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GB’s Jemma Reekie and Shemar Boldizsar get gold in Gävle

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Published in Athletics
Saturday, 13 July 2019 12:31

Two titles for Britain on day three of the European U23 Championships by Reekie in 800m and Boldizsar in 200m

Great Britain gained two gold medals on the third day of action at the European Under-23 Championships in Gävle, Sweden, as Jemma Reekie and Shemar Boldizsar took titles in the women’s 800m and men’s 200m respectively.

First Reekie ensured that her dream of a double in Gävle remains on track as she led a British one-two in the 800m, clocking 2:05.19 to win ahead of team-mate Ellie Baker (2:06.33).

After running wide to stay out of trouble, Reekie surged away over the final 200m to add under-23 gold to the under-20 title she won in in Grosseto two years ago.

“This was very messy, so I tried to keep my cool,” said Reekie, who is a training partner of British 1500m record-holder Laura Muir under coach Andy Young and will contest the 1500m on Sunday.

“I knew I had to kick in to cross the finish line, because the other girls were right behind me.

“Today it’s very special. I’m so happy for Ellie – we grew up together and even share a room here.”

Nadia Power claimed bronze for Ireland but had a rollercoaster ride to gaining her medal as she was initially disqualified after crossing the finish line in third place in 2:06.68 before later being reinstated.

Boldizsar’s victory came in the day’s penultimate track final and the England under-23 champion continued what has been a superb year, clocking 20.89 (-0.1m/sec) for victory after a strong finish.

Powering down the home straight, the Harlow AC and St Mary’s University sprinter had a clear win over Belgium’s Kobe Vleminckx (21.04) and Ryan Zeze of France (21.05), as Boldizsar’s British team-mate Toby Harries finished fourth in 21.17.

“I wasn’t expecting to win,” said a shocked Boldizsar, who has improved his outdoor PB from 21.37 last year down to 20.65 this summer.

“I was trying to beat my personal best today. It didn’t happen but to run a good time in my first international out and about like this in another country and win gold, it is a good experience and hopefully I can do a lot more in the future.”

Another St Mary’s University student to impress was Anna Emilie Møller as the Danish athlete clocked 9:27.31 to take nine seconds off the championship best and retain her 3000m steeplechase title.

After cross-country success over the winter, Møller won the BUCS 5000m title in May and will be back on the track to contest that event in Gävle on Sunday.

Britain’s Aimee Pratt had been second behind Møller at the bell but struggled in the closing stages, slowing to a walk and eventually crossing the finishing line in 10:18.98 for 11th.

Ireland’s Eilish Flanagan secured silver in a PB of 9:51.72, while bronze was claimed by Romania’s Claudia Prisecaru (9:53.21 PB).

France’s Jimmy Gressier completed a distance double, adding the 5000m title to his 10,000m victory after clocking 14:16.55 ahead of team-mate Hugo Hay with 14:17.00. GB’s Petros Surafel was 11th in 14:28.63 and William Fuller 15th in 14:32.86.

A tactical men’s 1500m was won by Spain’s Ignacio Fontes (3:50.38), with GB’s Piers Copeland coming through for silver in 3:50.89 after working his way past five athletes in the final 40 metres. His British team-mate Jake Heyward finished 11th in 3:52.98.

Another silver was secured for GB in the men’s 400m as Cameron Chalmers led into the home straight but France’s Fabrisio Saidy finished strongly to pass him in the final metres, clocking 45.79 to the Briton’s 45.92.

There was a second women’s sprint title for Poland as after her compatriot Ewa Swoboda won the 100m title, the 400m gold was claimed by Natalia Kaczmarek in a PB of 52.34.

Women’s 200m gold went to Latvia’s Sindija Bukša with 23.24, with GB’s Kristal Awuah sixth in 23.66.

Poland’s Cyprian Mrzygłód broke the championship record with a PB throw of 84.97m to win the javelin title as the top three all bettered 80 metres, Romania’s Alexandru Novac securing silver (81.75m) and Aliaksei Katkavets of Belarus claiming bronze (80.31m).

German athletes claimed a clean sweep in the women’s shot put as Alina Kenzel got the gold with a throw of 17.94m ahead of team-mates Katharina Maisch (17.64m) and Julia Ritter (17.17m) as GB’s Divine Oladipo finished fourth (16.79m).

Spain’s Alberto González won the hammer title with a PB throw of 74.36m as GB’s Jake Norris was ninth with 68.64m.

Ukraine’s world silver medallist Yuliya Levchenko won the women’s high jump after clearing 1.97m as GB co-captain Morgan Lake was unable to clear 1.89m and finished sixth.

Germany’s Bo Kanda Lita Baehre went one better than his European under-20 silver from two years ago as he cleared 5.65m to win pole vault gold as GB’s Charlie Myers, Joel Leon Benitez and Adam Hague were fifth, sixth and seventh after they all cleared 5.50m.

Estonia’s 2017 European under-20 silver medallist Johannes Erm leads the decathlon at the end of the first day, setting PBs in the 100m (10.73) and high jump (2.03m) and a championship best in the long jump (7.97m) on his way to 4513 points ahead of Germany’s Manuel Eitel (4263), who ran a championship best of 10.42 in the 100m, and Niklas Kaul (4208).

In qualifying action, GB’s Alex Knibbs secured his place in the 400m hurdles final after running 50.56 which placed him fourth in his semi-final.

Tom Gale (high jump), Alice Hopkins (long jump) and the men’s 4x400m team all progressed for GB in the morning session, securing spots in the finals of their respective events.

Results can be found here, while a report on day one action is here and a day two round-up is here.

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