10 Aug 2018

What happened yesterday at the European Championships

A photo finish and gold medal glory were the highlights of yesterday in Glasgow and Berlin.

Swimming

Russia topped the medal table with 10 golds in a haul of 26 after a thrilling seven-day competition at Tollcross International Swimming Centre, Glasgow.

Victory by the Russian women’s 4x100m medley relay team ensured they would edge hosts Great Britain, who finished one gold shy with nine.

Russia also claimed 10 silver and six bronze medals, while second-placed Great Britain accumulated seven silvers and eight bronzes for a total of 24.

Italy – buoyed by a final-day haul of three gold and two bronze medals – were third with 22, including six first-place finishes.

Adam Peaty (GBR) was named male swimmer of the meet after a haul of four gold medals, as well as a world record of 57.10 seconds in the 100m breaststroke, while Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) was awarded best female swimmer after also claiming four golds, 10 years after taking her first European title as a 14-year-old.

As well as the 100m breaststroke, Peaty won the 50m – setting Championship records in each round - along with the men’s 4x100m medley relay and the mixed equivalent in which the quartet set a European mark. Peaty has now won four titles at each of the last three European Championships.

Yuliya Efimova (RUS) finished the Glasgow 2018 European Championships with four gold medals when she took the 50m for a clean sweep of breaststroke titles, then helped Russia to victory in the women’s 4x100m medley relay.

Italy had a remarkable day, winning three golds and two bronzes to finish third in the medals table. They had the biggest surprise winner of the Championships when Piero Codia (ITA), out in lane eight, won the 100m butterfly.

Gymnastics

The men's Gymnastics qualification competition concluded at The SSE Hydro, Glasgow, with Russia scoring an emphatic 259.427 ahead of Great Britain, who lie second with 252.496.

Great Britain showed consistency across most of their routines, marred by a slight error from Max Whitlock on floor which left him in 23rd position and cost him a place in that apparatus final.

However, Whitlock scored well on pommel horse with 14.9 to make that final in third place, setting up the fascinating prospect of a three-way battle between defending champion David Belyavskiy (RUS) and top scorer Rhys McClenaghan (IRL) in Sunday's final.

Athletics

Thomas Rohler, the Olympic champion, won the battle of German javelin throwers as he delivered his best just when he needed to at the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships.

In the end this much-anticipated battle between the three superstars of German javelin throwing - Rohler, Andreas Hofmann and World Champion Johannes Vetter - was dominated by one man.

Rohler had needed his last throw of qualifying to make it through to the final, but his third round effort of 89.47 metres blew the rest out of the water to clinch the gold medal.

The 2017 World and European under-23 400m hurdles gold medallist Karsten Warholm (NOR) can now add European Champion to his list of achievements.

Still only 22, the Norwegian had just too much for Turkey's Yasmani Copello, 31, as the pair went head-to-head in the home straight with one barrier left. Warholm won in 47.64 seconds, breaking his European under-23 record by 0.01 seconds, with Copello second in a national record of 47.81.

Ireland's Thomas Barr took bronze in 48.31, becoming the first male athlete representing Ireland to win a medal in a sprint event at a European Championships.

Greece's Katerina Stefanidi broke her own Championship record with a leap of 4.85m as she won a superb pole vault to add the 2018 European crown to her Olympic and World titles. 

It was a great night for Greece as they celebrated a one-two with Nikoleta Kiriakopolou taking second with 4.80m. Britain's Holly Bradshaw won bronze with 4.75m.

Hot favourite in the 3000m steeplchase Mahiedine Mekhissi Mekhissi-Benabbad (FRA) extended his record at the European Championships. He has now won a gold medal at the last five Championships.

Germany had big hopes in the 100m hurdles, but Belarusian Elvira Herman had other ideas. The European under-20 champion in 2015 and world U20 champion in 2016, she now has her first senior title after a blistering performance saw her charge through from lane three to win in 12.67 ahead of German duo Pamela Dutkiewicz and Cindy Roleder.

Britain's Katarina Johnson-Thompson put the gloss to a superb first day by running a heptathlon Championship record of 22.88 in the 200m to lead overnight with 4017 points from Olympic and World Champion Nafissatou Thiam (BEL) with 3930. Germany's Carolin Schafer lies in third with 3848.

Golf

Birgir Hafthorsson (ISL) and Axel Boasson (ISL) pulled off another stunning win, which included Hafthorsson dropping the ball straight into the 14th hole out of a bunker at Gleneagles PGA Centenary Course.

His tricky shot was delayed for five minutes while a ruling was made about his Italian opponent's shot out of the bunker that had dropped right back in the sand by the Icelander's ball.

Iceland's 2&1 victory over Lorenzo Gagli (ITA) and Guido Migliozzi (ITA) featured a tremendous fightback after the Italians had set a fierce early pace.

Meanwhile, Britain's Callum Shinkwin and Lee Slattery had a good recovery day after a disappointing halved match on Wednesday.

Their big 6&5 victory over Per Langfors (SWE) and Johan Edfors (SWE) puts them back in the qualification race at the top of group A.

Victories for Laura Davies and George Hall, Meghan MacLaren and Michelle Thomson, and Catriona Matthew and Holly Clyburn kept their unbeaten records intact with a maximum four points each after two rounds of competition. 

It was Solheim Cup captain Matthew who produced the day's dramatic finish, sinking a putt on the 18th hole to earn a win against Marianne Skarpnord and Marita Engzelius (NOR) in group D.

Davies and Hall maintained their winning streak with a comfortable 4&3 win against Germany's Isi Gabsa and Leticia Ras-Anderica in group A, while MacLaren and Thomson top group C after an emphatic 5&3 win over Austrian pair Christine Wolf and Sarah Schober.

Diving

Olympic silver medallist Jack Laugher (GBR) grabbed his second title of the Glasgow 2018 European Championships to put Great Britain in a dominant position in the diving with three gold medals from seven events at the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh.

Laugher, who won the men's 1m springboard on Tuesday, triumphed in a tense duel with Russia's 2012 Olympic champion Ilya Zakharov to clinch the 3m springboard gold medal.

Russia’s Aleksandr Bondar and Viktor Minibaev sealed the first gold of the day in the men’s synchronised 10m platform.

Triathlon

London 2012 Olympic champion Nicola Spirig (SUI) made triathlon history by claiming her sixth European Championships gold at Strathclyde Country Park.

The world's most successful female triathlete crossed the finish line in 1 hour 59 minutes 13 seconds with defending European champion Jessica Learmonth (GBR) clinching silver in 1:59:46.

Young French talent Cassandre Beaugrand (FRA) completed the podium with a gap of 1 minute 44 seconds.

Open Water Swimming

Dutch Olympic and World open water swimming champion Ferry Weertman collected his third successive 10km European title.

Weertman, gold medallist at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, won a thrilling duel with Hungary's Kristof Rasovsky by the tiniest of margins.

Both recorded the same time (1hour 49minutes, 28.2seconds) and were split by a photo finish as they touched the board.

In the women's race, Sharon Van Rouwendaal (NED) added a second gold medal to her tally - despite forgetting her swimming costume and competing naked under her wetsuit.