24th June 2017

British Team Lie Third After Day Two in Lille

The British Athletics team lie in third place at the halfway stage of the European Athletics Team Championships after a string of excellent performances in Lille.

Harry Aikines-Aryeetey (Benke Blomkvist) continued his good recent form with an excellent win in the men’s 100m. He held off the challenge of Germany’s Julian Reus and Churandy Martina of the Netherlands to cross the line in a time of 10.21.

Aikines-Aryeetey said: “Getting full points was the objective today. I ran 10.21 into a -0.7 wind, if you turn that around we’re looking at a 10.10 sort of run so obviously I have to go and do that again now, but equally I’m happy.”

Later in the afternoon he was back in action as he joined his teammates in the 4x100m relay, which was the final event of the day. The British team finished on a high as they set a championship record en route to victory, the quartet of CJ Ujah (Jonas Dodoo), Zharnel Hughes (Patrick Dawson), Danny Talbot (Benke Blomkvist) and Harry Aikines-Aryeetey finishing with a world class time of 38.08.

Afterwards Zharnel Hughes said: “It’s my second time running with the relay squad and to come away with a victory and a championship record I’m really grateful. The guys did what they had to do, we’ve worked on our check marks a lot lately in Loughborough so the guys know what they had to do and we came out here and executed and I have fun working with these guys.”

Eilidh Doyle (Brian Doyle) dominated the women’s 400m hurdles as she raced away from the field to take the victory in a time of 54.60, a season’s best for the Scot.

She said: “That’s what I was looking for. No big stutters and putting together a technically much better race. Even there it wasn’t perfect but I think it was the best I could do in those conditions, because it was quite blustery so I made some adjustments to my stride pattern. Overall it was a much better race. I knew there was a sub-55 in there, it was just putting it all together.”

Dwayne Cowan (Lloyd Cowan) ran the best race of his career so far as he battled all the way and threw himself across the finish line in second place with a personal best of 45.46, before then being upgraded to first place after a disqualification for the Dutch athlete.

Cowan said: “I’m pretty pleased. It is perfect conditions for a 400m and I knew I had more there from the first round and had a lot more left. When I watched the video back it looked like I was fighting and I changed my technique and knew I had about five tenths more to come, so I’m happy with that.”

As he had done on the Friday evening, Jack Green (self-coached) got the British team off to a fantastic start as he took maximum points in the 400m hurdles, winning with a time of 49.47.

A great third round jump from Dan Bramble (Frank Attoh) saw him take the victory in the long jump; his leap of 8.00m also equalled his season’s best.

In the men’s 1500m Jake Wightman (Geoff Wightman) found himself boxed in at the bell but ran a superb last lap and came through to take second place behind Poland’s European Indoor champion Marcin Lewandowski.

Nick Goolab (Craig Winrow) was well to the fore throughout the men’s 5000m and just lost out in a thrilling sprint to the line as he finished second in 13:59.72 for ten points.

Lennie Waite (Jim Bevan) ran a well-judged race in the 3000m steeplechase and finished very strongly to take another second place with a time of 9:43.33 behind runaway leader Krause of Germany.

In the women’s 100m, Corinne Humphreys (Darren Braithwaite) ran a good race to finish third with a time of 11.50 and score a strong nine points for the team.

Mary Iheke (Frank Adams) ran a great race from lane one in the women’s 400m, a personal best of 52.60 placed her sixth and secured another vital six points for the British team.

In the throws, a best throw of 69.30m placed Sophie Hitchon (Tore Gustafsson) fourth in a tight women’s hammer competition. Meanwhile Matti Mortimore (Justin St Clair) threw 72.42m for eighth in the javelin, Jade Lally (Andrew Neal) had a best mark of 54.01m for tenth in the discus and Scott Lincoln (Paul Wilson) was 11th in the shot put with a best of 17.96m.

Sally Peake (Scott Simpson) cleared 4.35m on her last attempt in the pole vault to equal her season’s best, two fouls at 4.45m meant that she had four fouls in the competition so she finished in sixth place and collected six points.

Three failures at 2.17m meant that Chris Baker (Sharon Heveran) had a best height of 2.12m in the high jump, leaving him in eighth place.

Competing in only her second triple jump competition of the year, Shara Proctor (Rana Reider) jumped 13.32m to finish ninth.

Katie Snowden (Rob Denmark) finished ninth in the 800m with a time of 2:05.19, while Harriet Knowles-Jones (Paul Roden) also finished ninth with 9:14.86 in the 3000m.

The British women’s 4x100m relay team failed to finish after Shannon Hylton (Ryan Freckleton) and Daryll Neita (Dodoo) weren’t able to make a successful baton handover between the third and fourth legs.

Watch the final day of the European Athletics Team Championships live on the BBC Red Button tomorrow.