Asher-Smith and Hughes rip up the record books at the European Championships

Asher-Smith and Hughes rip up the record books at the European Championships

07 August 2018 / 20:41
The golden age of British sprinting is upon us with Dina Asher-Smith and Zharnel Hughes ripping up the European Championship history books to win the men’s and women’s 100m finals.

Olympic bronze medallist Dina Asher-Smith smashed the British women’s 100m record and set a joint world leading time on her way to gold in Berlin in a time of 10.85.

Shortly after Zharnel Hughes added his name to the record books – breaking the championship record in finishing ahead of British teammate Reece Prescod in silver.

Meanwhile, Laura and Jason Kenny may have to keep an eye out for Great Britain’s newest golden couple as Jack Laugher and Lois Toulson led Great Britain’s gold flurry at the European Championships.

Olympic champion Laugher comfortably took gold in the men’s 1m springboard, while teammate James Heatly took bronze in the same event in front of his home crowd.

Earlier, 18-year-old Toulson claimed her third European Championship gold with 15-year-old partner Eden Cheng after an incredible final dive topped the podium in the 10m synchro.

Elsewhere, Great Britain excelled in the pool, claiming five medals, including a surprise gold from Glasgow’s Duncan Scott and an incredible race from the women’s 4x200m freestyle quartet.

Track cyclist Matthew Walls brought Britain’s medal haul underway with gold in the elimination race at his first senior competition.

And Jack Carlin got over his disappointment in the men’s sprint with a deserved bronze in the keirin.

With another 12 medals added to the tally, Great Britain sit emphatically in second in the medal table.

Record breaking sprinting success

A new age of Great British sprinting has arrived with Dina Asher-Smith and Zharnel Hughes sprinting to gold in the men’s and women’s 100m.

It is the first time that Great Britain have reigned supreme in both events and now it appears that the sky is just the limit for the British duo.

Asher-Smith, 22, didn’t just win convincingly, she equalled the world leading time this year and broke the British record on the way to topping the podium in 10.85s.
Already looking ahead to Tokyo 2020, she said: “I am so happy right now. To run a 10.8 in the championships is a big deal.

"I knew I had it in me but anything can happen as you can see with the upsets this morning.

"I did everything right. I was so happy to nail it in the final because I know there are so many talented people around me but you have to ignore that.

"I wanted the world leading time, but I will try again later in the season. I am hoping to do the same thing in Tokyo [at the 2020 Olympics]."

Keen to not be upstaged by his British teammate, Commonwealth Champion Zharnel Hughes set a new personal best and tore up the Championship record on the way to victory in the men’s 100m in 9.95s.

Compatriot Reece Prescod was narrowly edged out into silver but set a new personal best time of 9.96s – the first time the 22-year-old had run under 10 flat.

The feat was the first time two British sprinters have gone under 10 seconds in the same race.
Gold medallist Zharnel Hughes said: "I am happy and the job is done. I felt a bit of cramp so I don't think I could have gone any faster but I'm just happy.

"Reece Prescod is a fast finisher so I knew I had to stay relaxed as he would challenge me towards the end. I am happy that we came out victorious."

While Prescod added: "It was a really good race and I got a good start. I finished strong too. I am really happy. I have had a really good season.

CJ Ujah was tightly edged out of a bronze medal as he also set a seasons best time of 10.06s.

Delirious diver’s double gold success

Jack Laugher revealed he’s only just warming up after storming to gold in the 1m springboard.

Olympic champion in the 3m synchro, the 23-year-old was too good for the rest of the field as he nailed a 414.60 to clinch gold.

James Heatly joined him on the podium place, finishing third with a score of 391.70.
Laugher looked in imperious form and the diver insists he’s got plenty left in the tank for the 3m and the synchro.

He said: "With two more events to go, it is a really good way to kick off these Championships.

“It was not my best performance and not as good as the Commonwealths, but I am happy to come out on top again.

"This isn't an Olympic event and not the one I would consider my top priority but every single competition I enter, I want to win. It is a great event to shake off the cobwebs."

The golden moments kept on coming for Great Britain as Lois Toulson and Eden Cheng stood atop the podium in the 10m synchro in Edinburgh.

Two sensational final dives catapulted the duo to into first place, nudging out Russia with a score of 289.74.

Toulson, 18, said: "It feels really good and hopefully it's a good start for the rest of the week with more to come.”

More GB golds in the pool

Great Britain’s dominance of the pool continued with a spectacular afternoon session that reaped five medals, including an incredible two golds.

Glasgow’s Duncan Scott rallied behind the cry of his home supporters to create shock waves by claiming the 200m freestyle gold medal.

Starting in lane eight, the 21-year-old double Olympic silver medallist came out of nowhere to finish in a time of 1m 45.34s and top the podium.
Scott reflected on his success, saying: "I just had to go out there with no expectations and swim my own race out there in lane eight.

"I didn't really know what was going on with the rest of the field, so it was quite tough in that sense. I had a lot of things to correct between the semis and the final and I'm glad I managed to do it."

Elsewhere, 17-year-old Freya Anderson’s incredible European Championships continued by helping Great Britain win gold in the women’s 4x200m freestyle relay.

The quartet of Eleanor Faulkner, Kathryn Greenslade, Holly Hibbott and Anderson raced to gold to secure Anderson’s second gold medal of the competition.

Meanwhile a flurry of silver medals followed with James Proud narrowly pipped to gold in the men’s 50m butterfly and Georgia Davies taking silver in the 100m backstroke.

Molly Renshaw completed the billing with a well-deserved bronze in the 200m breaststroke.

Archibald and Kenny’s near miss on track

Katie Archibald and Laura Kenny missed out on the chance to add to their incomparable European medal collection after agonisingly finish fourth in the track cycling finale in Glasgow.

The two entered the race with a total of 23 European titles between them but the pair weren't able to round it up to 25, Madison victory instead going to Denmark.

Never before had the British pair raced the Madison together but a strong showing still followed, with Team GB's most medal-laden female Olympian Kenny still leaving the Sir
Chris Hoy Velodrome with two gold medals.

"It's promising in a way, but we have got stuff to work on still, hopefully next time we'll be on the podium," she said.

Britain were still able to end of a gold-rush though as Matthew Walls hit top spot on the elimination race podium in his first senior competition.
There was also bronze for Jack Carlin the keirin, while Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Katy Marchant reached the final of the women's equivalent race.