European Indoor Athletics Championships: Markovc and Ingebrigtsen medal on first night of finals

Amy-Eloise Markovc’s incredible sprint finish in the 3000m claimed Britain’s first gold medal at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Poland last night.

The 25-year-old just pipped France’s Alice Finot and British compatriot Verity Ockenden to cross the line in a personal best time of eight minutes 46.43 seconds.

Ockenden also managed a personal best of 8:46.60 which was enough to get her bronze, followed by teammate Amelia Quirk taking fifth in only her third-ever indoor race in 8:48.82.

Markovc said: “It’s a dream come true. That’s why we do this. We want to win medals and it’s going to be an amazing feeling standing on the podium.”

The men’s 1500m final caused some controversy when Norway’s prodigy Jakob Ingebrigtsen had the gold medal taken out of his hands after being disqualified, only to have the title returned on appeal.

Ingebrigtsen seemed to have earned his fifth European medal, but it was deemed he had illegally stepped off the track during the race as he was jostling for position in the 13-man pack.

Poland’s 33-year-old home favourite Marcin Lewandowski was then thought to have claimed another European title, but the Norwegian team launched a counter-protest which led to Ingebrigtsen’s reinstatement as a winner.

Britain’s Piers Copeland finished in fifth position with a time of 3:39.99.

Olympic heptathlon champion Nafi Thiam comfortably won the pentathlon with a personal best of 4904 points, while British debutant Holly Mills was fifth, scoring 4517.

Team GB’s captain Jodie Williams claimed a personal best time of 52.09s in the 400m heats to put her through to the finals on Saturday night, finishing just behind race favourite Femke Bol.

Home favourite Justyna Swiety-Ersetic won her semi-final in a Polish national record of 51.34 seconds, although that was 0.16 slower than Bol.

Britain’s Holly Archer set a personal best of 4:09.77 to win her 1500m heat and book a place in Saturday’s final, while Herne Hill’s Katie Snowden came third in her heat to also secure a spot.

Europe leading athlete Keely Hodgkinson won her 800m heat in 2:05.63 to reach Saturday’s semi-final. Team-mates Ellie Baker and Isabelle Boffey also qualified for the next stage.

Emily Borthwick impressed on her senior debut by qualifying for Sunday’s high jump final with a personal best of 1.91m.

Jamie Webb, a strong British medal hope, came second in his 800m heat to advance into Saturday’s semi-finals, while Guy Learmonth cruised to victory in his race.

The 28-year-old, who failed to qualify for the final at Glasgow 2019 after falling in the semi-finals, finished ahead of World Indoor and European outdoor champion Adam Kszczot of Poland.

Featured image credit: Wikimedia Commons

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