An awesome foursome of Scottish athletes all progressed to track finals on day three of the European Championships in Berlin on another successful day for Great Britain.
Edinburgh Athletic Club middle-distance runners Chris O’Hare and Jake Wightman both progressed in the 1,500m, Eilidh Doyle is into the women’s 400m hurdles final and Lynsey Sharp came through the 800m semi-finals.
Perthshire athlete Doyle was one of the favourites in the 400m hurdles before the championships began and lived up to that billing in the semi-finals as she won her heat with ease.
The 31-year-old is competing at a record-equalling fifth European Championships with the British team and was pleased to get out on the track after barely running so far this summer.
“I’m getting there. Hopefully one more run and it’ll be back to where it needs to be,” said Doyle, who was given a bye through qualifying.
“The stage where I’m at this season I probably would’ve preferred to have another round because I’m a bit race rusty but I don’t want to do three rounds if I only need to do two.
“I’m feeling a bit better now that I’ve got it out the way, it’s only been my third race since the Commonwealths so I was pretty nervous.
“I normally like the heats to get that nervousness out of my system, I didn’t really get that opportunity – going straight into the semi-finals – and against some of the top girls in Europe so I had to be on my A-game from the very beginning.”
Doyle will run in tomorrow’s final alongside team-mate Meghan Beesley but young Scottish runner Kirsten McAslan could only finish seventh in her heat and doesn’t qualify.
Dumfries-born Sharp also goes into a Friday final in the 800m as she finished second to Ukraine’s Nataliya Pryshchepa in her heat, running a time of 2:02.73.
Sharp, 28, is looking to take back a European title she won in Helsinki in 2012.
“It’s funny, the semis were slower than the heats but I thought that might be the case,” said Sharp.
“It’s just nice to get that one out of the way and look forward to the final. I thought my heat was pretty stacked in terms of PBs, but it was done off season’s bests and it was probably a similar field today for the semi.
“The final now is a totally different race, I’m really looking forward to it, that’s the hard part done. Now it’s just one race and I have to get out and see what happens.”
O’Hare and Wightman go in search of a first 1,500m European title in their final tomorrow.
O’Hare won his heat with a time of 3:49.06, kicking strongly in the final 200m, while Wightman’s 3:40.73 was the fastest time in qualification.
O’Hare commented: “I knew that’s what it would come down to eventually [a fast finish] and I was making sure I had enough space to run and not get tripped up and spiked and what not. I am happy with that.
“I am at that stage in my fitness where hopefully any race is my perfect race. That’s the idea, that’s what we train for. That was smooth, I was happy to sit on the outside and do the minimal amount of work until the last 250m.”
Elsewhere on day three, Glagsow’s Nikki Manson was unable to progress in the high jump, Great Britain’s Tim Duckworth missed out on a decathlon medal but Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake and Adam Gemili both went through to the 200m final.
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