Martyn Rooney justified his decision to fight to compete at the European Championships in empathic fashion by retaining his 400 metres title with a perfectly-timed run in Amsterdam.
The 29-year-old Briton, pictured, went off slowly before producing a blistering third 100m and just leaving enough in the tank to hold on down the home straight and cross the line in 45.29 seconds, beating Czech Pavel Maslak by 0.07secs.
Having fought for the right to race in the Netherlands after initially fearing he would be told to concentrate on his Olympic preparations, Rooney proved his point in style as he landed Great Britain’s third gold medal of the championships. “I’m just really happy to have delivered what my coach wanted me to do and come away with a gold medal,” he said.
Jazmin Sawyers delivered the performance of her life to win long jump silver. The 22-year-old leapt out to 6.86m to secure second place behind Serbia’s Ivana Spanovic, who claimed victory with 6.94m.
Britain had high hopes for a long jump medal heading into the championships, but it had been expected to come from one of either world silver medallist Shara Proctor, who made the late decision to withdraw from the competition, or world indoor bronze medallist Lorraine Ugen, who crashed out in qualifying.
Britain was able to celebrate another medal – a bronze – in the women’s 400m, but it came courtesy of Anyika Onuora rather than Christine Ohuruogu. Onuora clocked a season’s best 51.47s to edge out the two-time world champion by 0.08 as Italy’s Libania Grenot defended her title.
There was a belated bronze for Danny Talbot in the 200m after Dutch winner Churandy Martina was disqualified for a lane infringement, having already completed his lap of honour in front of an adoring home crowd. Talbot was promoted from fourth to third.