Maya Bruney and Toby Harries claim GB 200m double on successful day at European U20 Championships which puts Britain top of medal table
Maya Bruney and Toby Harries both won 200m gold medals on a successful day for Great Britain at the European U20 Championships.
Bruney entered the championships with a 23.51 PB but the John Blackie-coached Blackheath and Bromley athlete improved that to 23.47 in her heat and then shattered that with a 23.07 in her semi-final despite a 1.9 m/s headwind. In the final she trimmed that to 23.04.
She won by four metres from Sophia Junk of Germany’s 23.45.
The 23.04 moved Bruney to sixth all-time in the UK under-20 rankings but only third from her club. Remarkably, Dina Asher-Smith won the event in 2013 and Shannon Hylton was second in 2015.
Alisha Rees just missed a medal, finishing fourth in 23.45.
“I’m really happy with the race because I did a PB and I ran the fastest European time this year. The crowd was fantastic and my family are here so I hope they are proud of me.”
Britain gained a one-two in the men’s event with great times considering the 0.9 m/s headwind.
Harries, who was runner-up in the British under-20s to Romell Glave, won the 200m by a metre in 20.81, improving his legal PB from 20.89 in the semi-final.
His best ever time of 20.56 was a windy performance from finishing second in the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games.
Jona Efoloko, who was disqualified from the heats at Bedford, only qualified by place for the Italian final by one hundredth of a second in 21.20 and had a better run in the final.
He timed 20.92, his first-ever sub-21 and he excitingly remains a junior for the 2018 season.
Finland’s Samuel Purola, who only made the final as a fastest loser, took the bronze in 21.00.
Britain also gained an one-two in the women’s 800m.
It was a slow race with the first lap a pedestrian 66.17 but the second lap was much quicker and Khahisa Mhlanga prevailed but only by 0.05 of a second from team-mate Ellie Baker. Seventeen-year-old Mhlanga won in 2:06.96. Third was Slovakia’s Gabriele Gajanova as just 0.21 of a second covered the top four.
Mhlanga’s stepsister Jessica Judd won a medal in the World Junior Championships at 800m, but never competed at a European junior championships as she was contesting senior championships while a junior.
Last year’s European under-18 champion Jake Heyward was a shock winner of the men’s 1500m. He led through the early laps in a pedestrian 67.70 and then 2:17.89 at 800m. The third lap was inside 60 seconds but it was the last 300m where the damage was done as he unleashed a spritely 39.29 last 300m.
Archie Davis was less than second back in fifth in 3:57.66.
Favourite Jakob Ingebritsen fell but still finished eighth less than two seconds back. He made up for it in the 5000m as, covered in plasters, he blasted a relaxed 54.87 last lap to win gold easily in a very slow 14:41.68.
Tom Mortimer was 12th after leading early on.
Predictably Anastasiya Bryzhina of Ukraine won the women’s 400m in 52.01. Hannah Williams took bronze for Britain in a PB 52.55, to remarkably match the PB of her older sister Jodie.
Lauren Russell finished fifth in 53.87.
Another British medal was won by Robert Sakala who improved his 110m hurdles PB to 13.48, which puts him equal eighth all-time in the UK under-20 lists. He finished second to Switzerland’s Jason Joseph’s 13.41.
Britain also won silver in the women’s hurdles. France’s Solene Ndama was winner in 13.15 with Alicia Barrett a clear second in 13.28. Sophie Yorke was fifth in 13.51.
There were also British medals in the field.
Molly Caudery set a PB 4.35m in the pole vault to take the silver medal behind Sweden’s highly regarded Lisa Gunnarsson, who won with a 4.40m vault.
Caudery’s vault moves her up to equal third in the UK all-time junior lists level with Holly Bradshaw. Her previous best was 4.25m.
There was a British bronze in the men’s high jump in what will almost certainly be the best quality event of the championships.
There were a massive number of PBs and gold went to Belarus’s Maksim Nedasekau, who looked like he was heading for third place when he failed first time at 2.28m, while his two fellow medallists cleared it with PBs.
But Nedasekau took the lead with his final chance jump at 2.30m and then cleared 2.33m with his last effort to improve the 40-year-old championship record.
Ukraine’s Dmytro Nikitin was also in smoking hot form and improved his PB repeatedly all the way from 2.18m to 2.28m.
That height was also cleared by Britain’s Tom Gale who previously had a best of 2.23m.
Gale’s improvement moved him to second all-time in the UK junior lists to Steve Smith’s world junior record 2.37m.
The winner’s leap was the highest by a world junior since Smith’s 1992 mark.
Owen Richardson set a PB of 46.49 in the men’s 400m in a race won by Italian Vladimir Aceti in a European under-20 lead of 45.92.
Jemma Reekie just missed a medal in the 3000m with a time of 9:24.81 which placed her fourth in a race won by Switzerland’s Delia Sclabas by 10 seconds in 9:10.13.
Julia Ritter of Germany won the shot with 17.24m with Divine Oladipo, showing greatly improved form from qualifying with a 16.03m throw for fourth.
Germany’s Lisa Oed won the steeplechase in a PB 10:00.79, while Emily Moyes was 11th in 10:39.05.
The Czech Katerina Skypalova won the hammer with a 64.78m throw. Ireland’s Michaela Walsh won bronze, courtesy of a 61.27m throw.
Cyprian Mrzyglod won the javelin with a Polish under-20 record 80.52m.
Russian Sergey Shirobokov, competing under the neutral flag, won the 10,000m walk in 43:21.29.
Estonia’s Johannes Erm leads the decathlon overnight with an impressive 4226 points.
Britain’s Sam Talbot pulled out after not recording a long jump mark.
Markhim Lonsdale was fastest qualifier in the 800m semi-finals with a time of 1:48.24. Ben Greenwood also made the final with a 1:49.32 but Canaan Soloman just missed out with a 1:49.42.
George Evans qualified for the discus final with a 56.91m throw which placed him sixth overall.
Great Britain qualified as fifth fastest in the women’s 4×400 relay with a time of 3:40.62. Disappointingly, after much past success, they do not have a men’s 4x400m team and would only have needed a 3:12.74 clocking to make the final . The four fastest juniors in Britain this year total under 3:10 for their combined times.