GREAT BRITAIN landed a superb six medals on the final day at the European Indoor Championships in Gothenburg as Perri Shakes-Drayton celebrated winning double gold and Scotland’s Eilidh Child revelled in a gold and silver.
The 24-year-old Shakes-Drayton followed up her dominant performance in the 400 metres at the Scandinavium Arena by anchoring the relay team to victory with another fine run last night.
There was gold too for the men’s relay squad, albeit after surviving a brief disqualification, while Eilidh Child and Nigel Levine also finished the day with two medals following their silvers in the individual 400m.
Mukhtar Mohammed added bronze in the 800m to round off a podium-packed Sunday. It all took Britain’s tally for the three-day event – the first major championships under new head coach Peter Eriksson – to eight, just short of their 2011 total of nine. Indeed, it was only two off their best ever haul and was achieved in the absence of Olympic champions Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford.
And four golds was Britain’s equal best number of that colour at a European Indoors since 1994 and put them second to Russia in the medal standings.
Eriksson said: “I think this was great. We said we were going to do better [than Paris) and I think we did. There were a lot of season’s best and personal bests. We had all of the women in finals and only three of the guys didn’t make finals so I think that’s a big success for us.”
Shakes-Drayton was the undoubted star of the final day with two golds in the space of seven hours. She led a British one-two to take 400m gold before returning last night to bring the relay team home in a new championship and British record.
The team, which was led off by Child and also included Olympic silver medal winner Christine Ohuruogu and Shana Cox, led from the very first leg to win in three minutes 27.56 seconds, 0.22secs ahead of the Russians.
Shakes-Drayton earlier took the individual crown in 50.85s, a second personal best in two days, finishing well ahead of fellow hurdles specialist Child, who lowered her own Scottish record to 51.45.
Child said: “I’m over the moon, I knew it would be hard but I was lucky to get a good lane draw after [Saturday’s] qualification. It was a PB and I can’t ask for any more than that, especially after back-to-back races, so I’m delighted.
“It just shows from the pair of us that the flat speed is there so it’s just a case of getting the hurdling right and we’ll both drop some really good times this season.”
Londoner Shakes-Drayton said: “I can feel it in my legs right now but I went out there and did it for the girls. Nobody wants to let anyone down. It has been a great day at the office. The hard work I’ve been doing has paid off and I can look forward to the outdoors now.”
The 24-year-old, who confirmed she would return to the hurdles for the outdoor season, missed out on the Olympic final by just one place last year and admitted: “With every disappointment I think you get stronger and that’s the case with me.”
Ohuruogu added: “I always find the 400m indoors hard, but I couldn’t complain because these girls are on their fourth run today. For me it was just to come in and keep them motivated for one last push and finish the job.”
The men’s quartet then added gold after a brief disqualification. The team of Michael Bingham, Richard Buck, Levine – the individual silver medallist ran a superb 45.8 third leg to put the team ahead – and Richard Strachan clocked 3:06.96 to finish more than a second clear of closest rivals Russia.
They were disqualified while still on their lap of honour after second-leg runner Buck had stepped off the track as he jostled for position with Poland’s Rafal Omelko on the first bend.
But the York athlete appeared to be barged by the Pole, leaving him little option but to step inside, and the team were quickly reinstated.
Buck said: “I saw the Polish guy outside me really vying for it and I thought ‘I’m getting there first’. I really put it in and when he came in and landed on me I did the best I could to sit in there, but where else could I have gone? I was trying desperately to stay up and I had to drop one foot out to come back in again.”
Levine earlier clocked 46.21 to win silver in the individual event, recovering strongly from a tangle with Russia’s Pavel Trenikhin on the final bend.
Mohammed edged out Anis Ananenka of Belarus by 0.01s to take third in the 800m, despite twice being barged by his rival.
Elsewhere, defending champion Jenny Meadows was fourth in the women’s 800m. Bingham was fifth and Strachan sixth in the 400m, with Cox sixth in the women’s event.