14 finals decided on thrilling afternoon of athletics on Day Three in Debrecen
HAMMER WOMEN FINAL
With her first throw of the final, Mariya Smaliachkova (BLR) put her name on gold with a distance of 69.34. In the ensuing rounds she was never to better it, but nor did anyone else. The closest anyone came to approaching the European championship fourth placer was Lenka Ledvinova (CZE) whose third round throw went out to 67.63. The Ukraine's Nataliya Zolotuhina claimed bronze, eventually going out to 67.00 in the fifth. Buoyed up by local support, Hungary's Noemi Nemeth was the only one of the finalists to set a PB with a fifth round 64.59 for fifth place.
HIGH JUMP WOMEN FINAL
Apart from a first failure at her opening height of 1.78, Russia's Svetlana Shkolina, enjoyed a clean card up to 1.95 where she had three failures. It was enough for gold, though, as Greece's Adonia Steryiou suffered three failures although she cleared 1.92 at the final attempt. Ebba Jungmark (SWE) won bronze, clearing 1.89 at the third attempt before going out at 1.92.
200M WOMEN FINAL
The winners of the morning's semis made it a one-two in the final as the European junior champion, Yuliya Chermoshanskaya (RUS) beat France's Nelly Banco to gold. The Russian put her hand to her mouth in joy as she approached the line a clear winner in 23.19 with Banco on 23.36, bronze going to Marta Jeschke of Poland, who had run so well in the semis to record a PB. The fastest performer in the final, Yelena Novikova (RUS) could finish no higher than fifth.
"I was afraid of this final," admitted the winner, "because all the girls qualified with very close times. That's why this is a very nice suprise to win, and I'm so happy with the gold. I hope to be in Osaka in the 4x100 relay."
TRIPLE JUMP MEN QUALIFIERS
With two men in the first three, Spain looks set fair for the final. Longest qualifier is Andres Capellan who went out to 16.37 in round one without more ado as did his compatriot, Jose Emilio Bellido. The only other man over 16m was France's Fabien Harmenil (16.11) at his second attempt. But there are some useful jumpers in the field: Romainian Alin Anghel (16.45 this year) and Russian Yuriy Zhuravlyev (16.53) both only required one jump before they could put their tracksuits back on.
Julia Machtig (GER) moved into the bronze medal position winning the shot with 14.77, Jolanda Keizer (NED) was second in the circle with 14.50 and moved from bronze to the silver medal position. Though Viktoriya Zemaityte (LTU) slumped to seventh (13.70) in the discipline, the lead she had built up over the first two events was sufficient to keep her in gold.
DISCUS MEN FINAL
Martin Wierig (GER), world junior bronze last year, came through in the fifth round (61.10PB) to overtake Jan Marcell (CZE) for gold. The Czech had led from the first round with 58.48 and just held on for silver from Apostolos Parellis (CYP) last round effort of 58.16, good enough for bronze and a national record outright.
800M MEN FINAL
Poland's Marcin Lewandowski had been an assured winner of his semi-final two days earlier when he had shown an impressive turn of speed and it was the same weapon that was to bring him victory in the final in 1:49.95. Taking the bell in 56.76 Lewandowski was tracking the tall Josef Repcik (SVK) and with 200m the Pole kicked for home, immediately opening up a gap. 1:45-man Richard Hill (GBR) started to close fast round the final bend but had left himself too much to do and ran out of steam as the Ukraine's Oleksandr Osmolovych and Abdesslam Merabet (FRA) sped past for the minor medals.
"It was quite easy for me to win," said Lewandowski, "because of the very slow pace. I'm a fast runner, and that's gives me a lot of confidence. I want to be present at the World championships, and I have a chance to get the qualifying time in Madrid. From today I'm preparing for that."
400M HURDLES WOMEN FINAL
The class act of the field, Angela Morosanu (ROM), made quality tell as she blasted away from the gun and was never headed. She crossed the line in a new championship record of 54.50, a great time under any circumstances and only 0.10 outside her career best. European junior silver, Irina Obedina (RUS), was likely to be the only challenger and, though she ran a fine race, was unable to get on terms with the flying Romanian. Third in a season's best was Zuzana Hejnova (CZE) who had looked so strong in the semis. The only PB of the final was set by Britain's Eilidh Child who established new figures of 57.11.
"I'm happy with my time and of course with the first place too," said Morosanu. "I trusted in my chances, but in the hurdles you never know. That race proves to me that I'm on the right road. I'm confident I can run faster than 54.50, and get a place in the final in Osaka."
400M HURDLES MEN FINAL
Britain has something of a tradition to uphold in this event and David Greene fought tooth and nail off the final hurdle to hold off the attack launched by France's Fadil Bellabouss. Though both men were given the same time of 49.58, a career best for both, the Frenchman tore his number off as he crossed the line knowing he had let his superior momentum go at the last. So the European silver medallist Greene was promoted to first while the man who beat him on that occasion, Milan Kotur (CRO), could manage no better than bronze this time round, but was rewarded with a PB of 50.14.
POLE VAULT WOMEN FINAL
In the end it came down to a battle between Russia, Aleksandra Kiryashova, and two Germans, Anna Schultze and Anna Battke. With only one failure up to 4.45, the Russian was never seriously under threat. After failing twice at 4.45, Schultze reserved her final attempt for 5.50 at which she made a decent attempt, just brushing the bar off to take silver while Battke collected bronze. With the pressure off, Kiryashova went on to set a PB of 4.50 before trying unsuccessfully for 5.55.
200M MEN FINAL
Visa in Finnish means "gnarled" but there was nothing twisted about the way Visa Hengisto roared past the field down the straight to take gold in 20.84. But for the headwind of 1.9mps, he would surely have set a career best, but he was happy enough with a job well done. All through the rounds he had been impressive and he showed it was no coincidence as he let Briton Rikki Fifton blast off from the gun before hauling him in down the straight. The Briton, fourth in these championships last time round, faded to third in 21.02, overtaken by Vojtech Sulc (CZE) who set a lifetime best of 20.91 for silver.
"I could not believe it!" said Hengisto. "I've won and I´m the first sprinter from Finnish athletics to be crowned European champion. Initially I wasn't thinking of more than a bronze medal, but this was my lucky day."
800M WOMEN FINAL
World youth champion and European junior silver medallist, Mariya Chapayeva (RUS), clinched gold with France's Elodie Guegan in silver and Vanja Perisic (CRO) collecting bronze. Perisic and Guegan had both won their semis and fought from the gun to be first at the break. Shapayeva shadowed both of them but at the bell (60.46), led by Guegan and Perisic, was boxed in by the tall Laura Finucane (GBR). Once the pressure was applied down the back straight, though, Finucane fell away and Shapayeva was presented with a gap to launch her attack. Guegan, however, was offering stubborn resistance that was only broken in the final 50m when the Russian broke clear. Perisic was well rewarded for her aggressive running with the bronze.
110M HURDLES MEN FINAL
It was a dangerous thing to do, but in the event Konstadinos Kouvalidis (GRE) had an ample lead to celebrate as well as a PB when he took gold in 13.49, dipping under 13.50 for the first time in his life. Adrien Deghelt (BEL) took silver (13.59) while Italy's Emanuele Abate clocked a season's best of 13.66 for bronze. Jens Werrman (GER), who had looked good qualifying in first position in his semi, was so furious with missing out on the medals in the fourth that he kicked a hole in the photographers' stand while the organisers put on Zorba The Greek for a delighted winner.
"I´m happy to win and expected this place," said Douvalidis. "But the finish was extremely hard. The world championships in Osaka are not for me, I'm too young. I have an injury also, which makes me careful."
Machtig registered another first (24.32) to consolidate herself in bronze while Zemaityte did enough (24.67) for fourth to stay ahead at the end of day one. Still in silver, Keizer held a slender 18-point lead over the German going into day two
10000M MEN FINAL
With 2000m to go it was down to six men led by Italian Daniele Meucci. With three laps remaining Russian Anatiliy Rybakov applied the pressure and broke away with Michel Butter (NED) hard on his heels and Meucci hanging on. At the bell Rybakov steadily raised the pace and dislodged Meucci with only Butter left to offer any resistance. At 200m Butter finally had to let the Russian go, Rybakov winning in 29:09.89, Butter recording a career best for silver and Meucci taking bronze.
LONG JUMP WOMEN QUALIFIERS
Denisa Scerbova (CZE) was the longest qualifier (6.62) followed by Russia's Yelena Sokolova (6.48) and Joanna Skibinska (POL) on 6.42. 6.64 performer, Veranika Shutkova (BLR) and Russian Anna Nazarova (6.66PB) will also be in the final.
JAVELIN MEN FINAL
The last man standing as twilight settled over the stadium was Germany's Alexander Vieweg, but he was also the happiest as he concluded a fine javelin final with a PB of 79.56 on his last throw. The European junior silver medallist's lead was never seriously challenged, Latvia's Karlis Alainis coming closest with a fourth round 76.83. The Ukraine's Oleksandr Pyatnytsya collected bronze with 76.28.
4X400M MEN QUALIFIERS
In the first semi-final, Russia qualified safely in first (3:05.25) with Poland holding off the French challenge to qualify by right. Spain and Romania also go to the final. The second semi-final saw Czech Republic (3:07.43) and Germany go through. Great Britain and Hungary also qualified in this hear, the latter with a national under-23 record of 3:08.40.
100M HURDLES FINAL
Nevin Yanit (TUR) had looked the likeliest winner through the rounds and so it proved as the 12.88 performer was never headed, breaking the beam in 12.90 into a slight headwind for gold and a season's best. Norway's Christina Vukicevic, who had always looked a likely medallist, grabbed silver in a 13.08PB, while heptathlete Jessica Ennis (GBR) claimed bronze.