Events & Meetings

Riva flows to glorious gold


Italy's Pietro Riva delivered a wonderful final injection of speed to win the 10,000m in a brilliant race to end the opening day of track action at these 23rd European Athletics Junior Championships in Eskilstuna.

Riva, 18, was second as the runners hit the home turn after Germany's Fabian Gering had made what looked a gold-medal move with 200m to go.

Gering had soared around the outside of leader Riva, breaking from the pack of six to take control, yet with 50m left the Italian found new resolve.

There was nothing Gering could do to hold on as Riva went by him on his outside to win in 30:20.45.

Gering was second (30:20.69) with Belgium's Dieter Kersten finishing third (30:21.85), with his twin Maarten in fourth (30:24.69).

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Riva said: 'I am very glad of this day because I was the fourth (fastest) on the start list. 'I knew I could reach the podium but I never thought of victory. When I saw the race was quite slow, I hoped for the victory.

'I thought beforehand that gold was impossible but I concentrated on the last lap to run fast. But I never imagined this outcome.'

A pack of nine had stayed together for more than half the race before the last lap took its toll, with Riva making his move at the bell to increase the pace.

Then when Gering surged past him it looked all over - but Riva had other ideas and produced the sprint of his life for the moment of his life.

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Edoburun justifies favouritism

Victory in the men's 100m in recent times at the European Athletics Junior Championships has been a pathway to greater glory and Great Britain's Ojie Edoburun could be the next to follow an impressive lead.

In the last three stagings of these championships, the event has been won by Frenchmen Christophe Lemaitre in 2009 and Jimmy Vicaut in 2011 and then by Britain's Chijindu Ujah in Rieti two years ago.

Lemaitre progressed to twice lift the senior European 100m title, Vicaut has just equalled the European record of 9.86 and Ujah has been a national senior champion and is Europe's seventh quickest man with 9.96.

Now Edoburun, 19, will be looking to defend the title for Britain in Friday's final in Eskilstuna where his nation could land a cleansweep.

With his eye-catching high knee-lift style of running, he was the quickest in the heats after winning his opening race in 10.32 in a season where he leads the European junior lists with 10.25.

It was much the same dominance in the semi-finals as, again from lane six, Edoburun won in 10.44 from Sweden's Austin Hamilton (10.60) and Romania's Ioan Andrei Melnicescu (10.74).

It had been a British-Sweden one-two in the opening semi, too, as Joseph Dewar won in 10.54 from Emil von Barth (10.71) with another Briton, Reuben Arthur, in third (10.79).

With a personal best of 10.16, easily the fastest, Edoburun could be chasing the clock as his rivals chase him.

“Today was good, I just wanted to keep it easy and reserve my energy for tomorrow,' said Edoburun. 'From the heats I felt really smooth and felt I could have run a personal best in the semi but the weather wasn’t allowing for fast times.'

Swoboda in Pole position

The women's 100m final could also have a winner of such prolific speed in Poland's Ewa Swoboda, who is only 17 but is having a brilliant year.

In Prague in March she set the junior record time at the European Athletics Indoor Championships when she was eighth in the 60m final in 7.20 and has broken the national junior 100m record with 11.24 this summer.

It is why she will take her place in lane five in the final on Friday as the clear favourite like Edoburun in the men's race, after being fastest in the first round in 11.32 and then winning her semi-final (11.50) from Germany's Chantal Butzek (11.63) and Belarusian Krystsina Tsimanouskaya (11.85).

Alongside her in the final will be Britain's Daryll Neita on her inside after she won her semi in 11.58 and Germany's Lisa Mayer on her outside after she triumphed in 11.61.

But Swoboda will have eyes for only the 100m ahead - with that golden prize at the end of the road.

Agnou has heptathlon edge

Switzerland's Caroline Agnou took control of the heptathlon in the afternoon session to lead at the end of the opening day.

Agnou, 19, finished with 3568 points from Germany's Louisa Grauvogel (3414) and Belgium's Noor Vidts (3400).

'I really didn't expect this,' said Agnou. 'I am very happy with the first day.'

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