Hudson-Smith triumphs in 400m in incredible night of athletics action

Hudson-Smith triumphs in 400m in incredible night of athletics action

10 August 2018 / 20:54
Matthew Hudson-Smith spearheaded Great Britain on day nine at the European Championships by winning gold in the 400m as his compatriots won a further three medals on the track and a silver in diving.

The Commonwealth champion sprinted to an incredible 44.76s in the final to claim gold after smashing the championship record in the semi-finals.

Katarina Johnson-Thompson’s incredible year in heptathlon continued by earning a well-deserved silver.

400m hurdler Meghan Beesley shocked the packed Berlin Olympiastadion by winning bronze ahead of compatriot Eilidh Doyle.

And Jake Wightman put the icing on the cake by winning bronze in the men’s 1500m with an unbelievable sprint finish.

Earlier, Olympic champions Chris Mears and Jake Laugher took silver in the men’s synchronised 3m springboard – Laugher’s third medal of the competition.

After the ninth day in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Berlin – Britain remain second in the medal table with 54 medals in total.

Athletics triumphs in Berlin

In the race of the day - Matthew Hudson-Smith struck gold in the men’s 400m with an incredible 44.78s run to hold off the chasing pack.

The now two-time European champion was just shy of Iwan Thomas’ 21 year record of 44.36s, but smashed the championship record in the semi-finals with a 44.52s run.
After the energy sapping incredible feat, Hudson-Smith joked: “I'm never doing that again.

“I got to 350m, I've never really had lactic before, but I was like 'what is this', I was swimming - that's why I was on the floor for so long.

“It's a good feeling. The time doesn't matter, that's for the future. It was about winning and going on in the future.

“Times will come, I went for it and tried something new. That lactic was something different.”

Katarina Johnson-Thompson claimed an emphatic silver medal in the women’s heptathlon after excelling in the high jump, 100m, 200m and 800m events.

Nafi Thiam proved to be an unstoppable force in the women’s heptathlon despite the best efforts of Johnson-Thompson to push the Belgian to the final 800m event.

The Belgian Olympic and world champion, who is unbeaten in the last two years, was pushed hard to the end, but pipped the Liverpool athlete to top the podium by 57 points with a score of 6817 points.
Team-mate Meghan Beesley saved her best individual performance to date for the European Championships to win bronze in the women's 400m hurdles.

The Briton clinched the medal from lane one, while Eilidh Doyle finished in eight as Switzerland's Lea Sprunger taking gold in a tight sprint finish.

She said: “I'm just so shocked. I kept thinking 'just keep running to the finish line’.

“Yeah, I'm just in shock I think.

“Before the race I looked at people who had run well in lane one and just went for it.”

Commonwealth bronze medallist Jake Wightman topped off an incredible night of British athletics in Berlin by winning bronze in the men’s 1500m. 

Wightman said: “That was the most under pressure I have been at a major championships, you have no idea what’s going to happen and the way everyone was running meant seven or eight of us could have won that.

“If you re-ran that race 100 times there would be different outcomes, but I am glad it turned out that way.

“Every championship that I do, my experience of what I need to do to get myself in the best position and be in contention for those medals is getting stronger. 

“I am glad that going into the world championships I am so successful looking forward to Doha and Tokyo.”

Charlie Grice and Chris O’Hare finished fifth and ninth respectively in a stunning final push for the line.

Britain’s Adelle Tracey narrowly missed out on bronze in the women’s 800m final as

Lynsey Sharp and Shelayna Oskan-Clarke finished in sixth and eighth respectively.
World Indoor champion Andrew Pozzi showed signs of promise in his return to injury to finish sixth in the 110m hurdles.

Morgan Lake admitted to having a disappointing evening after recording 1.91m to finish seventh in the women’s high jump final, while Naomi Ogbeta finished 12th in the women’s triple jump.

Laugher & Mears success continues

Two years to the day since winning gold in the men’s synchronised 3m springboard in Rio – Jack Laugher and Chris Mears returned to claim silver in the same event in Edinburgh.

The duo led going into the final round – but an incredible performance from Russian world champions Ilia Zakharov and Evgenii Kuznetsov pipped the British Olympians into silver by just 0.54 points.
The 23-year-old Laugher said: “We have a lot of stuff to improve on and it's going to be an exciting two years. The Russians look fantastic and are on our heels.

“They are massive competitors and it's nice to go head to head with them. 
“It's been a fun and healthy competition. It's a lot more difficult than the Commonwealth
Games and it's not a disappointment.”

The feat brought Laugher’s medal tally up to two golds and a silver at the competition – his fifth European medal of his career. 

Later, Katherine Thomas finished 10th in the women’s 1m springboard final.

Triathlon takes toll on Brownlee

Alistair Brownlee’s road to recovery from injury continued with an impressive fourth placed finish in the men’s triathlon.

The Olympic double gold medallist looked set to win his first European title since 2014, before the Yorkshireman’s lack of preparation hindered his medal push.
He said: “I knew I was going to struggle on the run as I've not done enough sessions yet, but I enjoy racing.

"I have had a terrible six months. I've literally had a handful of run sessions and so off that I can be quite pleased. I'm just happy to be racing.

"I didn't really know what to expect, I've been training hard and so I knew I was going to be tired going into it."

Compatriots Barclay Izzard and Marc Austin finished inside the main pack – finishing ninth and 35th respectively.

Golfing greats bullish ahead of semi-finals

2018 British Open winner Georgia Hall and Laura Davies are into the semi-finals of the women’s four-ball after beating Belgium’s Manon de Roey and Chloe Leurquin 4&2.

Despite admitting to not performing to her usual high standards, Hall has vowed to be at her very best in the last four.
She said: “Laura and I both played very well on the first two days and this is one where we did not so much. 

“If you are playing five rounds of golf, there is going to be a day where you do not do so well.

“Hopefully that will just be today. We got off to a good start and got some good birdies in the middle of the round and in the end you just need to hole your putts to win and that is what we did in the end.”

Hall and Davies return to action on Sunday against Sweden’s Linda Wessberg and Cajsa Persson.

Fellow Great British pair Michele Thompson and Meghan MacLaren are also through to the semi-finals after halving their final group stage match with Finland’s Noora Komulainen and Ursula Wikstrom.