12th August 2018
BARLOW, SAMUELS & JONES LEAD BRITISH TEAM TO FOURTH IN EUROPEAN MARATHON
Great Britain & Northern Ireland rounded off the final morning session at the European Championships with a fourth-place finish in the team event in the women’s marathon.
The British trio of Tracy Barlow (coach: Nick Anderson; club: Thames Valley), Sonia Samuels (self-coached, Sale Harriers Manchester) and Caryl Jones (Alan Storey, Swansea) were the only three Brits to complete the circuit in tough conditions in Berlin.
They clocked 2:35:00, 2:37:36 & 2:40:41 to finish in 15th, 21st and 30th respectively and were edged out of the bronze medal position by Spain.
Barlow stuck in the chasing pack for a long period of the race, sitting in 11th position at the halfway point before losing some ground in the second third of the race. She produced a strong finish, measuring her final loop well and holding off a late surge from Katharina Heinig (GER) to hang onto 15th.
Afterwards, she said: “I didn’t feel too hot, it got quite windy actually. I ended up at the front of my pack so I couldn’t quite run behind anybody. I felt good until the last lap and then the legs just went and I felt a bit iffy. I am pleased with it.
“My friend who is up in the crowd was with me then and to think that the last time she went with me I ran sub-three and now I am running for GB!
“With championship races I have realised that it is not about time, it is about positioning and tactics in a way. I never went into it with a goal time in mind, it was about running strong and finishing as high up as I could”.
Samuels, like Barlow, was controlled in her running to ensure herself of 21st position. She stuck to the leading group for around the first 10km, before moving to a mid-field position and finishing just shy of her season’s best of achieved at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
She added: “I just didn’t feel good today. Some days are like that and you have just got to keep your head down because after all this is a team race and I didn’t want to let the team down. For me it is a big disappointment because I am in great shape, I just didn’t get to show that today but I am sure I will be back.”
Jones by comparison produced a season’s best of 2:40:41, eclipsing the 2:43:58 she clocked on the Gold Coast at the Commonwealth Games.
She ran a calm race making steady progress to put herself in 27th position at the halfway stage. And crossing the line in 30th, recording a new best for 2018.
Jones assessed: “It was another hot marathon, not as hot as Gold Coast, but it got hot towards the end. I think I raced it tactically well but on the last lap I got a bit excited and pushed on too soon and I paid for it in the last three or four kilometres. I had to keep going and it is nice to put on a GB vest again and finish.
“I didn’t really die but I lost a few minutes in the last few kilometres. It has been a hard build up after Gold Coast, which was so hot and I was really tired after that. I am glad I raced and hope I did everyone in Wales proud.”
Teammates Charlotte Purdue (Nic Bideau, Aldershot, Farnham & District), and Lily Partridge (Alan Storey, Aldershot, Farnham & District) both withdrew from the race, Purdue shortly after 10km and Partridge not long after the 25km mark.
The final session of the championships gets underway back at the stadium tonight with British interest in the finals of the women’s 1500m, 3000m steeplechase, 5000m, 4x100m relay, hammer and men’s triple Jump, pole vault and 4x100m.
Medal count: 13
Gold, 4: Zharnel Hughes (men’s 100m), Dina Asher-Smith (women’s 100m & women’s 200m), Matt Hudson-Smith (men’s 400m)
Silver, 4: Reece Prescod (men’s 100m), Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake (men’s 200m), Katarina Johnson-Thompson (women’s heptathlon), 4x400m Relay (men)
Bronze, 5: Holly Bradshaw (women’s pole vault), Meghan Beesley (women’s 400m hurdles), Jake Wightman (men’s 1500m), Shara Proctor (women’s long jump), 4x400m Relay (women)
Top eight finishes:
4th – CJ Ujah (men’s 100m), Adelle Tracey (women’s 800m), Laviai Nielsen (women’s 400m), Jazmin Sawyers (women’s long jump), Marathon (women’s team)
5th – Andy Vernon (men’s 10,000m), Tim Duckworth (men’s decathlon), Adam Gemili (men’s 200m), Zak Seddon (men’s 3000m steeplechase), Charlie Da’Vall Grice (men’s 1500m), Marc Scott (men’s 5000m)
6th – Imani Lansiquot (women’s 100m), Dan Bramble (men’s long jump), Alice Wright (women’s 10,000m), Lynsey Sharp (women’s 800m), Andrew Pozzi (men’s 110m hurdles), Bianca Williams (women’s 200m)
7th – Sophie McKinna (women’s shot put), Morgan Lake (women’s high jump), Beth Dobbin (women’s 200m)
8th – Eilidh Doyle (women’s 400m hurdles), Shelayna Oskan-Clarke (women’s 800m)