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Dooms day as Dobson earns 400m silver

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Published in Athletics
Monday, 10 June 2024 14:51
Belgian sprinter beats Brit in brilliant one-lap battle as Iwan Thomass European Championship record falls in Rome on Monday

Alexander Doom has been nothing short of a sensation in 2024. After upsetting Karsten Warholm to win the world indoor 400m title in Glasgow in March, the 27-year-old from Belgium has improved his outdoor PB this year from 44.92 to 44.15.

This latest time came in a thrilling European final where he was pushed all the way by another revelation, Charlie Dobson, as the 24-year-old clocked 44.38 to go No.5 on the UK all-time rankings.

The pair also took down Iwan Thomas championships record of 44.52 from Budapest in 1998.

Matt Hudson-Smith, the defending champion and European record-holder with 44.07 from Oslo last month, was missing from this event after withdrawing on the eve of the championships. He is the only European to ever run faster than Doom, too.

His absence didnt detract from the race, though, as Doom and Dobson locked horns, with the young Briton drawn one lane inside the Belgian.

Alexander Doom (Getty)

Doom held a slight lead into the home straight and managed to maintain it, drawing away a little in the final metres as he demonstrated his strength. It was hardly a case of Doom and gloom for the runner-up, though, as Dobson was delighted with his silver medal and PB. His season is just getting going, too.

Im way over the moon, its amazing, said Dobson. This is far more than I expected this season. Id have been happy with one sub-45 qualifier for the Olympic standard and then to go to the trials. So this is unreal.

Doom, who was running with tape on his midriff due to a minor injury in his psoas, said: Charlie is in great shape and is a very fast 200m runner whereas Im not so fast in the first 200m but my last 100m is strong.

Charlie Dobson (Getty)

In this form, Doom will be an Olympic medal contender in Paris. Dobson wont be far away either although he expressed a desire on Monday to switch back to 200m in coming seasons. But Ill be staying with 400m this summer, he confirmed.

Bronze went to Liemarvin Bonevacia of Netherlands in 44.88 as Jonathan Sacoor of Belgium also went sub-45 with a PB of 44.98 in fourth.

Mumenthaler beats Tortu to 200m crown

Host nation favourite Filippo Tortu was hoping to follow in the footsteps of fellow Italian Pietro Mennea in the mens 200m final on Monday in Rome.

Mennea, who died in 2013, was 1980 Olympic champion, two-time European winner and world record-holder at 200m.

But Tortu, the favourite, was beaten by Timothe Mumenthaler as the Swiss athlete ran 20.28 (0.8) to beat Tortus 20.41 with William Reais giving Switzerland another medal with bronze in third in 20.47.

It was a lost opportunity, Tortu said. The gold was within reach. I just didnt run well. Its very upsetting and I cant celebrate this silver.

I was kind of isolated on lane nine, Mumenthaler said, on a great night for Switzerland due to Angelina Moser winning the pole vault gold. I felt everything was there for a nice time and a nice place. I am glad to get my first medal at European Championships. On the home straight I just thought you did a nice turn, keep going, keep pushing, finish strong, go and get the line.

French one-two in mens steeplechase

In the mens 3000m steeplechase Italian Osama Zoghlami made a bid for glory and built a significant lead but he was caught at the bell and faded to eighth.

French duo Alexis Miellet and Djilali Bedrani then battled it out for gold and silver with Miellet winning in 8:14.01 as German pair Karl Bebendorf and Frederik Ruppert finished fourth and fifth.

Britains Mark Pearce found the pace a little hot and finished 13th in 8:26.92 but is hoping to chase the Olympic qualifying standard of 8:15.00 in Vienna in a fortnight.

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