Child sprints to maiden international title in Zurich

16 August 2014 / 21:18

Eilidh Child may have missed the chance to parade her Commonwealth Games silver medal through the streets of Glasgow due to her commitments for Team GB in Zurich.

But it was certainly worth it as she finally got her hands on a maiden international title, sprinting to 400m hurdles gold at the European Championships.

The 27-year-old had been the fastest European all season, as her blue name tag suggested, but she lived up to expectation to win in a time of 54.58seconds, finishing ahead of fast finishing Ukrainian Anna Titimets.   

Her performance earned Great Britain their seventh gold of these Championships – their record stands at nine golds – and she admitted it was quite a feeling taking gold.

“That was a relief, I knew if I just executed my race well I should be close to the medals,” she said. “I came off the tenth hurdle and knew I was in the lead and I tried to just get to the line.

“I did feel a little bit of pressure; all year I’ve been trying to focus on what I can control.

“There were some nerves on the start line and the blue number didn’t really help as it just advertises that you should be favourite; but I managed to calm myself down and focus on what I needed to do.”

Another Scot to miss the parade was Lynsey Sharp but she was also able to add to a Commonwealth Games silver medal by taking another silver in the women’s 800m with a massive lifetime best.

Sharp employed the same front running tactics that served her so well in the heats and semi-finals but despite running a new personal best of 1.58.80 she couldn’t quite hold off Belarusian Maryna Arzamasova – fellow Brit Jess Judd finishing seventh in the same race.

“Obviously after Glasgow I felt really strong and I knew I had a fast race in me, then everyone said I looked amazing in the semi-final, so I just went out and did exactly what I did then,” she said.

“Obviously it was two seconds faster and I paid for it in the home straight. Perhaps I shouldn’t have looked behind me with about 120m to go, but that is the most uncomfortable way to race, running scared the whole way.

“It’s been an amazing season I couldn’t have asked for this. I’m just so happy with that time.

Two years ago I never would have raced like that. I’m a completely different athlete than in 2012.”

Jo Pavey couldn’t repeat her 10,000m heroics in the shorter 5,000m race as she finished seventh after Meraf Bahta and Sifan Hassan raced clear of the field on the final lap.

Emelia Gorecka, half the age of 40-year-old Pavey, finished down in ninth in a time of 15:42.98minutes.   

Commonwealth champion Steve Lewis couldn’t add another medal in the men’s pole vault as his all-or-nothing strategy didn’t quite pay off.  

After a shaky start, Lewis decided to pass at multiple heights, before a couple of close failures at 5.70m saw him bow out.

While Great Britain will look to contest the medals in both the men’s and women’s 4x100m and 4x400m relays tomorrow as they all cruised through to the four respective finals.

Asha Philip, Ashleigh Nelson, Anyika Onuora and Desiree Henry won their heat of the women’s 4x100m relay in a season’s best of 42.62 and the men duly followed suit.

James Ellington, Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, Richard Kilty and Danny Talbot combined in style to win in 38.26 secs, just over a tenth down on fastest qualifiers Germany.

In the 4x400m relays, Nigel Levine, Michael Bingham, Rabah Yousif and Martyn Rooney combined well to win in 3.00.65 mins, while the women’s quartet of Emily Diamond, Kelly Massey, Victoria Ohuruogu and Margaret Adeoye sealed qualification in a time of 3.28.44 behind Russia.

© Sportsbeat 2014