• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Eilidh Child takes gold, and a silver for Lynsey Sharp in the European Championships

Great Britain's Eilidh Child has won gold in the 400 metres hurdles at the European Championships.

Child is the champion of Europe just two weeks on from missing out on 400 metres hurdles gold at the Commonwealth Games.

The 27-year-old and Lynsey Sharp were the poster girls of Glasgow 2014, with both winning silver medals in a Scottish vest at Hampden Park.

The British pair were back in the medal hunt on the penultimate day of the European Championships, although only one would top the podium in Zurich.

Sharp was first up at the Stadion Letzigrund and just fell short of retaining her 800m crown, missing out to Maryna Arzamasova despite setting a new personal best.

It looked like Child may also have to settle for silver as her rivals began to gain down the home straight, but she held firm to cross the line in 54.48 seconds to win the 400m hurdles title.

"I came off the last hurdle and my legs were going so it didn't know what had happened, I just wanted to make sure I'd won," Child said.

"I wanted to take it on from the start and hang on. I executed my race plan the way my coach wanted me to. I'm delighted, I'm happy with the outcome.

"I didn't feel people coming up behind me but I'm so relieved I got the gold medal.

"It's amazing - thanks to my coach, my family and my support team I coped with the pressure.

"These moments are what you dream about and it's my first major gold medal. "I love my athletics and competing - if you enjoy it, you deliver.

"Come next year, there's no reason why I can't be among the best in the world."

Child's gold was Great Britain's seventh of a medal-laden championships, although there would be no more success for the athlete that got the ball rolling.

Jo Pavey amazed onlookers on the opening night in Zurich by winning the 10,000m crown, just 11 months after giving birth.

The victory saw her replace Russia's Irina Khabarova as the oldest ever female European gold medallist, with the mother-of-two joking afterwards that she could extend that record by a few days in the 5,000m final.

Pavey won bronze over the distance at the Commonwealth Games but was unable to secure a podium place this time around, falling off the pace on the back straight of the final lap to come home in seventh.

A fortnight ago, 24-year-old Lynsey Sharp became the pride of Scotland after overcoming the odds to secure a podium finish at Hampden Park.

Sharp was on a drip in the athletes' village clinic until 5.30am on the morning of the Glasgow final, yet managed to win silver after a wonderful late surge.

It was the Scottish middle-distance runner's second senior medal, with the first having arrived at the European Championships in Helsinki two years earlier.

Sharp only received the 800m title a year on from the race in Finland, having been upgraded from second after Russia's Yelena Arzhakova received a two-year doping ban.

In the build-up to this edition, she spoke of her desire to top the podium outright - something she was just unable to manage due to a Europe-leading time from Maryna Arzamasova.

The Belarusian was the only one to keep up with pacesetter Sharp, who tailed off down the home straight and was pipped to the line despite recording a PB of one minute 58.80 seconds in taking silver.

"I was in hospital and on antibiotics only a few weeks ago, so to get Commonwealth Games silver and now silver again here is an absolute dream," said Sharp, whose British team-mate Jessica Judd came seventh.

"I'm so unbelievably happy. I've had the Scottish record in my mind for two or three seasons now and I got it.

"I came here for the gold medal and to retain my title, that's why I went for it, which is a different tactic for me, but I'm happy with silver and my personal best. It was different for me not to finish strongly but I had to go for it."

Sharp took to the track after seeing the women's and men's British 4x100m relay teams secure safe progress to Sunday's finals in Zurich.

First up was Asha Philip, Ashleigh Nelson, Anyika Onuora and Desiree Henry, who eased through in a season's best time of 42.62 secs to win their heat.

"We've put so much into this relay this year and have done so much practice," Philip said. "The national record's definitely going to come, I have so much confidence for that."

The men's team soon followed and triumphed with ease, despite being without 100m champion James Dasoulu and 200m gold medallist Adam Gemili.

James Ellington, Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, Richard Kilty and Danny Talbot were charged with bringing the baton home, which they duly did in 38.26s.

"The European record is in my mind," Talbot said after anchoring the team home. "We will see what the coaches say. These guys are great and I am very proud of our team. Obviously, we can be really fast."

There were no problems either for Great Britain in the 400m relays, with Emily Diamond, Kelly Massey, Victoria Ohuruogu and Margaret Adeoye finishing second in their heat to reach Sunday's final.

Nigel Levine, Michael Bingham, Rabah Yousif and Martyn Rooney cruised home as fastest qualifiers in the men's event and will be joined in the final by Ireland, who finished third in the second heat.

Contextual targeting label: 
Sport

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

255124