Host nation on top at European Team Championships, with shot putter Haratyk in record-breaking form

Wins by Michał Haratyk, Marcin Lewandowski and Justyna Święty-Ersetic on the first full day of finals helped hosts Poland to top of the table at the European Team Championships Super League in Bydgoszcz ahead of France.

It had originally looked as though the French team were to be overnight leaders but disqualification of the men’s 4x100m squad saw them drop to second on 181.50 points behind Poland’s 193. Italy sit in third with 171 points, with Great Britain fourth with 160.50 and Germany fifth with 160.

Haratyk’s victory came after a championship record-breaking throw of 21.83m in the second round of the shot put. The European indoor and outdoor champion backed that up with marks of 21.41m and 21.31m to win ahead of Tomáš Stanek’s 20.65m, while GB’s Scott Lincoln was fifth with 19.57m.

Another Polish throws win came in the men’s hammer as Wojciech Nowicki secured maximum points with a best of 78.84m, with France’s Quentin Bigot second after a 76.70m throw.

British record-holder Nick Miller was a way off his best after recording a mark of 66.20m and two fouls. Back in Bydgoszcz in June, the Commonwealth champion had thrown his third best-ever mark of 78.39m.

Over on the track, Poland also secured top points through Lewandowski as he had the finishing strength to win the 1500m on home soil. After a 51-second last 400m, he ran 3:47.88 as GB’s in-form Charlie Da’Vall Grice secured second in 3:48.35.

“The crowd really inspired me today,” said Lewandowski. “I’m very happy to have achieved this win in my home stadium as the team captain. It’s another valuable experience before the World Championships.

“I may be an old fox, but I can still learn something from every race.”

There were further big cheers from the home fans as European champion Święty-Ersetic stormed to 400m victory, clocking 51.23 ahead of Switzerland’s European 400m hurdles winner Léa Sprunger with 51.84. GB’s Amy Allcock secured sixth in 52.92.

Poland’s first win of the weekend was claimed by Patryk Dobek in the men’s 400m hurdles as he clocked 48.87 for full points. GB’s Chris McAlister ran a PB of 49.28 for fourth – a world championships qualifying time and his fourth PB of 2019, having improved his best down from 50.36 in 2018.

The GB squad secured one win and a number of runner-up finishes on the second of three days of competition in Poland.

In the men’s 4x100m, the GB team of Dominic Ashwell, Oliver Bromby, Richard Kilty and Harry Aikines-Aryeetey had crossed the finish line in second place behind the French quartet but the team of Mouhamadou Fall, Jimmy Vicaut, Méba-Mickaël Zézé and Christophe Lemaitre were later disqualified, which also had an impact on the overall team ranking at the end of the day.

Aikines-Aryeetey crossed the finish line with 38.73 on the clock which eventually secured top points for GB.

The British team captain had earlier finished fourth in the men’s 100m final won by Vicaut.

In that individual event, joint European record-holder Vicaut lived up to his status as favourite by winning in 10.35 (-1.4m/sec) ahead of Italy’s Marcell Jacobs with 10.39 as Aikines-Aryeetey ran 10.57 behind Germany’s Michael Pohl’s 10.55.

There was disappointment for the host nation’s Remigiusz Olszewski as he was disqualified for a false start.

Vicaut might have been denied a double win because of the relay disqualification, but his team-mate Carolle Zahi did secure such success as she led off the winning women’s 4x100m team after having earlier claimed full points in the women’s 100m.

In the relay the French team, which also included Orlann Ombissa-Dzangue, Estelle Raffai and Sarah Richard, ran 43.09 to take the A final win, with GB’s Kristal Awuah, Alisha Rees, Bianca Williams and Rachel Miller second in that race in 43.46. The GB team ranked third overall behind B race winners Switzerland with 43.11.

In the 100m, Zahi dipped for the win in 11.31, racing into a -2.5 (m/sec) wind and having kept her cool despite the race having been restarted.

Behind her, Olympic, world and European sprint relay medallist Daryll Neita kicked off a series of 11-point performances by British team members as she finished second in 11.33, despite earlier having run around 60m before the race was recalled, while Poland’s European indoor 60m champion Ewa Swoboda ran 11.35 for third.

The day before had seen Neita run a smooth-looking season’s best of 11.19 to win her heat.

In the next two races, European indoor champion Shelayna Oskan-Clarke and 2017 European Team Championships winner Dwayne Cowan also scored 11 points each for Britain.

First Oskan-Clarke finished strongly in the 800m, running 2:01.45 behind Rénelle Lamote who kicked to victory for France in 2:01.21, before Cowan clocked 46.18 to secure second in the 400m behind Italy’s Davide Re who strode away for a clear win in 45.35.

A little later, Miguel Ángel Sancho won the high jump for Spain after clearing 2.26m as Chris Baker was another second-placed finisher for Britain thanks to his clearance of 2.22m.

Czech two-time world champion Zuzana Hejnová won the women’s 400m hurdles in 55.10 as Poland’s Joanna Linkiewicz was roared down the final straight by home fans, moving from sixth to third to finish just behind Ukraine’s Anna Ryzhykova, 55.61 to 55.67. GB’s Meghan Beesley secured sixth in 56.46.

The women’s 3000m steeplechase saw a clear win by Germany’s Gesa Felicitas Krause as the two-time European champion clocked 9:36.67 ahead of Spain’s Irene Sánchez with 9:39.24 and Britain’s Rosie Clarke with 9:39.85.

Olympic, world and European champion Katerina Stefanidi of Greece had the pole vault competition won with her first vault as she cleared her opening height of 4.56m.

She then had the bar moved to 4.70m and needed three attempts at that height before unsuccessfully attempting 4.80m.

Ukraine’s Maryna Kylypko was second with a best of 4.56m and GB’s Sophie Cook joint eighth with 4.21m.

Another win for Greece was claimed by Miltiádis Tentóglou as he added to his European indoor and outdoor titles, taking full points in the men’s long jump thanks to his 8.30m (+1.8m/sec) leap. GB’s Jacob Fincham-Dukes was seventh with 7.85m (+2.7m/sec).

Paraskevi Papachristou continued the Greek jumps success as she won the women’s triple jump with a 14.48m leap. GB’s Naomi Ogbeta placed seventh with 13.90m.

Italy’s Yemaneberhan Crippa even had time for celebrations in the men’s 5000m as he waved his arms on his way to the finish, winning clearly in 13:43.30 ahead of Switzerland’s Julian Wanders with 13:45.31. GB’s Nick Goolab was eighth in 14:27.43.

The women’s 3000m saw Yolanda Ngarambe gain full points for Sweden, running 9:07.67 ahead of Italy’s Marta Zenoni with a time of 9:08.34. GB’s Emily Hosker-Thornhill was ninth in 9:19.99.

The javelin was won by France’s Alexie Alaïs as she added almost two metres to her PB with 63.46m. Bekah Walton placed 12th with 46.29m for Britain.

On Friday, the first day of competition had seen two finals take place and they were won by Germany’s Julian Weber, as he threw 86.86m in the javelin, and Claudine Vita, who threw 61.09m in the discus. GB’s Tom Hewson and Kirsty Law finished 12th and eighth with marks of 64.93m and 54.78m respectively.

In the non-scoring mixed 4x400m relay, the GB team of Niclas Baker, Yasmin Liverpool, Jess Turner and Alex Knibbs won in 3:19.40 to break the British best.

Results can be found here.

» See the August 15 edition of AW magazine for further coverage

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