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Showing posts with label ATHLETIC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ATHLETIC. Show all posts

Saturday, 16 August 2014

European Championships: Eilidh Child wins 400m hurdles gold

European Championships: Eilidh Child wins 400m hurdles gold

Eilidh Child won Britain's seventh gold medal of the European Championships to take her team within striking distance of their best-ever haul.
The Scot, who won Commonwealth silver in front of her home crowd a fortnight ago, held off Ukraine's fast-finishing Anna Titimets to become Britain's first female 400m hurdles champion since Sally Gunnell in 1994.
Child has been Europe's best one-lap hurdler all summer and - just as she did under intense pressure in Glasgow - held her form and speed in the critical race to seal her first major gold medal in 54.48 seconds.
Fellow Scot Lynsey Sharp earlier smashed her own personal best by 0.87 seconds and broke Susan Scott's Scottish 800m record as her brave front-running tactics were too good for all but Belarusian Maryna Arzamasova.
"Eilidh Child has worked so hard. She is a grafter. When she made the decision to put her foot down in that race it proved decisive. She has raced with such confidence all season and I just loved her face when she finished that race - the realisation of winning. It will be her first time on top of that rostrum and it is going to feel great."
British Athletics' performance director Neil Black predicted earlier this week that his team would struggle to match the eight golds won in Barcelona four years ago.
But with serious chances for both sprint relay teams on Sunday, Olympic champions Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford hunting the 5,000m and long jump titles respectively, and a men's 4x400m squad that includes the individual gold and silver medallists, they could yet surpass their record total of nine golds from 1998 and 1990.
Child is part of the same training group as 2010 European champion Dai Greene, coached by Malcolm Arnold, the great British guru of hurdling.
Arnold also coached Colin Jackson to four European sprint hurdles titles and, 42 years on from taking John Akii-Bua to Olympic gold, has another continental champion in the golden Child.
The new champion said afterwards: "If you'd told me the summer I was going to have I don't think I would have believed you.
"I'm absolutely delighted to have a gold medal. I knew if I got the race right, I'd be happy with the outcome."
While Jo Pavey could not repeat her 10,000m heroics in a 5,000m final settled by a last 800m burn-up, Sharp - the reigning European champion - matched her Commonwealth medal and produced her fastest-ever run with one minute 58.80 secs.
Play media
British 800m runner Lynsey Sharp at the European Athletics Championships in Zurich
European Championships: Lynsey Sharp wins 800m silver
Sharp said: "I have felt so good all week - I knew I was in PB shape, so even though front-running is totally different for me, I thought I'd just go for it.
"I was in hospital on a drip for two weeks in April and at that point I didn't even know if I was going to have a season, so to go on and get a Scottish record, and silver at the Commonwealths and Europeans, is great."
Britain's talented sprint relay teams had earlier moved safely into Sunday's final as they look to add to the five individual medals won earlier in the week.
With 200m champion Adam Gemili rested after his 19.98 secs run late on Friday night, the quartet of James Ellington, Harry Aikenes-Aryeetey, Richard Kilty and Danny Talbot won their heat in 38.26 secs, with only Germany's 38.15 secs looking more impressive.
The women's team of Asha Philip, Ashleigh Nelson, Anyika Onuora and Desiree Henry were more impressive yet, winning their heat in 42.62, the third-fastest ever time by a British quartet - and this with 200m silver medallist Jodie Williams as an option to come back in.
But there was disappointment for Commonwealth pole vault champion Steve Lewis, who finished down in 11th after opting to pass at 5.65m and failing twice at 5.70m as France's brilliant Renaud Lavillenie took his expected gold with 5.90m.
Eilidh Child
Eilidh Child justified her European number one ranking by taking gold in the 400m hurdles
Lynsey Sharp, Maryna Arzamasova, and Joanna Jozwik
Silver medallist Lynsey Sharp on the podium alongside Maryna Arzamasova of Belarus and Poland's Joanna Jozwik
Jo Pavey and, left, Italy's Giulia Viola
Jo Pavey shows the strain after finishing seventh in the 5000 metres final, ahead of Italy's Giulia Viola
Britain's men's 4x400 metres relay team
Michael Bingham, Rabah Yousif, Nigel Levine and Martyn Rooney qualify for the 4x400m final

Thursday, 14 August 2014

European Championships: Athlete loses gold for removing shirt

European Championships: Athlete loses gold for removing shirt

France's Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad has been stripped of his 3,000m steeplechase gold medal at the European Championships for taking his shirt off on the home straight.
Mekhissi-Benabbad put his top in his mouth after pulling clear of the field.
Initially he appeared to be shown a yellow card by an official but was subsequently disqualified.
Frenchman Yoann Kowal now wins gold, Poland's Krystian Zalewski gets silver and Spain's Angel Mullera wins bronze.

BBC Radio 5 live's Allison Curbishley

"Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad just finds a way to make people hate him. He's got history and he just winds people up. Taking off his vest, swinging it around his head and taking the last hurdle was just out of order."
The Spanish team protested after the race, which saw Mullera cross the line fourth.
Mekhissi-Benabbad, 29, who has won two Olympic silver medals, has previously caused controversy by fighting with France team-mate Mehdi Baala on the track in 2011.
He also pushed a mascot  after winning European Championships gold in Helsinki in 2012.
Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad waves after removing his shirt
Mekhissi-Benabbad waves after removing his shirt approaching the final hurdle
Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad of France
The Frenchman then poses with his national flag - only to be stripped of the gold medal later

Monday, 11 August 2014

European Championships: Christine Ohuruogu regrets break

European Championships: Christine Ohuruogu regrets break

2014 European Athletics Championships
Dates: 12-17 August. Location: Zurich, Switzerland
Coverage: On BBC Two from 09:00 BST on 12 August; daily coverage, reports and interviews on BBC Radio 5 live and BBC Sport website
Christine Ohuruogu says she regrets her decision to take a year off following her 2013 World Championships 400m win.
Ohuruogu, 30, intended to scale back her commitments this season before returning to competition ahead of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
But the 2008 Olympic gold medallist has confirmed she will compete at the European Championships, from Tuesday.
"I am not at that level where I can afford to squander a year and take a break like that," she told BBC Sport.
Ohuruogu was part of the England team that took bronze in the Commonwealth Games 4x400m women's relay in Glasgow.
She intends to use the European Championships - which take place from 12-17 August in Zurich - as an opportunity to build up her fitness in the women's 400m.

British medal hopes at European Championships

Mo Farah in the 5,000 and 10,000m, but the double Olympic champion has struggled with injury and revealed he collapsed before Glasgow 2014
Adam Gemili in the 200m in Zurich after winning Commonwealth Games 100m silver
Eilidh Child in the 400m hurdles- the Commonwealth Games silver medallist is the top-ranked European in her event this season
Jo Pavey turns 41 next month but the Commonwealth bronze medallist has the third-fastest 5,000m time in Europe this season
Greg Rutherford - the Olympic and Commonwealth championis looking to improve on his 2006 European long jump silver in Gothenburg
Lynsey Sharp in the 800m - she recovered from injury and illness to take silver at Glasgow 2014
"The Europeans give me a chance to step up my performance, otherwise I would just be ticking along, and that would not be helpful for my progression in the 400m," she said.
Meanwhile Lynsey Sharp says her tears after her silver medal in the women's 800m at the Commonwealth Games were a reaction to a year of setbacks on the track.
The Scot, 24, will compete for the 800m European crown in Zurich just over a week after her success in Glasgow, which came at the end of an injury-plagued 12 months.
The Edinburgh runner won silver hours after being on a drip following a bout of sickness, and broke down in tears in her post-race interview.

Lynsey Sharp - 2012 European 800m champion

Sharp finished second behind Yelena Arzhakova at the 2012 European Championships but was upgraded to gold when the Russian received a two-year drugs ban
The Scot received her gold medal from her father Cameron in a ceremony at the Emirates Arena during the Glasgow International Match in January 2014
"I think the emotion that people saw in my interview after my race pretty much summed up the last year," she told BBC Sport.
"That was like every single hurdle or obstacle I've had in the last year, right down to the moment I've been dreaming of, was medalling in Glasgow, so that's probably why it was so emotional.

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