Victories by Sergey Shubenkov and Darya Klishina help the host nation get revenge over 2014 winners Germany as GB finishes fifth
A further five victories for Russian athletes on the second day of European Team Championships action in Cheboksary helped the host nation to regain the title it lost last year to Germany.
Sergey Shubenkov, Darya Klishina, Mariya Kuchina, Anna Shchagina and Russia’s women’s 4x400m team enjoyed success in front of a home crowd on what was another warm day at the Olimpiyskiy Stadium on Sunday, with the hosts achieving a total of 368.5 points ahead of the 346.5 points claimed by defending champions Germany and France with 319.5 points. Great Britain finished fifth to match the nation’s position in Braunschweig last year.
Russia had dominated the penultimate track event – the women’s 4x400m. Clocking a European-leading 3:24.98, Alena Mamina, Kseniya Ryzhova, Kseniya Zadorina and Mariya Mikhailyuk combined for the quickest time run at this event since the European Team Championships replaced the European Cup in 2009. Behind, France clocked 3:28.84 as GB’s Eilidh Child, Meghan Beesley, Laura Maddox and Margaret Adeoye ran 3:30.01 for sixth overall.
Britain was narrowly pipped to victory by France in the men’s event – Rabah Yousif, Delano Williams, Conrad Williams and Richard Buck running 3:00.54 behind the winning time of 3:00.47.
Another home victory late on in the event was claimed by Kuchina as the world and European indoor high jump champion cleared 1.99m to beat Spain’s European champion Ruth Beitia with 1.97m. Isobel Pooley cleared 1.94m for equal sixth, that height equaling the UK lead this season which was also cleared by double world junior champion Morgan Lake in Bedford on Sunday.
Shubenkov’s 110m hurdles victory had earlier put the hosts pack on top of the team standings after having slipped a point behind Germany after 24 events. The two-time European champion clocked 13.22 into a -2.6 m/s headwind to beat Frenchman Pascal Martinot-Lagarde with 13.42 as Britain’s Lawrence Clarke ran 13.64 for third.
Later on and another set of full points claimed by Klishina in the long jump saw the host nation extend its lead at the top of the team standings. A third-round leap of 6.95m secured the win ahead of Volha Sudareva of Belarus with 6.86m in the final round. Commonwealth silver medallist Jazmin Sawyers leapt 6.39m for sixth.
Bianca Williams had stepped in to contest the 200m following the withdrawal of Dina Asher-Smith, with the new British 100m record-holder having suffered a stomach bug overnight. Asher-Smith, who had clocked a 22.30 PB at the Birmingham Diamond League for the quickest time by a Briton since 1984, had looked set to become the first British woman to win at this distance at either the European Team Championships or the European Cup. Williams missed making history by one place but she was well beaten by Ukraine’s Natalia Pohrebniak who clocked a 22.76 PB ahead of the Brit’s 23.16. Britain’s Danny Talbot won the second men’s 200m race in 20.62 but Ukraine’s Serhiy Smelyk had gone quicker in the first race, his 20.45 getting him full points ahead of the Briton.
Germany’s Richard Ringer used his confidence from experience to take the men’s 3000m as he hit the front with around 200m to go to again claim victory after his win in front of a home crowd in Braunschweig 12 months ago. Britain’s Andrew Butchart had pushed the pace and led for the majority of the race, but as his rivals made a move at the bell he lost a few places. The 23-year-old fought back though and came through for third in 8:35.75 behind Ringer’s 8:34.35 and Spain’s Roberto Alaiz with 8:35.07.
Italy’s Giordano Benedetti dipped for the line to pip Frenchman Pierre-Ambroise Bosse in the 800m – 1:45.11 to 1:45.14. Bosse had looked strong off the final bend but Benedetti showed strong finishing strength to come through to take full points as Poland’s European champion Adam Kszczot followed them over the line in 1:45.84 for third. Britain’s Guy Learmonth ran 1:47.84 for ninth.
There was a gutsy run by Rhianwedd Price in the 1500m as the Welsh athlete, making her GB debut, dug deep and held on to finish third in race won by Russia’s Shchagina in 4:15.22. Price, who has had eight personal best performances this year, clocked 4:16.59 behind Norway’s Karoline Bjerkeli Grovdal with 4:16.22. Renata Plis gained full points for Poland in the 5000m, clocking 15:49.29 to beat Volha Mazuronak of Belarus with 15:51.89. Great Britain’s Lily Partridge ran 16:42.61 for eighth.
Alina Talay of Belarus claimed full points in the 100m hurdles with a time of 12.80 in the second of the two races in which GB’s Serita Solomon got a good start but hit a barrier and lost her momentum. She managed to stay on her feet to clock 13.54 which put her eighth overall.
World record-holder Renaud Lavillenie secured his fifth European Team Championships win in the pole vault, the Frenchman clearing 5.85m for victory on countback ahead of Germany’s Raphael Holzdeppe after failed attempts at 6.02m. Britain’s Jax Thoirs, making his GB debut, cleared a best of 5.30m for ninth.
Poland’s European bronze medallist Robert Urbanek was consistent in the discus and any of his four throws would have been enough to win. He threw his winning mark of 63.03m twice, once in the second round and again in the fourth. Germany’s Martin Wierig was runner-up with 60.23m, while Britain’s Zane Duquemin, who had also contested the shot put the day before, threw a best of 55.42m for eighth. With Gleb Sidorchenko finishing sixth for the hosts, Germany momentarily replaced Russia at the top of the overall standings with a single point separating the two teams.
European champion Christina Schwanitz’s 19.82m from the second round secured her the victory in the shot put ahead of Russia’s Irina Tarasova with a best of 18.51m. Britain’s Rachel Wallader finished 10th with her 15.50m throw. Betty Heidler threw 75.73m on her final attempt to lead the hammer competition but Poland’s world record-holder Anita Wlodarczyk responded with a last round throw of 78.28m – a world lead and championship record. Britain’s Sophie Hitchon threw a season’s best of 71.89m for fifth.
There was another full set of points for Poland from the men’s 3000m steeplechase as Krystian Zalewski clocked 8:37.51 ahead of Russia’s Nikolay Chavkin who was happy with his runner up spot in 8:39.39 on home soil. Zak Seddon ran 8:56.57 for 10th on his GB debut.
Olympic bronze medallist Fabrizio Donato won the triple jump to gain the full 12 points for Italy, the 38-year-old leaping a best of 17.11m (+3.3 m/s) ahead of Russian Aleksey Fyodorov’s 16.92m. Long jumper Dan Bramble, who had also contested his main event the day before, went out to 15.92m (+2.9 m/s) to secure two points for GB.
Finland’s 2007 world champion Tero Pitkamaki won the javelin by more than five metres. He threw 84.44m in the final round to beat Germany’s Johannes Vetter with 78.97m. Wearing the GB vest for the first time, Bonne Buwembo threw 67.51m for two points.
Final team scores
1 Russia 368.5
2 Germany 346.5
3 France 319.5
4 Poland 317
5 Great Britain & NI 291
6 Italy 288
7 Ukraine 281.5
8 Spain 230.5
9 Belarus 217
10 Sweden 187
11 Finland 149.5
12 Norway 121