Seamless Swoboda powers to the European indoor 60m title in 7.09

Ewa Swoboda
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Poland's Ewa Swoboda lived up to her billing with victory in the 60m at the Glasgow 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships in 7.09

Poland's Ewa Swoboda has been the dominant force of the women's 60m this winter and now she is the European indoor champion, following in the footsteps of Irena Szewinska who won the European indoor sprint title some fifty years prior.

Swoboda, 21, was left with tears and disbelief as she produced a stunning run to triumph in 7.09 from two former champions: the 2015 winner Dafne Schippers, who won silver in a season's best of 7.14, and defending champion Asha Philip who won bronze in 7.15.

For Swoboda, she has now bridged the gap with the 1969 champion Szewinska who was the only other Polish athlete to win the title. Szewinska died at the age of 72 last summer but just months later Poland has a new gold medallist in one of the events which was part of her legacy.

Swoboda, the 2017 European U23 100m champion, was in lane six, with Schippers next to her in five and then Philip in four. But this race was the story of only one woman as the Pole, who shares the European lead this year of 7.08 with Switzerland's Mujinga Kambundji, exploded from her blocks.

She was ahead at 20 metres and was never going to be beaten, extending the small lead she had to an impressive advantage against a field of the highest quality.

As she bounced off the protective matting at the end of the track after taking victory, Swoboda put both hands across her face. She stopped. She sat down. She started to cry and then Schippers came across to start the congratulations.

By the time she was interviewed track side, she still could not talk. "I am really happy with this," Swoboda said, unable to answer any more questions except for the word "yes" when the level of her success was spoke about it.

When she had composed herself, she said later: "I am where I am now, where I love to be. It is so emotional. I have dreamed about this for so many years. When I was at the start I was here with all my thoughts, mentally and physically. It feels so nice that it all happened."

After an indoor season in which she has run so well on the IAAF World Indoor Tour, this was the confirmation on the big stage. In the build-up to this race, Swoboda had won five of her six finals - her sole defeat coming in Dusseldorf against treble world sprint medallist Marie Josee Ta Lou from the Ivory Coast.

Great Britain's Kristal Awuah was fourth in a personal best of 7.15 - missing out on the bronze medal by just 0.001 - with Kambundji fifth in 7.16.

Volko edges out Barnes to seal men's 60m title

Two years ago in Belgrade, Jan Volko from Slovakia was second behind Richard Kilty in the final of the 60m. But now he is the champion, not that he could believe it. "It is unreal," said Volko after a powerful win in a race that was so close, taking gold in 6.60 from Turkey's Emre Zafer Barnes in 6.61 and the Netherlands' Joris Van Gool in 6.62.

"I don't remember much of the race. I was running and then suddenly I turned around and my name was on the board. I just felt amazing. I have the gold but the talent around me was amazing."

Kilty, who was bidding for a third title in a row, was fourth in 6.66. The omens had not been good when he was not named in the British team but he more than justified his special invitation by European athletics. However, this was Volko's night.

Like Swoboda, he was a champion at the 2017 European U23 championships in Bydgoszcz when he won the 200m and now he has first senior title in a year where he will build towards the IAAF World Championships in Doha.

Volko's strength was so important as he came through for glory in a race where it was impossible to see with the naked eye who had finished first.

Barnes said: "I came out of the blocks well, I thought I was in front at the start. I got hit on the arm near the end and it knocked me off balance, so I had to recover from that."

There was drama in the heptathlon as leader Martin Roe from Norway looked to stretch his advantage having moved in front after the third discipline, the shot put. In the high jump, Roe was left needing medical treatment after his third failure at 1.95m having cleared 1.92m.

Roe hit the side of his head on the upright pole holding the bar and was left sprawled across the mat as he was attended to. He left the arena with blood still clearly on his face.

Great Britain's Tim Duckworth was in front at the interval with 1943 and he goes into the second day in charge with 3533 points after winning the high jump 2.13m to bank 925 points.

Going into the last event of the day, Roe had led with with 2641 after a score of 15.60m for the shot won by Belarusian Vitali Zhuk who had a superb personal best of 16.32m with the last go of the first round.

Estonia's Karl Robert Saluri was second with 2624 after his shot of 13.84m with Duckworth third with 2608 after 12.89m, though Zhuk was last overall in 12th place with 2417 despite this victory.

But overnight Duckworth is ahead from Sweden's Frederick Samuelsson with 3475 and Spain's Jorge Urena with 3443. Roe is sixth with 3372.