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STAGS ADD A SILVER AND A BRONZE AT EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS

On the 6th day of European Athletics Championships held in Berlin, the Stags added a silver and a bronze to their tally. The Harriers now have one gold, one silver and two bronze.

IMG_1333First up was Shara Proctor competing in the Long Jump. Claiming a superb bronze, a thoroughly entertaining and topsy-turvy women’s long jump final saw Shara add a European medal to previous World and Commonwealth successes, with the final podium placings going right to the wire.

Opening up with a strong 6.58m (-1.0) to take some of the early initiative and be confident of receiving three further attempts past round three, Proctor improved to 6.69m (-0.3) in round four to move into silver. Maryna Bekh (UKR)then went one better than Shara to land a 6.73m (-0.1) jump. With one jump remaining, Shara mustered everything in an attempt to better her mark and clinch gold – a medal won with a distance of 6.75m by home-favourite Malaika Mihambo – with a slight improvement of 6.70m (-0.4) seeing her settle for bronze.

Then it was Matthew Hudson-Smith’s turn. Kicking off for the British team from lane three in 4 x 400 Relay, Rabah Yousif saw the team get off to the start they would have wanted, with Dwayne Cowan dropping a rapid opening 200m on his leg before being pulled back in slightly by France, Poland and Italy, with ground to be made up on the final two legs.

When the baton reached the newly crowned European 400m champion Matt Hudson-Smith (Birchfield Harriers), the 22-year-old showed exactly why he is the best on show in Berlin as he passed four of his competitors by on the back straight to propel Britain into bronze with Martyn Rooney waiting to take the baton on anchor.

Using all of his experience and not expending too much energy early on, Rooney sat on the heels of the Belgian and Spaniard in front before picking off the latter over the final 50m to move into silver and win Britain’s 12th consecutive medal in the event at the European Championships in a time of 3:00.36.

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