Johansson remains on course for double gold after 100m hurdles title

Tilde Johansson
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Sweden's Tilde Johansson smashed her lifetime best in the 100m hurdles at the Boras 2019 European Athletics U20 Championships

Sweden's Tilde Johansson is on course to win two gold medals on home soil at the Boras 2019 European Athletics U20 Championships after storming to the 100m hurdles title on the third evening of competition at the Ryavallen Stadium.

The 100m hurdles isn’t even Johansson’s primary event - the blue bib denoting the European U20 leader was worn by Poland’s Pia Skrzyszowska - but the 18-year-old stormed clear of Skrzyszowska over the last three barriers to win gold in a lifetime best and European U20 lead of 13.16 - a significant improvement on her previous PB of 13.38.

This was Johansson’s second competition of the day after qualifying for the long jump final during the morning session with 6.48m. Johansson is the reigning European U18 champion in that event and she will bid for her second gold medal of the championships tomorrow morning.

“I just focused on my own lane, didn’t pay any attention to any of the others and only have a quick start, finish it the way I did and get the gold,” she said. 

Johansson might not have led the European U20 list in the 100m hurdles but she does lead the world U20 list in the long jump with 6.73m and she has produced some narrow no-jumps during the course of the season far in excess of her lifetime best. 

Skrzyszowska bettered her previous European U20 lead with 13.35 to win silver while 16-year-old Lucy-Jane Matthews, the youngest athlete in the field, improved the British U18 record for the second time at the championships with 13.38 to win bronze. 

Hunt wins one of three gold medals for the Brits on the track

Amy Hunt followed up her recent world U18 best of 22.42 in Mannheim with three supremely dominant races to win the 200m in Boras.

Hunt was by far the fastest in the heats (23.23) and semifinal (23.14) and the 17-year-old brought this form through to the final, breaking the 23 second-barrier in spite of a significant headwind and a heavy schedule of three races in 24 hours.

Hunt was level with Belgium’s Lucie Ferauge - the other semifinal winner this morning - off the bend but the Brit maintained her form superbly in the home straight, powering to the gold medal in 22.94 and opening up a sizeable winning margin of almost seven-tenths from France’s Gemima Joseph (23.60) with Ferauge taking bronze in 23.63.

“I had an amazing start for once, really powered around the first bit of the bend and tried to maintain it in the second half and I really went for it down the home straight. It is incredible. It has been a quick turnaround but a great learning curve,” said Hunt.

With a more favourable wind, Hunt could have eclipsed future two-time Olympic champion Barbel Eckert’s 46-year-old championship record of 22.85 but Hunt could get a second bite of the cherry as she will be eligible for the 2021 European U20 Championships which take place in Tallinn, Estonia.

Hunt won one of three gold medals for the Brits on the track. Inaugural European U18 champion Isabelle Boffey ran down Switzerland’s pre-race favourite Delia Sclabas - who won the 1500/3000m titles at those championships in 2016 - to win the 800m title in a near-one second PB of 2:02.92 from Sclabas (2:03.36) and Keely Hodgkinson (2:03.40).

“It was such a good race and I am so happy with myself that I went for it in the last 250m because it paid off. I knew someone was going to go for it and [Sclabas] did but I knew if I ran my own race I could challenge with my kick,” said Boffey.

Joshua Zeller won the third gold medal of the day for the Brits in the 110m hurdles, leading from the gun and opening a gap of nearly two-tenths across the 10 barriers. Zeller, who held the European U20 lead prior to the championships, won in 13.39 (-1.7) from Mark Heiden from the Netherlands (13.58) and France’s Paul Chabauty (13.64). 

Spain’s Enrique Llopis, who was second on the European U20 list and impressed in the heats with a relaxed 13.52 clocking, had to settle for fourth in 13.66.