Eilidh Child admitted to feeling a different kind of pressure and expectation after getting her bid to reach the European podium just over two weeks after winning a second Commonwealth medal up and running in Zurich.
Child delighted a partisan Scottish crowd at Hampden Park on July 31 when she roared to silver in the 400m hurdles having claimed the same medal at Delhi 2010 – Jamaican Kaliese Spencer in a league of her own to claim gold.
She didn’t have long to dwell on her success with the European Athletics Championships in Zurich swiftly following on from Glasgow but looked as good as ever on her first outing as she won her heat in a time of 55.32 seconds.
That qualified her for the semi-finals as the fastest overall from the four heats by almost half a second and, after living up to her billing as the European No.1, Child insisted doing so in Zurich is incomparable to Glasgow.
“I was quite nervous; my last race was the Commonwealths, which feels like ages ago. It was an early start so I just wanted to get out there, get the race out of the way and qualify with ease; I think I did that so I’m happy now,” she said.
“It’s different [being European No.1]. I probably felt more nervous for Glasgow as I had all that attention on me but here I’m obviously the favourite so it is a bit different. I’ve just got to go in and execute my race and if I do that I’ll be happy.”
Fellow Scot and silver medallist from Glasgow 2014 Lynsey Sharp followed Child’s lead in the 800m – winning her heat as all three Britons selected – Alison Leonard and Jess Judd the other two – advanced on the second morning.
Leonard was the fastest outright qualifier on her senior debut ahead of the defending European champion while there was also a trio of British success in the 110m hurdles heats with the retiring Andy Turner, Commonwealth silver medallist William Sharman and Lawrence Clarke all progressing.
Elsewhere Chris Baker reached the high jump final however there was disappointment for Sophie Hitchon who failed to qualify for the medal showdown in the hammer and Ashley Bryant who withdrew from the decathlon.
Race walker Tom Bosworth was the only British athlete in action in a final on the second morning of the European Championships in Zurich and he placed 12th in the 20km event after clocking a time of 1:23.17 hours.
© Sportsbeat 2014