Home favourite Johansson opens account with 100m hurdles heat victory

Tilde Johansson
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Sweden's Tilde Johansson sailed into the 100m hurdles final at the Boras 2019 European Athletics U20 Championships

Tilde Johansson began her campaign for two gold medals at the Boras 2019 European Athletics U20 Championships with a slick display in the 100m hurdles heats.

Johansson might be better known for her long jump exploits - she leads the world U20 list with 6.73m and has had some no-jumps this season around the seven metre-line - but she is also second on the European U20 list with 13.38. She was the second fastest across the three heats but she was arguably the most impressive qualifier, clocking 13.45 to win the second heat against a 2.3 m/s headwind.

Johansson will be one of the busiest athletes at the championships but the 18-year-old is used to it after also dabbling in the combined events. She said: “I'm doing the double - long jump and 100m hurdles, so I take it as it comes - it's just a normal routine for me.”

Pia Skrzyszowska won the first heat in 13.44 against a 1.1 m/s headwind while Great Britain’s Lucy-Jane Matthews, 16, won the third heat in a national U20 record of 13.52. Norway’s European U18 champion Martine Hjornevik also qualified in 13.64.

Mills regains overall heptathlon lead

Great Britain’s Holly Mills won the European U18 title in the long jump three years ago and she capitalised on her strongest event by setting the best distance across the two pools.

Just as she was in the 100m hurdles on the first day, Mills was unfortunate with the wind again but she still reached out to 6.30m despite the handicap of a 1.3 m/s headwind.

Mills trailed Vicente by two points overnight but the Brit takes a narrow lead into the javelin with a tally of 4506 points. Vicente produced the second best mark of the day of 6.25m to improve her score to 4405 points. 

Switzerland’s Annik Kalin kept up her title prospects with a first round jump of 6.16m to move up one place from her overnight position ahead of Ireland’s Kate O’Connor - 4405 to 4311 points.

O’Connor might have temporarily dropped out of the medal positions but the 18-year-old Irish senior record-holder is by far the best javelin thrower of the four title aspirants with a lifetime best of 49.46m. She also has a lifetime best of 2:15.87 in the 800m. 

By contrast, Mills’ lifetime best stands at 32.95m but the Brit is still applying herself well in just the second heptathlon of her career.

Sclabas reaches her second final of the championships

Two years after winning the 3000m title, Switzerland’s Delia Sclabas is attempting an ambitious 800/1500m double at the championships and the 18-year-old progressed through to her second final without expending too much energy.

Running her third race in the space of 18 hours having contested heats of the 800m and 1500m yesterday, Sclabas controlled the pace right from the gun to win in 2:06.43 off a 60.82 first lap. Sclabas will face some strong British opposition in the final with European U18 champions Isabelle Boffey (2:05.22) and Keely Hodgkinson (2:05.40) looking impressive in the second semifinal. 

Even though Max Burgin isn’t at the championships due to injury, the British triumvirate of Finley McLear (1:48.82), Oliver Dustin (1:51.85) and Ben Pattison (1:52.07) also progressed through to the 800m final

Aksana Gataullina, the daughter of former European champion Rodion Gataullin, entered at the qualifying height of 4.15m in pole vault qualifying which she duly cleared on her first attempt. But one notable absentee from the final is Germany’s European U18 champion Leni Freyja Wildgrube who no-heighted at 3.90m.

Another athlete competing at the championships with a very recognisable surname is Martynas Alekna, the father of two-time Olympic champion Virgilijus. Alekna qualified for the discus final with the fifth best throw of the morning with 57.30m. 

The two pools were led by Spain’s world U20 leader Yasiel Brayan Sotero with 60.18m while Czech twins Jakub and Michal Forejt also achieved the automatic qualifying distance with 59.50m and 59.29m respectively.