The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition)
Child victorious as GB finish fifth in Russia
Pitreavie star close to Scottish record in taking the points at European Team Championships
Kinross athlete Eilidh Child rose to the occasion – and the barriers – in winning the 400m hurdles for Great Britain & Northern Ireland at the European Cup Team Championships in Cheboksary.
The Pitreavie athlete made a determined start and entered the home straight with a two-metre advantage which she held to the finish in 54.46 seconds, a season’s best and not too far adrift of her Scottish national record of 54.22.
Ukraine’s Anna Titimets, the silver medallist behind Child at last year’s European Championship, was second yet again in 54.75.
Child said: “I just went out there to exercise my stride pattern.
“I wanted to win the race obviously to get the points for the team, and I knew it felt like a nice track when we came in to warm up, but I knew it was pretty windy so I wasn’t too bothered about the time.
“So to win it and to knock a chunk off my season’s best I’m delighted and hopefully this can set me up for the next few weeks now.
“I think this event is important because I think you’ve got to appreciate every time you get a GB vest.
“You never know when it is going to be your last vest and I just think if you get the opportunity to represent your country you’ve got to take it.”
Scottish internationalist LennieWaite also excelled as he came through from fourth to second over the final lap of the 3,000m steeplechase.
Waite clocked 9: 59.75 behind clear winner Gesa-Felicitas Kraus, of Germany, in 9:46.49.
Central AC’s Andrew Butchart finishing strongly to come third in the second day’s 3,000m, clocking 8:35.75 having taken up the pace over most of the race.
In contrast, Lasswade 800m athlete Guy Learmonth, despite a promising opening lap, struggled down the home straight to finish ninth in 1:47.84.
Inverness thrower Kirsty Law, who was making her GB debut, finished 10th in the discus with 50.93m, while Jax Thoirs (Glasgow City) came ninth in the men’s pole vault (5.30m).
Top points for GB came as Asha Philip won the 100m in 11.27 seconds while Richard Kilty finished second in the men’s sprint (10.35) behind Christophe Lemaitre (France) in 10.26.
Jarryd Dunn was another GB athlete who produced a 12-point performance, clocking a new 400m personal best of 45.09 seconds. Dunn spent most of last year trying to re-establish himself after suffering a stress fracture in 2013
The final race of day one saw the men’s 4x100m quartet of Richard Kilty, Danny Talbot, James Ellington and Andy Robertson blast their way to an impressive win in a championship record and European lead time of 38.21 – the fastest a GB four have run outside a major championships in recent years.
Alongside Butchart’s 3,000m third place, the top individual points of day two came as 200m athlete Danny Talbot was first over the finish line in 20.62 seconds but with the 12 athletes spread over two heats the 12 points went to winner of the first heat, Ukraine’s Serhiy Smelyl, in 20.45.
Child returned to the track for the 4x400m relay alongside Meghan Beesley, Laura Maddox and Margaret Adeoye but had to settle for fifth place.
Some solace came in the final event of the weekend as Rabah Youseff, Delano Williams, Conrad Williams and Richard Buck came second in the 4x400m in 3:00.54, pipped on the finish line as France set a championship best 3:00.47.
With too many points lost during the second day the GB team finished the competition in fifth place.
Russia – encouraged by the home crowd – dominated the final league table ahead of Germany, France and Poland.