11th July 2019


Cameron Chalmers (club: Guernsey; coach: James Hillier) and Oliver Bromby (Southampton) both claimed victories on the opening morning of the European Under-23 Championships in Gavle as all five Brits in action advanced.

Chalmers and Bromby won their heats in the men’s 400m and 100m respectively on a windy morning in Sweden with Dominic Ashwell (Shaftesbury Barnet; Marvin Rowe) joining the latter in the semi-finals and Jacob Fincham-Dukes (Leeds City; Zivile Pukstiene) and Reynold Banigo (Sale Harriers Manchester; Lukasz Zawila) both also progressing to the men’s long jump final.

Bromby, a European junior bronze medallist from two years ago, was the first British athlete to take to the track in Gavle and won the first of four heats in the men’s 100m in 10.83 into a -2.1m/s headwind to secure automatic qualification for the semi-finals later today.

He said: “There were two or three little iffy starts there [from the rest of the field] but we got there in the end. It wasn’t the best of times because it was very windy out there but it is nice to get the legs moving. I feel a bit optimistic coming in [to the Championships] because you can never know what is going to happen on the day. I am not coming in ranked in the top three or four, I think I’m about eighth, so anything can happen.”

Ashwell, who won the British 60m indoor title back in February, was drawn in heat three of the 100m and clocked 10.46 for second and safe passage to the semi-finals. Ashwell was the second fastest overall from the heats while Bromby was 12th.

European silver medallist Chalmers meanwhile rounded off the British interest on the first morning by comfortably winning the first of the men’s 400m heats. He established his dominance early and clocked 47.33 to rank sixth overall.

Long jumper Fincham-Dukes was actually the first British athlete to compete in Gavle and it was his opening attempt that would put him into the final. With an inconsistent supporting wind, Fincham-Dukes leapt 7.53m first up, and despite failing to better that, it was enough for him to progress to Friday’s final in tenth overall.

He said: “I felt a lot better than what my jumping showed. The wind is super swirly, and it is hard to judge. I’m through and tomorrow is a different day. It is in the afternoon which helps. I know what I need to do. I got it right on my last jump but I was just minorly over. I haven’t got a problem with how I am feeling and how fit I am.”

In stark contrast, it all came down to the last jump for Banigo to qualify with his 7.52m, enough to place him 11th overall. He got better throughout the morning going from 7.20m first up to 7.46m and then the 7.52m that secured his progression.

He said: “It’s a bit of a risky one but I’m glad I’m through to the final. Hopefully we’ll have a better performance tomorrow, the final is later in the day and it’s closer to my time of jumping in training and I want to get bigger jumps out and put on a show for the crowd. I’m normally good when it comes to performing at championship finals so hopefully that will push me towards a good mark and a long overdue PB.”