26th March 2020
FLASHBACK TO GLASGOW 2019: O'HARE & PHILIP KEEP MOMENTUM GOING
This week marks the start of a series of flash backs to memorable British moments in the sport over the past decade. Week one takes us back just over a year and to three fabulous days in Glasgow at a record breaking European Indoor Championships.
It would be hard to beat the four medals won in 15 minutes on the opening day but the drama was still intense as Chris O’Hare and Asha Philip pushed the GB & NI medal tally up to six on day two in Glasgow.
In scenes similar to Niamh Emerson diving for pentathlon silver the night before, O’Hare fought his way to the same colour in the men’s 3000m to split the Ingebrigtsen brothers Jakob and Henrik while Philip claimed bronze in the 60m by a whisker from a stunned Kristal Awuah, her teammate on the British squad.
There was an air of expectation around the men’s 3000m final as O’Hare went up against Jakob and Henrik, the Scottish home favourite clearly in no mood to let the Norwegians rule the roost and do all the talking.
It was a relatively cagey affair over the opening half of the race, with the lead switching intermittently between the Norwegians and the British athletes. Fellow Scot Andrew Butchart and O’Hare featured early on, looking to take the pace on but that move was quickly snuffed out by Jakob and Henrik.
O’Hare moved into third position after taking on Sweden’s Jonas Leanderson with 500m to go, setting himself up for a battle with the Ingebrigtsen’s, senior and junior, and as the pace picked up, O’Hare showed his class.
Jakob proved just a touch too much to catch as he took gold in 7:56.15 but O’Hare provided an an entertaining conclusion with Henrik this time deploying a lunge for the line that would prove in vain as the Brit took second for a silver upgrade the 1500m bronze at the 2015 European Indoor Championships in Prague.
Fresh from a tenth career British title indoor and out, Philip was the leading hope for the British team in the women’s 60m and looked good in the early rounds, winning the third of three semi-finals in 7.19.
Awuah meanwhile showed great fighting spirit to join Philip in the final. Her 7.22 in the semi-final left her just outside the automatic qualifying spots so a nervous – but ultimately successful – wait followed and so it was all eyes on the final.
Philip got off to a great start and was always in the mix with her and former world champion Dafne Schippers going toe to toe but a fast finishing Awuah made the battle almost too close to call. Poland’s Eva Swoboda and Dafne Schippers would win gold and silver respectively in 7.09 and 7.14 with Philip and Awuah both given 7.15.
After an agonising wait it was announced that Philip had taken bronze by just four thousandths of a second, her second European Indoor Championship medal after gold in 2017, while as heart-breaking as it was for Awuah 7.15 marked a personal best in her first major senior international competition after spending 2018 as a junior.