Captain Sayers leads for GB as Europeans begin in Zurich

12 August 2014 / 14:54

Team captain Goldie Sayers admitted something was better than nothing after she led Britain’s performances on the opening morning of the European Athletics Championships in Zurich.

Javelin thrower Sayers has returned this summer from an elbow injury that almost ended her career and was handed skippering duties for the British team in Switzerland last week.

And the 32-year-old three-time Olympian ensured she would be fighting for a medal, securing automatic qualification with a first attempt of 58.07m, which ranked her ninth overall.

It was a positive morning for Britain with a host of good performances and personal bests but Sayers has vowed to return better for the final after a nothing more than satisfactory first throw.

“I hope I lead by example. It was nothing to write home about but people were struggling for some reason, I think it was because the track was so quick,” she said.

“People were having to put their run ups back and I had to put mine back twice despite the fact I wasn’t coming in that quick. It’s all about getting ready for the final now where people will throw much further.”

The quick track certainly showed as Desiree Henry and Ashleigh Nelson both clocked personal bests as they joined Asha Philip in advancing out of the 100m heats while Tiffany Porter won the fourth and final heat in the 100m hurdles to rank first overall.

Three Brits also advanced to the men’s 400m semi-finals in Zurich – Matthew Hudson-Smith, Martyn Rooney and Conrad Williams – as did Seb Rodger, Niall Flannery and Tom Burton after the 400m hurdles heats.

Laura Weightman qualified automatically for the 1500m final with a fine heat run and will be joined by Hannah England although Laura Muir just missed out on yet another triple success for Britain on the opening morning.

Ashley Bryant got Britain up and running on the day in decathlon and is placed 16th after three events while James Wilkinson missed out on the 3000m steeplechase final and Julian Reid couldn’t advance in the triple jump, missing out on countback.

© Sportsbeat 2014