20th September 2022
GB & NI WOMEN AND MEN FOURTH AT THE IAU 24 HOUR EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS
There were a number of personal bests and a couple of national records for the Great Britain and Northern Ireland contingent at the IAU European Championships in Verona, Italy over the weekend.
Nine men (Damian Carr, Danny Hawkins, Alex Whearity, Rob Payne, Paul Maskell, James Stewart, Nathan Flear, Dan Lawson and Gareth Pritchard) and seven women (Joasia Zakrzewski, Jen Coleman, Jo Newens, Wendy Whearity, Cat Simpson, Ellie Eccles and Sophie Power) had qualified for the event with six named as scoring members before competition.
The women’s and men’s teams finished fourth overall in the team standings, with Joasia Zakrzewski and Daniel Lawson the top British finishers in fifth place.
The men had five athletes in the top 15 and the women had three athletes placed inside the top 22. Eight athletes set personal best performances, while Lawson set a British road record to move up to second on the UK all-time list, while Zakrzewski set a new British women’s record on any surface.
Zakrzewski ended the 24 hours covering 247.985 km which saw her finish as top Briton in the competition; Patrycja Bereznowska (POL) sealed the gold medal with 256.250km.
Ellie Eccles was the next British athlete in the standings with 222.557km which was a personal best for her, while Jen Coleman was one place further back in 22nd with 221.390km.
Sophie Power was 37th, Cat Simpson 63rd, Jo Newens 68th and Wendy Whearity in 75th.
Meanwhile, with Lawson’s British road record of 273.003km setting the standard for the British men after a superb performance, his teammates backed this up with several top order finishes. The team were in a close battle with Spain for the team bronze, but ultimately just fell short.
Danny Hawkins and Paul Maskell could not be separated as both revised their personal bests to 265.302km to take a share of seventh place in the overall standings.
Next for Great Britain and Norther Ireland was Alexander Whearity who achieved a personal best of 261.039km for 14th, while Damien Carr was one position further back with 260.367km.
Gareth Pritchard improved his PB to 246.413km in 28th, while Nathan Flear was 48th, James Stewart 54th and Robert Payne 55th.
Lithuania’s Aleksadr Sorokin set a world record on his way to winning European gold as he ran 319.614km in the 24-hour period.