Asher-Smith helps Britain dig for gold in European Championship finale

Asher-Smith helps Britain dig for gold in European Championship finale

12 August 2018 / 20:58
Great Britain topped the athletics medal table in Berlin by bringing down the roof on the final day of the European Championships with Dina Asher-Smith clinching a hat-trick of gold’s in Berlin.

The 22-year-old took the baton to sprint across the line and claim a third gold of the competition, only hours after Laura Muir topped the podium in the women’s 1500m.

The men’s 4x100m set off fireworks with the final act of the 2018 European Championships by winning a third European Championship gold in successive tournaments.

Elsewhere, Eilish McColgan followed in the footsteps of her Olympic silver medal winning mother Liz to claim silver in the 5000m.

Laura Weightman also took bronze behind Laura Muir in the 1500m.
Earlier in the day, Britain’s gymnasts continued their success at the SSE Hydro with
Dominick Cunningham taking gold in the men’s floor and Courtney Tulloch winning bronze on the rings.

Finally, Britain’s golfing pair Michele Thomson and Meghan MacLaren won bronze in the inaugural European Gold Championships.

After an incredible eleven days of sport, Britain finished second in the medal table – winning 74 medals, including 26 golds, 24 silvers and 22 bronze medals.

Triple gold for Asher-Smith

Dina Asher-Smith could hardly believe it when she sprinted to gold on the anchor leg of the women’s 4x100m to claim a third gold medal in Berlin.

The 100m and 200m champion had work to do heading into the final changeover, but nothing was stopping the 22-year-old from charging to gold inside 41.88s.
The quartet of Asher-Smith, Asha Philip, Imani-Lara Lansiquot and Bianca Williams set a new world leading time on the way to victory ahead of Netherlands and Germany.

Reflecting on an incredible European Championships, Asher-Smith said: “I'm just honestly so proud.

“You go in aiming for this but you never know if it will be possible.

“I'm so grateful for all these girls for putting out their best for our country and coming home with gold.”

“I'm absolutely ecstatic to do this with these girls, they've made me feel welcome since day one and the most important thing was to have fun with it,” Lansiquot added.

Hat-trick heroes

Inspired by the success of Great Britain’s women, the men’s quartet of Zharnel Hughes, Adam Gemili, Chijindu Ujah and Harry Aikines-Aryeetey secured an incredible double 4x100m gold.

Rampaging across the line in 37.80s – the men’s relay team achieved a hat-trick of European Championship victories stretching back to 2014.
The feat also meant a second gold medal in Berlin for 100m champion Zharnel Hughes.
Speaking after the race, Hughes said: "I'm so happy.

“The guys held their composure, we stayed relaxed.

“This team is so strong, we have such depth. I'm really grateful to come away with two gold medals.”

“I've come in and turned things around. It's a joy to get out on track with these guys. A big shout out to everyone behind the scenes - it's been a journey,” said Ujah.

Muir marauds to gold medal

It was a tale of two Laura’s in the women’s 1500m as Laura Muir raced to gold and Laura Weightman took bronze.

Muir blew away her opposition on the way to victory in the women’s 1500m to become the first British woman to win a European medal in the event.

Crossing the line in 4:02:32 Muir claimed the honour of becoming a European Indoor and outdoor champion.
Delighted with result, she spoke of her relief to deliver on the big stage.

She said: “It feels so good – it’s one thing being fast on paper but in the 1,500m it can go so many different ways so to actually come here and deliver and win the gold – I’m so proud.

“It ranks very near the top – I delivered well indoors but to win a medal outdoors and for it to be the gold, when you’re under a lot of pressure as well – it’s a great achievement for me.

“To come away from two medals there, to be a champion here and to get my veterinary degree as well – it’s been a bit all over the place but I’m so glad I could deliver it all.

“To deliver on those stages (World and Olympic) is something I’ve missed these past two or three years so to finally do it is so nice.”

Weightman said: “I'm really happy I got the bronze, slightly disappointed as I wanted to run hard from the start and go with Laura.

“I knew the girls behind me had massively sat off the pace, so I wanted to take that risk and commit. I knew the line was coming and that I had to hang on as well as I could - I'm

Eilish McColgan followed in the footsteps of her Olympic silver medallist mother Liz by winning silver in the women’s 5000m
The Scot took advantage of a mistake by Israel’s Salpeter to charge to second place and win Britain’s third medal of the night in the Olympiastadion

She said: “I knew I'd done all the work in that race. Every time I come to championships, I sit in and then get kicked.

"I knew that I finish really strong, so I knew if I was in touching distance, I could catch. I just wanted to stay with them.

“I can't explain how happy I am. My family will be going crazy. I'm over the moon. I saw Laura Muir and Laura Weightman grab medals while I was in the call room and I just thought 'I want one too'.”

Golden gymnasts

Dominick Cunningham became the first British man since Kristian Dennis in 2015 to reign supreme in the men’s floor final at a European Championships.

The 23-year-old Birmingham-born gymnast performed incredibly – taking a score of 14.666 to finish ahead of Israel’s Artem Dolgopyat in silver.

With three gymnasts left to compete after Cunningham’s routine – the Commonwealth team champion had a nervous wait as his competitors challenged the leaderboard topping score.

Building on his silver medal from the men’s team final – Cunningham said: “It's crazy. This is what dreams are made of.

“It is incredible. It's been hard work, it hasn't been easy. This is what it's about, putting our professionalism on to the stage.”

More medals followed with Courtney Tulloch taking bronze in the men’s rings with an impressive score of 15.000.

The double Commonwealth champion came close to silver behind Turkey’s Ibrahim Colak.

Meanwhile, Max Whitlock missed out on a medal on the pommel horse as 19-year-old Irish gymnast Rhys McClenaghan won gold.

British champion Joe Fraser missed out on medalling in both the parallel bars and the horizontal bars and James Hall came agonisingly close to medalling on the latter.

British golfers win first bronze medal

Great Britain’s golfers were always going to be guaranteed a medal in the inaugural European Golf Championships, but the question of who would triumph was always going to be the question.

British Open winner Georgia Hall and four-time major winner Laura Davies found themselves squaring off against Michele Thomson and Meghan MacLaren for a bronze medal.
In wet and icy conditions at Gleneagles, the rookie pair prevailed to take bronze to cause a shock and take the match 3&1 after winning silver on Saturday.

Delighted by the result, Thomson said: “To come away with two medals we couldn’t be happier.

“That was tough out there. The weather made it hard going but we stuck together and got the medal.

“I’m over the moon, the be part of such amazing Championships as well. It’s one of the best courses we’ve ever played and I cannot believe we’ve got ourselves two medals.

“We’ve combined really well all week. I know it was disappointing in the semi-final, but they played better than us. We knew how tough it was but we came through.”

Diving deciders

Britain’s Grace Reid and Katherine Thomas narrowly missed out on a medal with a skewered final dive in the women’s synchro 3m springboard.

Men’s teammates Matthew Lee and Matthew Dixon also were edged outside the medal places in the men’s individual 10m platform final – finishing fifth and sixth respectively.

Britain finished the European Diving Championships in second place in the medal table – winning 10 medals including four golds, five silvers and one bronze.