When Lynsey Sharp failed to make the 800m world championship final in Beijing, the pain on her face told its own story.
But on Sunday in Berlin, she made up for that disappointment in glorious fashion with the fastest run of her career to put herself within touching distance of the record time set by the 800m superstar she looks up to.
Sharp, the 2012 European champion and 2014 runner-up, triumphed in 1:57.71 at the Istaf by breaking her personal best by over a second with the third best time by a Briton and the quickest by a Briton since Kelly Holmes won Olympic gold in Athens in 1:56.38 in 2004.
Equally important to take into the winter, Sharp beat Maryna Arzamasova, of Belarus, the European and new world champion.
After an opening lap of 57.65, Arzamasova moved in front on the back straight but then Germany’s Fabienne Kohlmann and Sharp broke away from her.
As they turned for home, Sharp had too much for the rest with Kohlmann taking second place in a personal best (1:58.34) with Arzamasova third (1:58.88).
Holmes went on to win the 800m and 1500m Olympic double in Athens and as Sharp celebrated her success, a tweet from her included:
Now she has broken this new barrier, Sharp can even go one better than her idol – by starting to eye Holmes’ British record of 1.56.21, a time which celebrates its 20th anniversary this Wednesday.
Schwanitz’s double success
It was a good few days for Germany’s world shot put champion Christina Schwanitz, who has been suffering from a slight knee injury but still won twice in front of her home fans.
On Friday, Schwanitz triumphed at the 12th Thum throwing meeting with 19.97m as she beat Chile’s Natalia Duco (17.91m) and in Berlin on Sunday, the distance of 19.66m was enough to defeat American Michelle Carter (19.19m).
In Thum, her German teammate David Storl, who won silver in Beijing, was second again (21.18m) behind New Zealand’s Tom Walsh (21.22m) and in Berlin it was a similar story.
Storl went a centimetre further this time but Walsh won once more (21.47m).
Poland celebrated two wins in Berlin, with world champion Piotr Malachowski (66.13m) best in the discus and Piotr Lisek (5.74m) taking the pole vault on countback from Greece’s Konstadínos Filippídis.
Serbia’s Ivana Spanovic (6.60m) won the long jump, Germany’s Kathrin Klaas (72.09m) was first in the hammer, while Israel’s national javelin record-holder Marharyta Dorozhon (63.24m) beat Germany’s world champion Kathrina Molitor (61.19m).
There are 58 European meetings this week, with full details at www.european-athletics.org/calendar