EURO­PEAN U20 CHAMPS

GB WIN FIVE GOLDS AMONG A TO­TAL OF 19 MEDALS IN ITALY

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Five golds and 19 medals in to­tal for GB ju­niors in Gros­seto

THE GB team equalled its bestever medal haul win­ning a to­tal of 19 – five of them gold – but had to set­tle for a close sec­ond in the medal ta­ble to Ger­many.

Bri­tain’s sole win­ner of the fi­nal day was Jemma Reekie. The Scot, who was fourth in the 3000m, was too fast for her ri­vals as she blasted a 49sec last 300m to win the 1500m by three sec­onds in 4:13.25.

She said: “I en­joyed run­ning on the track but my legs were a lit­tle bit tired from the semi­fi­nal. I was de­ter­mined so I gave what­ever I had in this race so I’m happy with my re­sult.”

Har­riet Knowles-Jones fin­ished third in 4:17.53. Long­time leader Amelia Quirk was fourth in 4:19.23 af­ter hav­ing led through 800m in 2:15.50.

Bri­tain had also gained a one-two in the women’s 800m on Saturday. It was a slow race with a 66.17 first lap but the sec­ond lap was much quicker and Khahisa Mh­langa pre­vailed by five hun­dredths of a sec­ond from team-mate El­lie Baker, as she edged by in the last 10m.

Mh­langa, 17, who pulled faces for the TV cam­era, won in 2:06.96. Third was Slo­vakia’s Gabriele Ga­janova as 0.21 cov­ered the top four.

The win­ner said: “I en­joyed the race and I ac­tu­ally had fun, the weather was beau­ti­ful. I’m happy for my team-mate that won the sil­ver.”

Mh­langa’s step­sis­ter

Jes­sica Judd won an 800m medal in the World Ju­nior Cham­pi­onships, but never com­peted at a Euro­pean Ju­nior Cham­pi­onships.

Last year’s Euro­pean un­der-18 cham­pion, Jake Hey­ward, was a shock win­ner of the 1500m. He led through the early laps in a pedes­trian 67.70 and then 2:17.89 at 800m. The third lap was in­side 60 but it was the last 300m where the dam­age was done as he un­leashed a 39.29 last 300m to com­plete a quar­ter-sec­ond vic­tory. He said: “I started slow get­ting a good po­si­tion in the mid­dle of the race and then I trusted my sprint that let me win the race.”

Archie Davis was less than sec­ond back in fifth in 3:57.66.

The favourite Jakob Ingebrit­sen fell 300m out af­ter get­ting boxed but still fin­ished eighth, less than two sec­onds back. He made up for it in the 5000m as, cov­ered in plas­ters, he blasted a re­laxed 54.87 last lap to win eas­ily in 14:41.68.

The fol­low­ing day the Nor­we­gian made it two golds in the 3000m steeple­chase.

The one 800m and 1500m Bri­tain didn’t win was the twolap race in which they had the most over­whelm­ing favourite.

Markhim Lons­dale tried ev­ery­thing but was un­able to pass win­ner Marino Bloudek of Croa­tia as he ran 1:48.82 to fin­ish 0.12 be­hind.

He said: “I thought I could han­dle the race, but Bloudek has been stronger than me here. I tried to pass him 200m from the fin­ish, and was then try­ing to catch him, but he de­fended re­ally well.”

Apart from the mid­dle dis­tances, Bri­tain’s suc­cess came in the 200m.

Maya Bruney entered the cham­pi­onships with a 23.51 PB but the John Blackie-coached Black­heath and Brom­ley ath­lete im­proved to 23.47 in her heat and then shat­tered that with a 23.07 in her semi-fi­nal de­spite a 1.9 m/sec head­wind. In the fi­nal she trimmed that to 23.04. She won by four me­tres from Sophia Junk of Ger­many’s 23.45.

The 23.04 moved Bruney to sixth all-time in the UK un­der-20 rank­ings but only third from her club. Re­mark­ably, Dina Asher-Smith won the event in 2013 and Shan­non Hyl­ton was sec­ond in 2015.

Alisha Rees just missed a medal, fin­ish­ing fourth in 23.45.

“I’m re­ally happy with the race be­cause I did a PB and I ran the fastest Euro­pean time this year,” Bruney said. “The crowd was fantastic and my fam­ily are here so I hope they are proud of me.”

Bri­tain gained a one-two in the men’s 200m with great times con­sid­er­ing the 0.9m/sec head­wind. Toby Har­ries, who was run­ner-up in the na­tional cham­pi­onships to Romell Glave, won the 200m by a me­tre in 20.81, im­prov­ing his le­gal PB from 20.89 in the semi-fi­nal.

Jona Efoloko, who was dis­qual­i­fied from the heats at Bedford, only qual­i­fied for the Ital­ian fi­nal by one hun­dredth of a sec­ond in 21.20 and had a bet­ter run in the fi­nal.

He timed 20.92, his first-ever sub-21 and he re­mains a ju­nior for 2018.

Anas­tasiya Bryzhina of Ukraine won the women’s 400m in 52.01. Han­nah Williams took bronze for Bri­tain in a 52.55 PB, to match the PB of older sis­ter Jodie.

An­other Bri­tish medal was won by Robert Sakala, who im­proved his 110m hur­dles PB to 13.48, which puts him equal eighth all-time in the UK un­der-20 lists. He fin­ished sec­ond to fast-fin­ish­ing Ja­son Joseph of Switzer­land’s 13.41.

Bri­tain also won sil­ver in the women’s sprint hur­dles. France’s So­lene Ndama was win­ner in 13.15 with Ali­cia Bar­rett a clear sec­ond in 13.28. So­phie Yorke was fifth in 13.51.

Molly Caud­ery set a PB 4.35m in the pole vault to take sil­ver be­hind Swe­den’s highly re­garded Lisa Gun­nars­son, who won with a 4.40m vault.

Caud­ery’s vault moves her up to equal third in the UK all­time ju­nior rank­ings level with Holly Brad­shaw. Her pre­vi­ous best was 4.25m.

There was a Bri­tish bronze in the men’s high jump in what was the best qual­ity event of the cham­pi­onships.

There were a mas­sive num­ber of PBs and gold went to Be­larus’s Mak­sim Nedasekau, who looked like he was head­ing for third place when he failed first time at 2.28m, while his two fel­low medal­lists cleared it with PBs.

But Nedasekau took the lead with his fi­nal chance jump at 2.30m and then cleared 2.33m with his last ef­fort to im­prove the 40-year-old championship record.

Ukraine’s Dmytro Nik­itin was also in smok­ing hot form and im­proved his PB re­peat­edly all the way from 2.18m to 2.28m.

That height was also cleared by Bri­tain’s Tom Gale who pre­vi­ously had a best of 2.23m.

Gale’s im­prove­ment moved him to sec­ond all-time in the UK ju­nior lists to Steve Smith’s world ju­nior record 2.37m.

The win­ner’s leap was the high­est by a world ju­nior since Smith’s 1992 mark.

Ge­orge Evans threw 59.05m for bronze in the fi­nal round of the dis­cus won by Poland’s Oskar Stach­nik with 62.01m.

Be­hind the win­ning Ger­man team (43.44), which had ear­lier bro­ken the world un­der-20 record with 43.27 in qual­i­fy­ing, a GB women’s 4x100m quar­tet of Ebony Carr, Alisha Rees, Bruney and Olivia Okoli com­bined to run 44.17 for bronze be­hind France and ahead of Ire­land. The Ger­man

team had in­cluded Ka­trin Fehm, So­phie Junk, Keshia Kwadwo and Jen­nifer Mon­tag.

Bruney claimed a third medal, helped by her quick­est leg of the race of 51.7. The team of Mair Ed­wards, Bruney, Ella Bar­rett and Han­nah

Williams won bronze in 3.33.68 be­hind Ukraine and Ger­many.

“I would never have thought I’d come here and win three medals, it’s in­sane!” said

Bruney. “What a team to do it with as well – it’s been an un­be­liev­able jour­ney.”

The men’s 4x400m was won by Italy in 3:08.68, while the 4x100m ti­tle was again claimed by Ger­many in 39.48 as GB fin­ished fourth in 39.67.

Af­ter the world record by his team-mates in the women’s 4x100m, an­other world un­der-20 mark was bro­ken by a Ger­man ath­lete as Nik­las Kaul was im­pres­sive in the de­cathlon, achiev­ing 8435 points to get gold ahead of Es­to­nia’s Jo­hannes Erm (8141) and Karel Tilga (8002).

“I’m re­ally happy, I was not ex­pect­ing to go over 8400 points – it’s just amaz­ing,” said the win­ner. “This is the best way to end the sea­son.”

While Kaul’s pre­vi­ous best had been 8162 points, the pre­vi­ous world ju­nior record of 8397 had been set with se­nior im­ple­ments, while the Ger­man’s marks were with ju­nior im­ple­ments.

Swe­den’s Ar­mand Du­plan­tis was an­other ath­lete to im­press in the pole vault as he cleared 5.55m on his first at­tempt and just his sec­ond vault of the com­pe­ti­tion be­fore hav­ing the bar raised to 5.65m. Clear­ing that on his third at­tempt, Du­plan­tis broke Mak­sim Tarasov’s championship record of 5.60m set in 1989 be­fore at­tempt­ing 5.80m.

Bri­tain’s Joel Leon Ben­itez, who has been in good form all sea­son, failed at his open­ing height of 5.10m.

Czech Repub­lic’s Michaela Hruba cleared 1.93m to win the high jump be­fore three at­tempts at what would have been a championship record of 1.96m, while France’s Mar­tin Lamou leapt a Euro­pean un­der-20 lead and PB of 16.97m for triple jump gold as his com­pa­triot and favourite Melvin Raf­fin had to set­tle for bronze.

Owen Richard­son set a PB of 46.49 in the men’s 400m in a race won by Ital­ian Vladimir Aceti in 45.92.

Ju­lia Rit­ter of Ger­many won the shot with 17.24m with GB’s Di­vine Oladipo, show­ing greatly im­proved form from qual­i­fy­ing where she scarped 12th best into the fi­nal, with a 16.03m throw for fourth.

Czech Ka­te­rina Sky­palova won the ham­mer with a 64.78m throw. Ire­land’s Michaela Walsh won bronze, cour­tesy of a 61.27m throw.

Cyprian Mrzy­glod won the javelin with a Pol­ish un­der-20 record 80.52m.

Rus­sian Sergey Shi­robokov, com­pet­ing un­der the neu­tral flag, won the 10,000m walk in 43:21.29.

Gina Akpe-Moses won a sur­prise gold for Ire­land while Filippo Tortu joined her in 100m suc­cess in front of his home fans.

Clock­ing 11.71 (-1.4), 18-year-old Akpe-Moses fin­ished ahead of Ger­man favourite Keshia Kwadwo (11.75) as Bri­tain’s Olivia Okoli fin­ished fourth in 11.86.

“It was amaz­ing and I’m so ex­cited,” said the win­ner.

“I hoped to get a medal, and even­tu­ally the dream came true. In the semi-fi­nals I started think­ing I could jump on the podium, but only in the last 20m of the fi­nal I had the thought ‘I can get the gold medal’.”

Tortu and his fel­low fi­nal­ists had to bat­tle with a head­wind of -4.3 m/sec but the Ital­ian claimed vic­tory with 10.73 ahead of Fin­land’s Sa­muel Purola with 10.79 and GB’s Oliver Bromby with 10.88. “The im­por­tant thing wasn’t the time but the place,” said Tortu.

Naomi Og­beta had ear­lier claimed GB’s first medal of the cham­pi­onships as she leapt a windy 13.68m (+3.0) in the sixth round of a triple jump won by Vi­o­letta Sk­vartsova of Be­larus with 14.21m (+2.4).

Four ath­letes achieved more than 6000 points in the hep­tathlon, led by Ukraine’s Alina Shukh and Switzer­land’s Geral­dine Ruck­stuhl with

6381 and 6357 points.

Prov­ing the high stan­dard of the com­pe­ti­tion, GB’s Ni­amh Emer­son missed out on a medal de­spite scor­ing 6013.

“I wanted 5900 [Eng­land Com­mon­wealth Games stan­dard] and I knew I could get that, ev­ery­thing just had to be good,” said Emer­son, who fin­ished fourth and moves up to third on the Bri­tish ju­nior all-time list be­hind Kata­rina John­sonThomp­son and Mor­gan Lake and ahead of Jes­sica En­nis-Hill. “Af­ter my javelin PB I was like ‘I’m go­ing to get 6000 points and that is just crazy’. Now I just need to keep pro­gress­ing.”

Holly McArthur also im­pressed as she im­proved her PBs in all seven events for 5687 points to place 11th and also achieve a Com­mon­wealth Games stan­dard for Scot­land.

Ukraine’s Hlib Piskunov broke the championship record with 81.75m to get ham­mer gold, as GB’s Jake Norris was sev­enth with a best of 72.68m.

Khahisa Mh­langa: 800m gold ahead of fel­low Brit El­lie Baker in Italy

Jakob Inge­brig­sten: steeple­chase and 5000m golds but fell in the 1500m

Maya Bruney: 200m win­ner for Great Bri­tain

World record-break­ers: Ger­many beat the United States’ un­der-20 4x100m best

Jemma Reekie (cen­tre) and Har­riet Knowles-Jones (right): 1500m glory

Nik­las Kaul: Ger­man de­cath­lete set world un­der-20 record in Gros­seto

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