Sporting Clube deny Enka a club double in a thrilling finale in Birmingham

Mamona and Evora on the gold trail
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Portugal's Patricia Mamona won the triple jump for Sporting Clube de Portugal with 13.53m

Just six points separated the top three clubs in the women’s division of the ECCC Track & Field Group A in Birmingham as Sporting Clube de Portugal did enough to win with 166 from Enka with 164 and Spain’s Valencia Esports with 160.

These three teams dominated proceedings but there was relegation for the bottom four – Rotterdam Atletiek on 82 points, Slovenia’s AD Kladivar (81), Belgium’s Cercle Athletique Du Brabant Wallon (72) and AK Spartak Dubnica Nad Vahom (54) from Slovakia.

How crucial the women’s 4x400m proved to be in Sunday's finale as Sporting Clube’s Filipa Martins, Dorothe Evora, Noelie Yarigo and Catia Azevedo combined to win in 3:32.62 from Valencia in 3:37.05 with Enka in third in 3:38.11 - the two points between first and third decisive in the big picture.

It was part of a glorious second day for Sporting Clube who won five events to take the title after a first day when Enka had been in control with six victories of their own.

Along with that success in the 4x400m relay, Olimpia Barbosa won the 100m hurdles (13.74), Yarigo took the 800m (2:04.65), Evelise Veiga was first in the long jump (6.54m) and Irina Rodrigues triumphed in the discus (57.59m).

European champion Patricia Mamona had achieved their sole win on the first day as she was first in the triple jump with 13.53m, winning by six centimetres from Valencia’s Fatima Diame.

Turkey's Yasemin Can is warming up for another big summer as she bids to defend her European 5000m and 10,000m titles in Berlin and this weekend saw two more successes for her. On Saturday she won the 5000m by over 28 seconds in 15:30.38 and then on Sunday, she was more than seven seconds clear in the 3000m in 8:57.23.

Her clubmate, Bulgaria’s Ivet Lalova-Collio, also had double success. The 2012 European 100m champion won over that distance in 11.32 on Saturday and then completed the sprint double on Sunday, winning the 200m in 23.05.

On the opening day, Enka also celebrated victories in the 400m hurdles with Elif Goren (57.87), the hammer with Kivilcim Salman (69.33m), the 400m with Malgorzata Holub (52.21) and the shot put with European bronze medallist Emel Dereli winning in 17.48m. Tugba Guvenc was Enka’s other winner on Sunday as she took the 3000m steeplechase in 9:53.26.

But as Sporting Clube showed after Enka’s fine first day, it is all about the overall position in each event which can bring so many points.

Valencia proved that too. They did not win an individual event on Sunday but had a series of good runner-up finishes, although they enjoyed a handful of victories on the first day.

Marta Perez won the 1500m in 4:13.02 – she was also second behind Can on Sunday in the 3000m – while Elena Moreno, Diame, Carmen Marco and Maria Isabel Perez combined to win the 4x100m relay in 46.05.

Slovenia’s Martina Ratej, 36, remains one of Europe’s top javelin throwers and she showed her ability on Sunday, achieving maximum points for AD Kladivar by winning the javelin with a season’s best of 64.26m.

Match result

  1. Sporting Clube de Portugal (POR) 166
  2. Enka (Tur) 164
  3. Valencia Esports (ESP) 160
  4. Thames Valley Harriers (GBR) 124
  5. ASD Bracco Athletica (ITA) 102
  6. Sparta AM (DEN) 94
  7. Rotterdam Atletiek (NED) 82
  8. AD Kladivar (SLO) 81
  9. Cercle Athletique Du Brabant Wallon (BEL) 72
  10. AK Spartak Dubnica Nad Vahom (SVK) 54