On Friday morning at the Letzigrund Stadium, Chris O’Hare (coach: Terrance Mahon) followed Charlie Grice’s (Jon Bigg) lead, to book his spot in Sunday’s 1500m final.
In the first of two high quality heats, Grice ran a sound tactical race, moving up into second place down the back straight and holding his form well to take one of the automatic final spots with a 3.39.41 performance. On his second place finish Grice said:
“I knew it was going to be a big scrap today as there was so many of us around the same level. I’m really glad I put myself in the right position and finished strong. I went up to altitude after the Commonwealth Games, the idea just being to get away and refocus, which looks like it’s paid off.”
Of his chances in the final, Grice added:
“It’s all about tactics on the day. If I time it well on that last lap, anything is possible. I know everybody says it, but anything really is possible in the 1500m, as there’s so many of us at a similar level.”
In the other heat, O’Hare ran his usual trademark race, sitting at the back through 800m before starting to move through the field. With 300m to go the Scot hit the front, before really putting his foot on the accelerator with 120m to go to move away from the field with ease, and cross the line in 3.39.24.
“I’m happy with it. It was a good run, and I tried to sit off the back to make it as easy as possible through the first two laps. I knew it was going to be quick as we all watched the first heat in call, and it was 3.39 so we knew it was going to have to be quick. I just sat at the back and let them fight it out for the first 10 rounds and then came through to take the last couple!
“I was surprised that I pulled away from them. It was noisy as hell out there so I didn’t know where they were, and I came off the home straight trying not to look behind. But all I could hear was my dad shouting, ‘easy, easy, easy’, so if he was telling me to be easy I knew I could ease it down.”
After a terrific season in which she won two IAAF World Junior Championships titles, Morgan Lake (Eldon Lake) was disappointed to miss out on the European Championship high jump title by just one height. After first time clearances at 1.75m and 1.80m, Lake cleared 1.84m at the second time of asking before bowing out at 1.89m. Afterwards, she commented:
“It was so close, which is the most annoying thing – I thought I’d got over it.”
Full results from the championships so far can be seen here: https://www.european-athletics.org/competitions/european-athletics-championships/2014/schedules-results/
This evening GB & NI has finalists in the men’s and women’s 200m and 400m as well as the women’s 1500m and the men’s high jump.
GB & NI team performances:
GOLD – Jo Pavey – Women’s 10,000m
GOLD – Mo Farah – Men’s 10,000m
GOLD – Tiffany Porter – Women’s 100m hurdles
GOLD – James Dasaolu – Men’s 100m
SILVER – Andy Vernon – Men’s 10,000m
SILVER – William Sharman – Men’s 110mH
BRONZE – Ashleigh Nelson – Women’s 100m
BRONZE – Harry Aikines Aryeetey – Men’s 100m
4th – Dwain Chambers – Men’s 100m
7th – Desiree Henry – Women’s 100m
8th – Goldie Sayers – Women’s Javelin