettered the ‘A’ qualifying standard for the IAAF World Championships in Moscow later this summer.

“The time was a massive season’s best for me and considering all the races I’ve done I’m really happy with that. I executed the race perfectly, I knew I had to run hard on the bend to be in with a chance, that’s what I did and it paid off.”

If the margin between gold and silver was close, it was even closer between the third and fourth places, as Italy’s Gloria Hooper clocked 23.24 to see Williams’ team-mate Ashleigh Nelson miss out on a medal by just one hundredth of a second.

Out on the field and Sophie Hitchon saved the best until last to join Williams in her gold medal-winning feat. The British record holder threw 70.72m in the final round of the women’s hammer competition to secure her victory ahead of Barbara Spiler of Slovakia (69.69mm).

Another British athlete to clinch a World Champs ‘A’ qualifying time was Seb Rodger who claimed silver thanks to his 49.19 clocking in the 400m hurdles. Serbia’s Emir Bekric took the title in a national record and European-leading 48.76, as Rodger’s team-mate Niall Flannery just missed out on a medal and finished fourth. Russia’s Vera Rudakova took gold in the women’s race in a personal best 55.92 while Norway’s Isabelle Pedersen took the 100m hurdles title in 13.12 and Frenchman Simon Krauss the 110m hurdles title in a 13.55 PB.

Adam Gemili went to Tampere seeking a sprint double and although he got halfway there thanks to a gold in Friday’s 100m final it wasn’t to be as the 19-year-old finished just outside the medals over double the distance a day later. Karol Zalewski eventually clinched the win, the Pole running a 20.41 personal best to finish ahead of Gemili’s team-mate Daniel Talbot (20.46) and Czech Pavel Maslak (20.49NR).

Tom Farrell added another silver to the GB tally thanks to his 14:19.94 clocking over 5000m to finish just behind Norway’s Henrik Ingebrigtsen who had earlier taken a tumble in the heats of the 1500m, while Germany’s Gesa Felicitas Krause set a championship record with her 9:38.91 for 3000m steeplechase victory.

Britain’s Katarina Johnson-Thompson ended day one of the heptathlon competition on 3761 points, 88 points ahead of Anouk Vetter of the Netherlands. Following a strong start in the morning session where the world junior long jump champion secured an early lead thanks to winning the 100m hurdles in an equal PB of 13.48 and clearing 1.84m in the high jump, the afternoon session saw her throw a best of 11.76m in the shot and then clock a personal best 23.45 over 200m.

Back out on the field and Lithuania’s Andrius Gudzius added the under-23 discus title to his world youth and junior titles with a second-round throw of 62.40m as Britain’s Zane Duquemin, suffering with an Achilles injury, finished 11th with a best throw of 56.81m. Italy’s Alessia Trost took the high jump title thanks to a clearance of 1.98m to equal the championship record set by Russia’s Svetlana Lapina as Britain’s Isobel Pooley equalled her PB with 1.90m for fourth.

Russia’s Angelina Zhuk Krasnova set a championship record in the pole vault, clearing 4.70m from a run that saw her knock the bar only once on her way to victory, as Britain’s Katie Byres finished ninth (4.15m). The first final of the day saw Zakhar Makhrosenka of Belarus claim gold in the hammer competition with a throw of 74.63m as GB’s Nick Miller also finished ninth (66.64m).

» For full results from Tampere so far see here

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