Vetter betters Schippers with third Dutch gold of the Championships

Vetter betters Schippers with third Dutch gold of the Championships
European Athletics

Anouk Vetter won a third gold for the Netherlands at the Amsterdam 2016 European Athletics Championships.

Dutch athlete Anouk Vetter managed to outdo even home heroine Dafne Schippers on the fourth day of the Amsterdam 2016 European Athletics Championships as she claimed the hosts’ third gold and broke Schippers national heptathlon record in the process.

The 23-year-old Vetter provided the majority of a packed stadium with the highlight of their evening as, despite coming home a weary last in the concluding 800m, her time of 2:21.50 saw her win with 6626 points, 168 clear of the athlete who had been hoping to win a hat-trick of titles, Antoinette Nana Djimou. The Frenchwoman totalled 6458 ahead of Austria’s Ivona Dadic, whose 6408 was also a national record.

Vetter, seventh at the last European Championships, only needed to run 2:27.73 or faster to better the record of the woman who won 100m gold on Friday night, and her time, just a second and a half off her best, was amply sufficient.

Earlier in the day she had sent a roar of acclaim through the Olympic stadium with a huge personal best effort of 55.76m in the javelin that left her dancing in delight as it all but sealed gold with just the concluding 800m to go.

The task of Dadic in hanging onto bronze was made relatively easy by the fact that the Netherlands’s Nadine Broersen, who moved from ninth overnight to fourth after winning the long jump in 6.40m and coming third in the javelin with 52.31 was unable to run the final event.

There was a more telling injury in the women’s pole vault, where Germany’s Lisa Ryzih, having joined Ekaterini Stefanidi as the only competitor to clear 4.70m was unable to continue, congratulating the Greek, who was ahead on countback, with a tearful hug.

Stefanidi immediately raised the bar to a championship record level of 4.81m, clearing it on her third attempt, before having three unsuccessful attempts at 4.94, which would have been a Greek record.

It was the second championship record of the day following the heptathlon javelin throw of 56.36m from another Greek woman, Sofia Ifantidou.

Bronze went to Sweden’s former world junior record holder Angelica Bengtsson with a season’s best of 4.65m.

The men’s 1500m produced a tumultuous spectacle in the final straight as a very slow race – they went through 800m in 2:10.43 – heated in the back straight and flared brightly in the final straight as one runner after another came through to challenge.

When the distance ran out it was Norway’s Filip Ingebrigtsen who finished fastest, in 3:46.65, with silver going to Spain’s David Bustos in 3:46.90 and bronze being taken by Ingebrigtsen’s elder brother Henrik, the 2012 European champion, in 3:47.18. Dutch runner Richard Douma staggered out of contention at the last, finishing fourth (3:47.32).

The closing stages of the women’s 800m were similarly dramatic as Ukraine’s Nataliya Pryshchepa burst between France’s Renelle Lamote and Lovisa Lindh to win in 1:59.70.  

Tatsiana Khaladovich of Belarus earned unexpected gold in the women’s javelin with a second round national record of 66.34m which proved beyond a field including the current world champion, Katharina Molitor of Germany, and the Olympic champion Barbora Spotakova of the Czech Republic, who finished respectively fourth and fifth with 63.20m and 62.66m.

Neither of those challengers won a medal as a final round season’s best of 65.25m from Molitor’s team-mate Linda Stahl earned silver ahead of Croatia’s Sara Kolak, who also produced a national record of 63.50m.

Germany’s Max Hess at the age of 19, became the youngest European triple jump champion with 17.20m, the best in Europe this year. Silver went to Poland’s Karol Hoffman, with a personal best (17.16) and Julian Read of Britain claiming bronze (16.76).

Turkey’s Yasemin Can added the 5000m title to the 10,000m she had won on the opening day. But her tactics of opening up a huge early gap and then hanging on almost failed a second time as the fast-finishing Meref Bahta of Sweden closed to around 10 metres and the even faster-finishing British runner Steph Twell finished on her shoulder.

France’s Dmitri Bascou took the men’s 110m hurdles title in 13.25 ahead of Hungary’s Balazs Baji, who set a national record of 13.28, with bronze going to Bascou’s compatriot Wilhem Belocian in 13.33. Britain’s Andrew Pozzi, who had equalled his personal best of 13.31 in qualifying, was unable to start.

Poland’s Piotr Malachowski regained the men’s discus title he last held in 2010 with a best of 67.06m ahead of Belgium’s Philip Milanov (65.71m) and Estonia’s 37-year-old 2008 Olympic champion Gerd Kanter (65.27m).