Asher-Smith and Rutherford both grab European gold
Athletics

Asher-Smith and Rutherford both grab European gold

07 July 2016 / 19:09

Dina Asher-Smith admitted she surprised even herself after storming to her first senior major title in the 200m final at the European Championships in Amsterdam on Thursday evening.

The 20-year-old blew away the field around the bend and comfortably held off her rivals to cross the line in a season’s best of 22.37 seconds.

Completing the podium were Ivet Lalova-Collio and Gina Luckenkemper but there was no doubting the star on a great night for British athletics that also saw Greg Rutherford retain his European long jump title.  

“I didn't expect it. I knew I was in a good position going in,” said a delighted Asher-Smith.

“But at the same time I knew I had to go in there and actually run a good race.

“Nothing is given out on favourites or season's bests, or qualifying times, so I had to go out there and execute. I did so I was super-happy.

“My mum’s here. I saw her on the victory lap, she was jumping up and down crying at me.”

While Asher-Smith became the first British woman ever to win a European 200m title, Jodie Williams, who won European silver two years ago in Zurich, was sixth in 22.96.

Meanwhile reigning Olympic champion Rutherford maintained his impressive winning run at major championships by retaining his European crown.

Greg Rutherford 2016 Euros

The 29-year-old shook off the fitness concerns that have plagued his build-up and leapt 8.25 metres on his penultimate attempt to leapfrog Sweden's Michel Torneus to the top of the podium by just four centimetres.

Rutherford has not tasted defeat at a major championship since 2013, a run which now incorporates two European titles, a world title and a Commonwealth crown.

Elsewhere there was also a medal for Tiffany Porter who finished third in the 100m hurdles.

Porter crossed the line in 12.76 but gold went to Cindy Roleder of Germany with Belarus’ Alina Talay taking second meaning Porter was forced to settle for third.

There was less good news for Jenny Meadows who finished sixth in the 800m semi-finals and announced her retirement from the sport.

An injury sustained in Wednesday’s heats hampered her progress and with Rio now not on the cards, the 35-year-old has opted to call it a day.

JennyMeadows2

“It is time to pass over to the next generation," she said.

“I did think my career would either end here or in Rio in a few weeks' time.

“I've done this sport for 28 years, I've given my all and it's taken a lot from me. I definitely won't miss it.”

Elsewhere James Ellington finished fifth in the 100m final in a time of 10.19 while compatriot Richard Kilty was disqualified for a false start.

And Ashley Bryant’s total in the decathlon of 8040 was good enough for a fifth-place finish, the highest finish by a Brit at the Europeans since 1986.

Sportsbeat 2016

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