A round-up of the first day of European Championships action in Amsterdam
Britain’s Jo Pavey failed to retain her European 10,000m title but put up a magnificent defence as Kenyan-born teenager Yasemin Can, who acquired Turkish citizenship in May 2015 and was cleared to compete for her new country in March, won in a PB of 31:12.86.
Pavey led through 1000m in 3:06.79 and 2000m in 6:15.34 before Can kicked in a fast lap and was clear at 3000m in 9:17.77. The 19-year-old was over 10 seconds clear at 4000m reached in 12:24.22 with Pavey second in 12:35.1.
Pavey faded back in the fifth kilometre and was down to 11th in 15:45.1 at halfway as Can went further away in 15:30.03. British champion Jess Andrews was sixth at this stage in 15:43.6.
Through 6000m Can timed 18:37.47 and her lead lengthened further. Andrews was fighting for a medal still in sixth with 18:53.1 with Pavey holding on well with 18:56.3 and up to seventh.
Can passed 7000m in 21:47.1 and Andrews began to lose a little on the chasing pack. She was a few seconds back on the top three in sixth with 22:02.1, with Pavey now seventh in 22:08.1.
At 8000m, Can passed in 24:57.05, with Portugal’s Ana Dulce Felix now closing slightly. Andrews and Pavey were sixth and eighth respectively but still five seconds apart.
At the bell Can began to start her celebrations as she led in 30:01.9 with Felix second in 30:07.2. Pavey had moved up to fifth just ahead of Andrews.
Positions stayed the same on the last lap, with Can winning by six seconds from Felix, who timed 31:19.03, with Norway’s Karoline Grovdal finishing well to take the bronze.
Ireland’s Fionnuala McCormack just missed her PB in fourth with 31:30.74. Pavey finished superbly herself and easily got an Olympic qualifying mark with her 31:34.61.
Andrews smashed her PB set when winning the British Championships and was a magnificent seventh in 31:38.02.
Earlier on and Jenny Meadows had front-ran her 800m heat to win in 2:03.10. Adelle Tracey had tried the same tactics in her race but faded from first to last in the straight and finished sixth and last in 2:05.41.
Alison Leonard got boxed badly with 60m to go in her heat but was able to recover, slow and then run wide and finish second in 2:03.64.
Russian whistleblower Yuliya Stepanova, competing as a neutral athlete, was clearly struggling with fitness and after passing 600m a distant last in 1:39.1, she walked to the finish and was outside four minutes but was officially disqualified. It took her over 90 minutes to get through the mixed zone such was the media demand to speak with her.
Dina Asher-Smith qualified equal fastest in the women’s 200m with Ivet Lalova-Collio of Bulgaria as both won their semi-finals in 22.57. Jodie Williams qualified as a fastest loser with 23.14 after finishing third in her semi final.
Ashley Bryant had a mixed first day in the decathlon. He was solid in the 100m – 11.12 and then was in very good form in the long jump (7.56m) and shot (13.74m) and was fifth after three events. He was well below his best in the high jump with 1.89m and plummeted to 14th.
In the 400m he ran 50.15 to move up to 12th with 4009 points overnight. The leader is Oleksiy Kasyanov of Ukraine who has 4234 points.
Sophie Hitchon fell just short of qualifying automatically in the hammer but improving throughout her 69.48m got her through sixth best. Alexandra Tavernier of France, who pipped the Briton for world bronze in Beijing last year, had three no throws.
World record-holder Anita Wlodarczyk headed qualifiers with 73.94m.
The women’s discus was controversially held away from the stadium in the Museum Square. Jade Lally got through automatically with her first throw of 58.76m. The generous 58.00m qualifying mark meant 15 qualified, headed by Julia Fischer’s 66.20m.
The javelin qualifying was also held there and Antti Ruuskanen enjoyed the experience with a 88.23m to head qualifiers with three throws of 80 metres not making the final.
Olympic and world champion Greg Rutherford qualified for the long jump final without achieving the 8.00m qualifying distance. He jumped 7.93m which placed him equal eighth as he followed up his first round effort with two no jumps. Sweden’s Michel Torneus headed qualifiers with a windy 8.19m.
Returning from injury, Isobel Pooley could only clear 1.85m in the women’s high jump and missed out on making the final. Neither Serita Solomon, recovering from major Achilles problems, or Lucy Hatton could get near their indoor form and didn’t make the 100m hurdles semi-finals. Hatton ran 13.37 and Solomon 13.39. Tiffany Porter qualified automatically.
Rob Mullett was near the front for much of the steeplechase but then faded in the closing laps. A spirited last lap saw him make the final with a fourth place finish in 8:32.06. Favourite Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad was fastest with 8:31.42.
In the men’s 100m, while many of the top-ranked athletes got a bye, two Britons competed and fared encouragingly. Richard Kilty won his heat easily in 10.24 and that time was matched by European junior champion Ojie Edoburun who was second to Ramil Guliyev of Turkey, who was fastest qualifier with 10.21.
Former Olympic and world champion Christine Ohuruogu was so far down the 400m lists that she didn’t qualify automatically for the semi-finals but she easily won her 400m heat in 52.69 and was second fastest overall with Netherlands’ Nicky Van Leuveren’s 52.45.
European 400m champion Martyn Rooney won his heat in 46.57 while Jarryd Dunn won his in the fastest time of the round in 46.05.
Shara Proctor withdrew from the long jump with a knee problem and Jazmin Sawyers qualified seventh best for the final with a leap of 6.49m, though her GB team-mate Lorraine Ugen won’t progress. Ivana Spanovic headed qualifiers with a 6.90m jump.
Luke Cutts cleared 5.35m in the pole vault and failed to qualify for the final, but would have made it through had he not failed twice at his opening height of 5.15m as 16 athletes went through to the final, and five did so with a vault of 5.35m.
Christina Schwanitz headed the shot qualifiers with 19.02m, with Britain’s Rachel Wallader qualifying 12th by just three centimetres with a throw of 16.86m.
Daniel Greaves won the F12 to F46 discus throw competition easily with 61.48m.
» Full results can be found here. See the July 14 edition of AW magazine for in-depth reports, pictures and results