Swoboda and Edoburun are crowned sprint champions in Bydgoszcz

Ewa Swoboda wins 100 title
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Ewa Swoboda claimed the 100m title on home soil at the European Athletics U23 Championships 

Ewa Swoboda and Ojie Edoburun today showed they are among the greatest young sprinters in the sport by winning the 100m titles at the European Athletics U23 Championships in Bydgoszcz – two years on from their successes at the European Athletics U20 Championships.

Just as she promised, Swoboda gave the host nation Poland their first triumph with a powerful victory before Great Britain's Edoburun overcame illness to soar home some fifteen minutes later.

And after the race, Edoburun outlined the importance of an event such as the European U23 Championships. "This is why we need these championships. It is hard to go just from a youth straight to being a senior. I think there should be even more emphasis on a championship such as this one because it is a transition championship. After this is the seniors, and people need that guidance because it is not that easy," he said.

 

It certainly will be the seniors for Edoburun who is 21, but not for Swoboda. She will be 20 at the end of the month and eligible to return to defend her title in Gavle, Sweden in 2019, though she has already proved herself on the senior stage with her European indoor 60m bronze medal in Belgrade in March.

Showing no nerves but total control as she broke well from lane seven today, Swoboda had the rest of the field beaten with 20 metres left. Her drive phase is a real force, so when she is still in front with metres running out, she is unlikely to be caught. This was the case today as she won in 11.42 from Belarusian Krystina Tsimanouskaya, second in 11.54, and Germany's Sina Mayer, third in 11.58.

Edoburun was hit by a stomach bug on the eve of the final but never showed any effects. He had too much in the finish and won in 10.14 - just 0.04 shy of the championship record - from Jan Volko, who was second in 10.18 and made his own history as he became the first Slovak man to win a major outdoor sprint medal, with Norway's Jonathan Quarcoo third in 10.29.

"Although I had problems with my health, I still cannot complain," said Edoburun. "I trusted by ability and 10.14 with a bad start, I will take that. It is a good to follow up the potential I showed as a junior. I have learned a great deal about myself since winning gold in 2015.

"Although I won, I did not feel I was confident in myself then. I now trust my ability more. Coming into this season, that's what it is all about."

Agnou breaks Swiss record to claim heptathlon gold

It was a day of showing how European U20 gold can lead to the next step of glory as Switzerland's Caroline Agnou won the heptathlon, just as she did in Esklistuna, and she did so by breaking the national record that was only six weeks old.

Agnou scored 6330 points to overtake the mark of 6291 which Geraldine Ruckstuhl had set in Gotzis at the end of May. The mark which Ruckstuhl bettered had stood since 1985.

It was stunning performance and once more Agnou, 21, showed the ability to peak at a major event, as she smashed her personal best of 6123 she had achieved when she won gold in Sweden two years ago.

Agnou had all but secured the title in the sixth event, as her javelin throw from the first group left her closest rivals with the toughest of gaps to fill. She was in front on 5452 with Austria's Verena Preiner, who had been third overnight, second with 5278, and Germany's overnight leader Celina Leffler in third with 5257.

Preiner was by the fastest in their 800m race and while she was prolific in winning a lifetime best of 2:10.72, Agnou was fifth in the race in 2:16.06, her fifth lifetime best of the competition, with Leffler sixth in 2:20.81.

But there was great achievement overall as Preiner's silver with 6232 was a national U23 record, and Leffler's 6070 was a personal best. Leffler had started the second day in front with a lead of just nine points from Agnou – 3713 to 3704 – and by the end of the morning, she had extended it but only by seven more.

They both achieved personal bests in the long jump as Leffler won Group A with a leap of 6.38m ahead of Agnou with 6.36m with Belgium's Noor Vidts moving back into third with 6.20m, and a score of 4509.

The pressure was then put onto Leffler as Agnou not only had the better personal best by over five metres in the javelin before the competition - not to mention a better lifetime best in the 800m - but the Swiss star was in the first group.

Agnou's best was her second round 46.19m and in the next group, Preiner put herself back in the picture with a final round lifetime best of 49.56m to move to second. Leffler could only manage 35.16m ahead of the 800m where the positions did not change.

"My first day was amazing. I knew my second day is not so good, but I am happy I have a medal,” said Leffler.