Europeans: Laura Muir wins European 1500m gold to cap ‘crazy’ summer | athletics news

Dina Asher-Smith had to settle for silver in the women’s 200m behind Switzerland’s Mujinga Kambundji; Lawrence Okoye won bronze in discus

Last update: 08/20/22 12:06 am

Laura Muir of Great Britain celebrates her gold medal in the 1500m

Laura Muir of Great Britain celebrates her gold medal in the 1500m

Britain’s Laura Muir won her fourth medal of a “crazy” summer with gold in the 1500m at the European Championships, while Zharnel Hughes also tasted victory in Munich.

Muir, who won bronze at the World Championships and gold and bronze at the Commonwealth Games, scored a resounding victory to retain the title she won four years ago in Berlin.

Hughes was also an impressive winner of the men’s 200m ahead of teammate Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake, but Dina Asher-Smith had to settle for silver in the women’s event behind Switzerland’s Mujinga Kambundji.

Muir was happy to sit at the back of the field in the early stages before taking the lead with two laps to go and the 29-year-old Scotsman then powered his way home with just over 400m remaining.

Ireland’s Ciara Mageean tried hard to keep Muir in her sights, but the Olympic silver medalist was too strong and crossed the line in 4:01.08, with Mageean 1.48 seconds behind.

Poland’s Sofia Ennaoui took bronze ahead of Britain’s Katie Snowden, with Ellie Baker finishing eighth.

Speaking about this year’s packed championship schedule, Muir told the BBC: “It seemed difficult on paper, but actually doing it in person, never again!

“It was such an amazing and unique opportunity that we would never get three champions in a year, let alone five weeks in the summer. It was crazy, but I was like, ‘You know what? I want to give it a try.’ Let’s go’.

“My goal was to win a medal in all three, which I have done, but to win the Commonwealth and to win here, I’m very happy.

“This was the hardest. On paper it looked like the easiest, one event, only two rounds, so physically it was the easiest of the three, but it was very difficult mentally. I think it was the hardest race I’ve ever run. “. .”

Zharnel Hughes of Great Britain celebrates after winning the gold medal in the men's 200m

Zharnel Hughes of Great Britain celebrates after winning the gold medal in the men’s 200m

Hughes added gold in the 200m to his silver in the 100m after setting a season best time of 20.07 seconds, with Charlie Dobson threatening to make a British one-two-three before being overtaken by Italy’s Filippo Tortu. .

“I’m so happy,” Hughes said. “My coach and I discussed this earlier in the season and extended our program to stay healthy.

“For us the European Championship was more of a mental game than a physical one because we knew we were fit. We just had to make sure my mental strength was up to par and I think I did a great job of that.”

Asher-Smith, who has endured a difficult season due to injuries, ran faster in the final than in the semi-final but was unable to catch Kambundji, who took gold with a time of 22.32s.

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“Obviously I came here to win so I’m not too happy but in the end Mujinga had a better race, he’s been improving for a long time so congratulations,” said Asher-Smith, whose teammate Jodie Williams finished fourth. .

“I really thought I was in better shape than that, but at the same time I was second, so that’s what it is.”

Okoye wins bronze in discus | Pidcock recovers from crash and wins gold

Lawrence Okoye won discus bronze with his throw of 67.14m in the first round, with Sweden’s Simon Pettersson just two centimeters behind in fourth place.

Okoye, who spent several years away from athletics while pursuing an NFL career, was in tears after becoming Great Britain’s first European medalist in the men’s discus.

“It’s been a tough year for me in many ways and to do what I did today means a lot to me,” Okoye said. “To win a medal in this field after some of the things I’ve been experiencing, I just couldn’t hold back.

“Everyone knows I’ve had a great release for a long time and I hope this is the start of great things for me.”

Earlier in the day, Olympic champion Tom Pidcock overcame an early crash to win gold in the cross-country mountain bike.

“It was a pretty tough race,” Pidcock said. “I made it a little bit difficult for myself because on this course with that speed, running up front just makes everything that much more difficult.”

“I crashed in the first corner, at least I was dry. If it wasn’t, it would have been an even bigger crash, but luckily it wasn’t too bad and I managed to get back to the front.”

“There are still a couple of world championships to go (this year), so I’m not done yet.”

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