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Zakrzewski achieves a rare 100/200m European U20 sprint double in Jerusalem

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  • Zakrzewski achieves a rare 100/200m European U20 sprint double in Jerusalem

Marek Zakrzewski became the first man to secure the 100m/200m gold at the European Athletics U20 Championships since Great Britain’s Darren Campbell in 1991 on Wednesday (9). 

After winning the 100m on Tuesday, the Pole produced a dominant display to win the 200m in a personal best of 20.63 (+1.0m/s). Taking control right from the gun, he surged into the home straight with daylight between himself and the rest, never letting up to the finish. 

In his wake, the Netherlands’ Timo Spiering took silver in a personal best of 20.97 and Daniele Groos of Italy landed bronze in 21.01, also a lifetime best. 

“I am feeling like a big athletics star at the moment, it feels amazing,” said a beaming Zakrzewski in the aftermath of his victory. “I am making history and still, I am one of the youngest of the sprinters here. So, it is fantastic. I have two gold medals at 100 and 200m - mission completed.  

“I am the first Polish sprinter who achieved the gold medal in the 100m in history so this is some kind of a signal to my country that we can do something big." 

Marek Zakrzewski V2 2

In contrast, the women’s 200m final required a photo finish to sort out the medals. Coming into the home straight it looked like a straight shoot out between Alexa Sulyán of Hungary and Great Britain and Northern Ireland’s Success Eduan.  

But Sweden’s Nora Lindahl put in a late charge in the closing 50 metres and dived over the line to snatch gold in a personal best of 23.26 (+1.5m/s). Sulyan was also clocked at 23.26, but was just edged out by 0.008. Eduan had to be content with bronze, the same result from two years ago at the same championships in 23.34.  

European U20 record-holder Herczeg spears javelin gold 

In the light of his sensational European U20 javelin record of 84.98m in Austria last month, it was always going to be difficult for Hungary’s new javelin hope György Herczeg to satisfy the high expectations coming into these championships. 

But he went some way to proving his mettle, landing one of the throws of his life to gold with a third round 79.45m. It was a distance beyond the abilities of any of his peers and he passed on his final three attempts, content to take his first major international title.  

Germany’s Max Dehning was the next best with a season’s best of 78.07m, earning last year’s World U20 runner up another silver medal. Michael Allison of Great Britain and Northern Ireland took bronze with a best effort of 72.44m. 


Favourites felled in distance duels 

In the women’s 1500m, pre-race favourite Sofia Thøgersen looked set to go one better than she managed in the 3000m at the same championships in Tallinn two years ago when she surged to the front with 250m to go. 

But Turkey’s Dilek Koçak, leader at the bell, proved to be a stubborn opponent. She hung onto the Dane around the final turn and into the home straight. And in the closing metres she edged past to win gold by 0.22 in a season’s best 4:16:18.  Natálie Millerová of the Czech Republic emerged from the chasing pack to win bronze in a personal best of 4:18.92. 

It was a similar story in the men’s 3000m with another top ranked runner missing out to a less heralded opponent. Nicholas Griggs of Ireland was attempting to defend his 3000m title and with 250 metres to go, he took off.  

But Jonathan Grahn tracked his every step and as they entered the final straight, the Swede pulled away to win in 8:44.67. Griggs hung on for silver just 1.02 adrift, with Bradley Giblin of Great Britain and Northern Ireland winning bronze in 8:47.26. 

Afterwards, Grahn said: “Griggs is a phenomenal runner, so I was just hoping to win but I knew it was going to be very tough. I am just happy [Niels] Laros did not decide to run the 3000m because I would probably face him. But I am going to run the 5000 tomorrow with him and he is really the best. But anybody can still have a bad day, so maybe, maybe there is some chance?” 

In the women’s 3000m steeplechase, Karolína Jarošová of Czech Republic took the race by the scruff of the neck at the bell. She took it on from Germany’s Adia Budde and was never headed, racing to a clear victory in a new national U20 record of 10:04.57.  

Budde hung on for silver, matching the same colour of medal she won in the 2000m steeplechase at last year’s European U18 Championships. Greece’s Vasiliki Kallimogianni finished strong to win bronze in 10:08.44, also a new national U20 best. 

Decathlon battle heats up 

There was early volatility on the decathlon leaderboard with Germany’s Friedrich Schulze rocketing from 10th to top of the leaderboard after a season’s best 2.07m in the high jump. But he plummeted back to eighth after running 52.19 in the the day’s final event, the 400m. 

The overnight leader is Roko Farkaš of Croatia with 4174 points. But poised on his shoulder is Germany’s Amadeus Graber, last year’s European U18 Champion on 4140, currently in silver medal position. 

08 09 2356 Event Summary Decathlon Men  1 3

Chris Broadbent for European Athletics 



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