Host nation Russia leads European Team Championships standings after day one as Richard Kilty forms part of victorious sprint relay team in Cheboksary
After a solid first day which included victories for Aleksandr Menkov, Yekaterina Koneva and Denis Kudryavtsev, Russia tops the European Team Championships standings as the host nation attempts to regain the title it lost last year to Germany.
On a warm and sunny day in Cheboksary, the hosts had a total of five winning performances and head into tomorrow’s second and final day of action with 186 points ahead of defending champions Germany with 181 points and France with 175.5 points.
Great Britain finished day one in fourth place and enjoyed a more successful first day than in Braunschweig 12 months ago where the men’s 4x100m saw the nation’s solitary win. The men’s sprint relay team was again victorious this time around, but Richard Kilty, Danny Talbot, James Ellington and Andy Robertson were joined in their winning ways by Jarryd Dunn in the 400m, Eilidh Child in the 400m hurdles and Asha Philip in the 100m.
The GB men’s sprint relay quartet saw that the first day ended on a good note for Britain as a time of 38.21 was the quickest clocked since the European Team Championships replaced the European Cup in 2009. Behind, France clocked 38.34 as Germany initially appeared to have lost vital points through disqualification, but their time of 38.78 for fourth overall was later reinstated.
Disqualification had also been a worry for Britain’s women’s 4x100m relay team after a messy final changeover. Laura Maddox, running the anchor leg, had been handed a tough task in stepping in for Philip who reportedly did not feel well after her individual 100m earlier in the day. Maddox, a 400m specialist, clashed with third leg runner Bianca Williams as the baton was exchanged but recovered to cross the line in 44.68 to claim a couple of points in an event won by Ukraine in a time of 42.50. Louise Bloor had run the opening leg for GB and handed over to Dina Asher-Smith who returns to the track tomorrow to contest the 200m.
Earlier on and Britain’s European 400m hurdles champion Child had run her quickest time so far this season and clocked a European-leading 54.46 for full points ahead of Ukraine’s Anna Titimets with 54.75. The men’s race saw a first track win for the host nation as Kudryavtsev made the most of the home advantage to clock a 48.66 personal best for 12 points ahead of Poland’s Patryk Dobek’s 49.04 PB. Britain’s Seb Rodger was fourth in the second of the two races, his time of 50.10 placing him fifth overall.
The next event on the track was the men’s 1500m and Valentin Smirnov followed Kudryavtsev’s lead, delighting the home crowd with another full set of points in a tactical race. After a slow start it came down to the final 400m and Smirnov battled with Poland’s European indoor 800m champion Marcin Lewandowski in the home straight as Britain’s Oliver Aitchison went the long way around but came through for third, clocking 3:52.33 on his GB debut. Lennie Waite was another GB athlete to impress and she clocked 9:59.75 for the runner up spot in the 3000m steeplechase behind a dominant Gesa Felicitas Krausew with 9:46.49 for full points for Germany.
Philip had got the day off to a winning start for GB as the European sprint relay gold medallist clocked the quickest 100m time overall with 11.27 into a 1.4m/s headwind. That was in the second of the two races, with athletes in the first race facing a 4.3 m/s headwind and a quickest time in that heat of 11.80 by Norway’s Ezinne Okparaebo.
It was job Dunn for Britain in the men’s 400m as the Birchfield sprinter started strong, had a clear lead at the final bend and managed to hold on to claim full points ahead of France’s Mame-Ibra Anne. Dunn’s winning time of 45.09 was his third personal best in a row and came in a race that saw four of the six sprinters clock PBs. Aliaksandr Linnik’s 45.43 for third is also a Belarusian record.
Christophe Lemaitre got the extra point from Kilty in the men’s 100m – 10.26 to 10.35 (-1.7 m/s). Britain’s world and European 60m champ had got the better start but the Frenchman had the stronger finish and was quickest overall to claim the full 12 points. Italy’s Massimiliano Ferraro had gone quickest in the first of the two races with 10.56 (-3.4 m/s).
There were further wins for France in the next three events up on the track. In the women’s 800m, Renelle Lamote held on to claim maximum points with a time of 2:00.18 ahead of a fast-finishing Joanna Jozwik of Poland with 2:00.30. GB’s Alison Leonard finished eighth with 2:03.06. Then Floria Guei claimed a further set of full points for the nation with her 51.55 for 400m victory. Russia’s Mariya Mikhailyuk was just behind her with 51.59 as Italy’s Libania Grenot ran 51.82 in third. GB team captain Margaret Adeoye had dominated the first race, clocking a season’s best of 52.07 for fourth overall.
The track victories for France kept coming as Morhad Amdouni won the 5000m ahead of Jesus Espana, making his 10th European Cup/Team Championships appearance – 14:04.63 to 14:05.09. Britain’s double European medallist Andy Vernon, who had moved to the front at the bell, finished third in 14:05.85 after losing a couple of places in the home straight.
France had also claimed the first field event win of the day as world and European silver medallist Melina Robert-Michon threw 62.24m for discus victory ahead of Poland’s Zaneta Glanc with 58.92m. Britain’s Kirsty Law threw a best of 50.93m for 10th.
Germany is historically strong in the field events and world and European shot put champion David Storl was among those to help last year’s host nation to victory on home soil. He again dominated proceedings in Russia as he threw a best of 21.20m to secure his fourth consecutive European Team Championships win ahead of Poland’s Olympic champion Tomasz Majewski with 20.23m. Britain’s Zane Duquemin, who is doubling up in the shot put and discus this weekend, threw 17.36m for 11th.
Nick Miller secured 11 points for GB in the hammer – a best of 75.91m saw him claim the runner-up spot behind Poland’s world champion Pawel Fajdek with a dominant 81.64m. The women’s javelin was won by Germany’s world champion Christina Obergfoll with 61.69m as Britain’s Laura Whittingham finished eighth with 53.49.
A wind-assisted 14.98m (+2.3 m/s) saw a clear victory for home favourite Koneva, the world indoor champion, in the triple jump as Commonwealth silver medallist Laura Samuel leapt a season’s best of 14.06m for fourth. The host nation had been expected to dominate the jumps and although world champion Menkov lived up to his billing as favourite in the long jump, France’s Kafetien Gomis came close as his final round leap of 8.26m was a personal best for the 35-year-old Frenchman and equalled the best mark managed by the Russian in the third round as he claimed victory on countback. Britain’s Dan Bramble, who also contests the triple jump this weekend following the withdrawal of Nathan Douglas after a niggle, would have hoped for more than his 7.61m in the third round after two fouls for eighth after his 8.21m PB earlier this year.
Another Russian win was not far away as Daniyil Tsyplakov equalled his 2.33m PB in the high jump ahead of Italy’s Marco Fassinotti with 2.28m. Robbie Grabarz, competing for GB for the first time since March 2014 after time out with a knee problem, cleared 2.22m for joint 6th place.
The women’s pole vault saw a battle over the bar between Germany’s Silke Spiegelburg and Russia’s Anzhelika Sidorova. European indoor champion Sidorova wasn’t able to claim a second continental accolade of the year in front of the home fans but her 4.70m clearance does equal her PB and saw her claim the runner up spot behind Spiegelburg’s 4.75m. Commonwealth silver medallist Sally Peake cleared 4.25m for seventh and six points for GB.
There was great judgement by Poland’s Sofia Ennaoui in the women’s 3000m as she went wide off the final bend to surge past Germany’s Maren Kock and home favourite Yelena Korobkina. The winning time was 9:20.39 after a 62-second last lap, as Kock and Korobkina clocked 9:20.82 and 9:20.93 respectively. Lauren Deadman ran 9:28.84 for eighth on her GB debut.
Day one scores
1 Russia 186
2 Germany 181
3 France 175.5
4 Great Britain & NI 166.5
5 Poland 153
6 Ukraine 150.5
7 Italy 143
8 Spain 123.5
9 Belarus 108
10 Sweden 101
11 Finland 88
12 Norway 60
» Full day one results can be found here and European Team Championships action continues at 3pm on Sunday (1pm UK time). See next week’s AW magazine for more in-depth reports, pictures and results
» A day two round-up can be found here