Hawkins and Lahti excel in the Big Apple

Hawkins and Lahti excel in the Big Apple
European Athletics

Callum Hawkins continued to show his long distance running skills by taking second place at the United NYC Half on Sunday.

Callum Hawkins continued his excellent run of form with a second-place finish on a bitterly cold morning at the United NYC Half on Sunday.

Hawkins had the beating of some excellent runners - including reigning champion Stephen Sambu from Kenya - but despite a typically gritty effort, Hawkins had to give way to Olympic marathon silver medallist Feyisa Lilesa from Ethiopia in the last kilometre.

“It was really fun running through Manhattan. I mean, such an exciting race, but overall it was just really tough, and I was throwing everything I could just to get rid of Feyisa, but he was just too strong in the end,” said Hawkins, who won an individual bronze medal at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships in December.

Lilesa ran out to victory in 60:04 with Hawkins a close second in 60:08 - the second fastest time of his career and a mark which has only been bettered by three other European athletes in history.

Hawkins, who covered the 10km split between the 10km and 20km checkpoints in 28:12, will travel westwards to Colorado for a five week stint of altitude training as part of a prolonged build-up to the IAAF World Championships in London where he will contest the marathon.

Sarah Lahti missed the indoor season with a stress fracture but the Swede had a half marathon debut to remember, finishing sixth in a national record of 69:58 to shave four seconds from Isabellah Anderson’s seven-year-old mark.

Still only 22, Lahti will turn her focus back to the track this summer and will surely challenge for her first international medal at the European Athletics U23 Championships in Bydgoszcz.

Wanders clocks 61:43 in the Stramilano

Julien Wanders came to prominence in December when he broke the long-standing Swiss 10km record with 28:21 and he reasserted his status as one of the continent’s brightest endurance prospects in the famous Stramilano race in Milan.

A day after celebrating his 21st birthday, Wanders finished fourth on his half marathon debut in a Swiss under-23 record of 61:43 to move to second on the 2017 European lists behind Hawkins.

Some familiar names were in action in the women’s race in the Lisbon Half Marathon. On the road to the Hamburg Marathon, Jessica Augusto was the top European finisher on home soil in seventh in 70:38 with Poland’s Katarzyna Kowalska and French veteran Christelle Daunay eighth (72:01) and tenth (72:03) respectively.

Meanwhile, Ireland’s Alex Wright maintained his unbeaten streak this year with victory in the 20km walk at the Lugano Race Walking Trophy in 1:21:19 ahead of some strong opposition. Olympic sixth-placer Tom Bosworth was second (1:21:53) with reigning world and European champion Miguel Angel Lopez third (1:22:01).

Lithuania’s Brigita Virbalyte-Dimsiene won the women’s race in 1:32:17 ahead of Slovakia’s Maria Czakova (1:33:26).

Iuel smashes Norwegian 400m record in Los Angeles

Amalie Hammild Iuel broke the 33-year-old national 400m hurdles record in the semifinals of the European Championships in Amsterdam last year and the 22-year-old slashed a big chunk off the Norwegian 400m flat record in Los Angeles on Saturday.

Iuel improved her lifetime best from 52.52 to 51.81 to surpass the long-standing national record of 52.45 which had stood since 1991.

Last year’s European U18 champion Odisseas Mouzenidis established himself as an early contender for the European U20 title in Grosseto this July. The 17-year-old achieved a Greek U20 shot put record of 20.38m with the 6kg implement at the Greek Winter Throwing Championships in Thessaloniki on Saturday.