3 March 2013
GB & NI won a further four medals this morning at the European Indoor Championships in Gothenburg. There was gold and silver for Perri Shakes-Drayton (coach: Chris Zah) and Eilidh Child (Malcolm Arnold) in the women’s 400m before Mukhtar Mohammed (Mustafa Mohammed) won bronze in the men’s 800m and Nigel Levine (Linford Christie) clinched silver in the men’s 400m.
Perri Shakes Drayton and Eilidh Child got the day off to a perfect start as they finished first and second in the final of the women’s 400m. Shakes-Drayton led from start to finish and crossed the line in a world leading 50.85, just ahead of her teammate Child who set a new Scottish record of 51.45.
Shakes-Drayton was delighted with both the gold medal and the time: “I’m really happy with that. Everyone had expectations of me getting gold and in my heart of hearts I wanted gold. To be able to deliver and run a world lead – I didn’t expect that. I’m going to take that, it gives me confidence and hopefully I can transfer it over the hurdles.”
Child was similarly thrilled with her first major international 400m medal: “I’m over the moon, I knew it would be hard but I was lucky to get a good lane draw after yesterday’s qualification. It was a PB and I can’t ask for any more than that, especially after back-to-back races, so I’m delighted. It just shows from the pair of us that the flat speed is there so it’s just a case of getting the hurdling right and we’ll both drop some really good times this season.”
Shana Cox (George Williams) was to the fore early on in the race but eventually finished sixth in 53.15, but insists that her indoor season has been a productive one.
“I’ve had a lot of fun indoors and it’s good that I got nine or ten 400m races in. I know where I need to be, which my training has indicated, so I’m really excited about going outdoors. For me that’s where track and field really is.”
Mukhtar Mohammed clinched a dramatic bronze medal in the men’s 800m after edging out Belarusian Anis Ananenka in the closing metres to cross the line in a time of 1:49.60.
“I had to fight to get a medal but I was really enjoying it as I did with the heat and the semi-final and I didn’t want to mess up in the final. This is a learning experience for me and hopefully it’ll get even better for the next championships. I am very pleased just to get a medal, gold was going to be good for me but I’ve got to be happy with a medal. “
Nigel Levine added a fourth medal of the morning for GB & NI in the men’s 400m after running a season’s best 46.21 to clinch a silver medal. Michael Bingham (George Williams) and Richard Strachan (Linford Christie) finished in fifth and sixth place respectively.
Levine said: “I’m just trying to do my best here – trying to make a name for myself. You train to win, I didn’t win but I did get the second best.”
Defending 800m champion Jenny Meadows (Trevor Painter) led for the first three laps but faded in the closing 200m and just missed out on a medal crossing the line in fourth in 2:01.52.
“I feel a bit silly to say I feel disappointed that I came fourth – it’s an amazing achievement but I’ve tried to keep my lack of preparation at the back of my head. A medal would have been a bonus and I was good enough to get a medal. I’ve let myself down a little bit tactically but I’m fit and healthy and in one piece and it’s a way forward for the summer.”
Despite another season’s best of 13.95m, Yamile Aldama (Frank Attoh) had to settle for a sixth place finish in the women’s triple jump. The World Indoor champion believes that there are positives she can take from her performance following recent injuries.
“It wasn't good enough to get a medal but I'm taking some positives from this competition. I know what I need to work on to make sure I'm ready for the summer. I think with all the surgery I had before this year, I thought I could do better but it didn't quite happen.”
Lauren Howarth (Peter Riley) ended the morning session with a sixth place finish in the 3000m, and the 22 year old believes that her first senior championship will act as valuable experience moving forwards.
“It’s all new to me, so I need to build on that and get some speed work so I can cope with the change of pace and compete at the front. It’s been a great experience and I’ve really enjoyed it.”
The final session of the European Indoor Championships will be shown live on BBC2 and BBC Online at 15.15-18.00.
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