This is Stuart Weir’s piece on the amazing Friday night, Day 5, of the European Champs, August 19, 2022.
There was another great night in the Olympic stadium in Munich as the European Athletics Championships enters its final weekend. The only two negatives were that it rained part of the evening and that there were many empty seats – disappointing when there was an action-packed program and at a weekend. But with no German medals, the public may have decided to give it a miss.
The first track final was the women’s 1500, where defending champion Laura Muir was pushed hard by Ciara Mageean of Ireland. Muir won in 4:01.08, taking her fourth medal of the summer.
There was a surprise in the discus when Kristjan Ceh from Slovenia threw 68.28 but was beaten by Mykolas Alekna (Lithuania) with 69.78.
Topi Raitanen won the 3000m Steeplechase to give Finland their second gold medal, finishing in 8:21.80.
It is hard to pick the highlight of the evening, but the two 400m hurdles races have a strong claim. Karsten Warholm showed that he has recovered from the injury which hampered him in Oregon, winning in 47.12. The second was Wilfried Happio (France) in 48.56. The next three, as Geoff Wightman likes to say, you could throw a blanket over. To be fair, I have never understood why you would want to! Bronze went to Yasmani Copello (Turkey) in 48.78, with Ludvy Vaillant and Joshua Abuaku both of 48.79. Great to see the Viking back in business.
Femke Bol (Netherlands) added the European hurdles title to the flat 400, which she had already won. Her time was a championship record of 52.67. She is an amazing athlete.
Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk won the triple jump with an outstanding 15.02m
The two 200m races were remarkable. In the men’s, Zharnel Hughes won in 20.07 in a British 1,2,4.
The final event of the day, the women’s 200m, certainly sent the spectators home buzzing. Mujinga Kambundji (Switzerland) won in 22.32 from Dina-Asher Smith (22.43). It was justice for Kambundji, who, you may recall, had lost the 100 by 5/1000s of a second. I remember her comment after that defeat that she had two additional races to run.
The medal table is headed by Germany with 5 golds. Britain has won 14 medals, more than any other country.