Steph Twell and Julian Reid bag bronzes for Britain in Amsterdam, while Anouk Vetter wins heptathlon gold on home soil
Britain won two more medals on day four of the European Championships in Amsterdam, with Steph Twell and Julian Reid bagging bronzes. The GB team should be on course for more medals on the final day too, as they dominated the heats of all four relays.
In the women’s 5000m final, Turkey’s Yasemin Can completed the distance double winning in 15:18.15, with Twell a magnificent third in probably her finest track race since winning the world junior 1500m title as she claimed Britain’s first ever medal at the event in the championships.
A slow opening kilometre of 3:19.48 was enlivened by Can, who threw in 67.61 and 68.66 laps to break the field as she ran a fast 2:57.04 second kilometre followed by 2:58.14 to open up a six second gap. She went over 10 seconds clear at 4km in 12:16.70 but a big dust up behind her saw the margin cut to less than two seconds.
Sweden’s defending champion Meraf Bahta won the battle for second, just holding off Twell who ran 15:20.70 to push home favourite Susan Kuijken into fourth.
Twell had had to work hard to catch the top three early on and made a strong move at the bell and again down the back straight as she ran a 62 last lap.
Laura Whittle and Eilish McColgan gave Britain three in six, with Whittle fifth in 15:24.18 and McColgan sixth in 15:28.53.
“It is fantastic, absolutely unreal,” said Twell. “I knew I had to go for any colour of medal and I just had to run right through to the line.
“I wanted this. I have been part of the sport since a young age, so I’m super happy with that.”
Reid off to a good start in the triple jump with a 16.76m opener which led the first round. Teenager Max Hess, the world indoor silver medallist, took the lead in round two with a PB and European lead of 17.20m.
Poland’s Karol Hoffmann, the son of 1983 world champion Zdzislaw, moved into second with 16.96m. He then moved close to Hess in round three with 17.16m but there was no change in positions and Reid won a surprise bronze having been ranked outside the top 15 prior to Amsterdam.
France dominated the men’s 110m hurdles final taking gold and bronze. Dimitri Bascou won the title in 13.25, with Balazs Baji setting a Hungarian record of 13.28 in second. World junior champion Wilhem Belocian took bronze.
British champion Andy Pozzi failed to start after being so impressive in qualifying as his calf was cramping in warm-up. As soon as he felt it coming out of the blocks, he withdrew as a precautionary measure. The Briton had won his semi-final in a PB equalling 13.31.
David King finished sixth in his semi-final but he too equalled his PB of 13.54, into a strong 1.8mps headwind. Lawrence Clarke just missed out on making the final, missing a fastest losers spot by 0.02.
In the men’s 1500m final, the pace started slow with a 63.49 first lap led by Florian Carvalho. The second lap was even slower as they went through 800m in 2:10.43. Britain’s Jake Wightman attacked 300m out and led through 1200m in 3:08.01 and still led into the straight but he faded in the last 50 metres and dropped to seventh in 3:47.68 with Lee Emanuel coming past to get sixth with a strong finish in 3:47.57.
Big surprise Filip Ingebrigtsen finished the strongest to match his brother Henrik’s win in 2012 with a time of 3:46.65, while
David Bustos of Spain finished second in 3:46.90. Henrik made it a double celebration for the family and Norway with bronze in 3:47.18.
Netherlands continued a wonderful championships for the home nation as they won gold in the heptathlon. Anouk Vetter was seventh in the 2014 Europeans but showed how much she has improved as she won easily.
The overnight leader was under pressure after two rounds of the long jump as she had a no jump and a safe 6.02m, as her main rival – defending champion Antoinette Nana Djimou – had jumped 6.29m and then 6.31m. With her final jump, Vetter jumped 6.38m and opened the gap back up to 119 points.
She was also two metres down on Naja Djimou after two rounds of the javelin but her response was a huge 55.76m PB and instead of losing points, she gained 79 and went into the final event with a huge 198 point lead.
A laboured 800m in 2:21.50 lost some points but she still won with 6626 points which betters Dafne Schippers’ Dutch record mark and puts her second on the European lists to Jess Ennis-Hill.
Nana Djimou scored 6458 while Ivona Dadic achieved 6408 in third, which would have been an Austrian record. However, both Vetter and Dadic ran in the third 200m race on the first day of heptathlon action and no wind speed was recorded in that race, meaning the results cannot be ratified but they do still could for Olympic qualification purposes.
In the women’s javelin Tatiana Khaladovich of Belarus upset the favourites. A pre event best of 65.10m was destroyed by her national record 66.34m in round two and she backed that up with a 65.79m in round four.
The 2010 champion Linda Stahl of Germany came to life in the final round to win her fourth successive medal with 65.25m,
while Sara Kolak’s 63.50m Croatian record gained bronze. World record-holder Barbora Spotakova was an off-form fifth with 62.66m.
In the women’s pole vault, Greece’s Ekaterini Stefanidi went one better than in 2014 as she set a championship record of 4.81m.
She was already leading after staying clear up to 4.70m and her only remaining rival – 2010 bronze medallist Lisa Ryzih – retired after clearing 4.70m at the second attempt.
Sweden’s Angelica Bengtsson, the former world youth and junior champion, took bronze with 4.65m.
The women’s 800m final was an exciting if disappointing race in terms of time and quality. Norway’s Hedda Hynne led through 400m in 58.42 and six athletes were in contention as they hit the straight. Renelle Lamote, who had dominated qualifying, looked a likely winner 50 metres out.
However, Ukrainian Nataliya Pryshchepa, the 2013 European junior 1500m champion, who was boxed, managed to prise open a gap and surge to a clear win in 1:59.70. Lamote took silver in 2:00.19 and Lovisa Lindh took a surprise bronze for Sweden in 2:00.37.
In the men’s discus final, Piotr Malachowski won gold for Poland thanks to a 67.06m fourth round throw. Philip Milanov won silver for Belgium with 65.71m while 2008 Olympic champion Gerd Kanter set a season’s best 65.27m to snatch an unexpected bronze at the age of 37.
In the first round both Great Britain’s 4x400m teams won easily with the day’s fastest times in European leads without going flat out and with stronger runners to come in.
The women’s team of Eilidh Doyle, Margaret Adeoye, Kelly Massey and Seren Bundy-Davies timed 3:26.42.
The men’s team of Rabah Yousif, Delano Williams, Nigel Levine and Jarryd Dunn timed 3:01.63.
The men’s 4x100m team of James Dasaolu, Adam Gemili, James Ellington and Chijindu Ujah made light work of lane one and also set an European lead of 38.12 in the first round.
The was no European lead for the women’s 4x100m team of Asha Philip, Dina Asher-Smith, Bianca Williams and Daryll Neita but their 42.59 was a season’s best and again was the fastest of the night.
Netherlands qualified without the services of 100m champion Dafne Schippers.
Chris Baker and 2012 champion Robbie Grabarz both made the 2.25m high jump qualifying mark with perfect records to go into Sunday’s final. Double world and European champion David Storl headed the shot qualifiers with 20.84m as 19.72m made the final.
In the disability events, Germany’s Markus Rehm jumped 8.03m to win the T42 long jump, while Marcel Hug won the T54 800m in 1:40.99. Shelby Watson was third in the T33/34 100m in 21.04.
» Full results can be found here. See the July 14 edition of AW magazine for in-depth reports, pictures and results