Rooney retains European title on strong night for Brits

Rooney retains European title on strong night for Brits

08 July 2016 / 20:46

Martyn Rooney successfully defended his European 400m title on a night which saw Great Britain pick up four more medals in Amsterdam.

A day after Greg Rutherford and Dina Asher-Smith both finished top of the podium, Rooney made sure to do the same in the Netherlands as he produced a strong second 200m to cross the line first ahead of Czech Pavel Maslak in 45.29 seconds.

That took the 29-year-old’s tally of European medals to five – with three golds in total following his individual and relay success two years ago in Zurich.

Rooney finished outside the top two at last month’s British Championships but his performance will have given selectors food for thought with the Rio 2016 Olympic Games track and field squad set to be announced later this month.

“I like championships, so when it comes to championships this is where I peak and seem to do well,” he said.

”I’ve backed it up and fortunately a lot of other people have as well – a lot of other people have taken the opportunity to use this Europeans.

“A couple more athletes have come here and picked up medals and there will be more to come. It’s great for us, going to Olympics with confidence.

“Roger Black is a good person to follow (retaining titles) though he probably did it every four years! But I’ll take it – the double – to defend a title is great. Last time I won I was relieved, this time I’m elated.”

Elsewhere Jazmin Sawyers continued her impressive recent run of form with a silver in the long jump.

The former bobsleigh athlete has already hit the required standard for Rio, subject to ratification by the British Olympic Association, but demonstrated her growing ease on the big stage with a leap of 6.86m to finish second behind Ivana Spanovic of Serbia on 6.94m.

“I’m so happy – it’s going well – my first European senior champs and a silver medal,” she said.

“I couldn’t be happier with that. I wanted to give it something big in that last round but I may have given it too much and slipped on the board and went flying! But I’m really proud with that performance.”

There were also bronze medals for Danny Talbot in the 200m and Anyika Onuora in the 400m.

The former initially finished five hundredths of a second off a medal in fourth with a time of 20.56 but he was upgraded to third when winner Churandy Martina was disqualified for a lane violation.

Onuora meanwhile clocked a season’s best of 51.47 to finish third, edging out fellow Brit Christine Ohuruogu in fourth.

Asha Philip was another to finish fourth in the women’s 100m won by home favourite Dafne Schippers while there was concern for Desiree Henry who pulled up in the final with what looked like an abdominal injury.

While Dewi Griffiths ran a new personal best of 28:28.55 minutes to finish fourth in the 10,000m while Rhys Williams was fifth in the men’s 400m hurdles.

Sportsbeat 2016 

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