1st July 2012
European Championships Day Five
1 July 2012
The final day of the 21st European Championships yielded two silver medals for the Aviva Great Britain & Northern Ireland Team.
Six years since winning silver at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, Jo Pavey (coach: Gavin Pavey) secured another major championship podium finsh in the women’s 10,000m.
In the final race of the evening, the men’s 4x400m quartet of Nigel Levine (Linford Christie), Conrad Williams (Linford Christie), Rob Tobin (Dan Pfaff) and Richard Buck (Steve Fudge) were pipped at the post for gold by Belgium.
With just over a month to go until track and field commences at London 2012, these championships have given plenty of food for thought.
Gold: Mo Farah 5000m, Robbie Grabarz High Jump, Rhys Williams 400m Hurdles
Silver: Jo Pavey 10,000m, Lynsey Sharp 800m, Men’s 4x400m
Bronze – Danny Talbot 200m
Day Five Evening Session
Men’s 110m Hurdles Semi-Finals
There will be no Aviva GB & NI vests on the start line for the 110m hurdles final. William Sharman (Malcolm Arnold) and Gianni Frankis (Tony Jarrett) both failed to make it out of the semi-finals. Sharman was fourth in 13.55, which equalled a season’s best, but it was not enough to qualify as a fastest loser.
“I over-rotated as I came out of the blocks and I stumbled, so I did well to stay on my feet and carry on really but that obviously cost me my acceleration phase,” he said.
“I’m just taking each race as it comes. Olympics or no Olympics, Europeans or no Europeans, there are still 10 hurdles wherever it may be.”
Like Sharman, Frankis earned a season’s best time of 13.68 but it only meant sixth spot in semi-final three.
"It equalled a season’s best for me, which shows I can run faster than that," said Frankis.
"It was a strong European field, and I came here with the aim of running a personal best, and to be honest if I hadn’t hit the guy and tipped, that definitely could have been a PB today."
Women’s Hammer Final
In her first senior international championship final, Sophie Hitchon (Derek Evely) finished 11th.
The British record holder bowed out of the competition after three throws with a best of 67.17m, but the Burnley athlete was agonisingly close to competing in the final round.
“I’m annoyed. It was so close to make top eight and it was centimetres between me at 11th and 8th but I’ll be better next time,” she vowed.
“It’s just the way it goes. I was pleased to make the final, I’m a little disappointed with the result though. I came into it wanting to make the final and I did that so I achieved my goal and I’ll take that going into London. It was a really good experience.”
Women’s 10,000m Final
Six years since winning a silver medal at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, Jo Pavey (Gavin Pavey) secured another silver medal this time in the form of a European Championship one.
Portugal’s Dulce Felix was the clear winner, but Pavey’s time of 31:49.03 bodes well for London 2012. Charlotte Purdue (Mick Woods) and Gemma Steel (John Nuttall) finished sixth and ninth, with neither achieving the required Olympic A standard.
"I’m really pleased to get a medal, it’s always a long way 25 laps," said Pavey.
"It’s made me feel young again to go on the track. Having a chance to go to the Olympics in my own country is a special opportunity in an athlete’s career and it’s really what’s kept me going."
Men’s 4x100m Final
It was not the perfect London 2012 dress rehearsal for the men’s 4x100m relay squad.
The first change over between Christian Malcolm (Dan Pfaff) and Dwain Chambers resulted in the baton being dropped. Team-mates James Ellington (John Powell) and Mark Lewis-Francis (Linford Christie) could only look on.
Indeed, Malcolm admitted it was his mistake.
"I’ll take responsibility," he said.
"It’s one of those things that happen but I got thrown a little bit coming round the run and lost momentum, and it’s my job to get the baton over to Dwain and I couldn’t quite get it in.
"It’s always the incoming runners job to get the baton it and on this occasion I didn’t do it.
"We were very comfortable yesterday and today we were really up for it. All the guys really wanted to put it down today and unfortunately it didn’t happen."
Men’s Long Jump Final
JJ Jegede (Peter Stanley) jumped a personal best of 8.10m, but it was not enough for a podium finish or an Olympic A standard.
Women’s 4x400m Relay
So nearly bronze for the women’s 4x400m quartet of Shana Cox (Lloyd Cowan), Nicola Sanders (Tony Lester), Lee McConnell (Rodger Harkins) and Eilidh Child (Malcolm Arnold). A tussle in the closing stages with the Czech Republic denied third spot.
Men’s 4x400m Relay
The final race of the championship yielded another silver medal on day five. The men’s 4x400m quartet of Nigel Levine (Linford Christie), Conrad Williams (Linford Christie), Rob Tobin (Dan Pfaff) and Richard Buck (Steve Fudge) were pipped at the post for gold by Belgium.
Williams was delighted with the performance of his team mates and is targeting a podium finish in London.
"The lads did well," he said.
"We knew going in there it would be a hard battle and it’s never easy with the Belgian team and their tactics.
"I’m very pleased with my team and we’re glad that we’re still on the podium which is the main thing.
"It’s good preparation for the Olympic Games, we’ve got a month now before the next final. We’ve got a big team, so we’re going to fix it and as long as we’re on the podium in London, we’ll be happy."