Laura Muir retains the European title while Dina Asher-Smith settles for 200 million silver

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Britain’s Laura Muir claimed her fourth medal of a “mad” summer with gold in the 1,500m at the European Championships, while Zharnel Hughes also cost victory in Munich.

Muir, who won bronze at the World Championships and gold and bronze at the Commonwealth Games, rode to an overwhelming victory to defend the title she won in Berlin four years ago.

Hughes was also an impressive winner of the men’s 200m ahead of teammate Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake, but Dina Asher-Smith had to settle for silver in the women’s behind Switzerland’s Mujinga Kambundji.

Muir was happy to sit at the back of the field in the early stages before moving to the front with two laps to go and the 29-year-old Scotsman then going home with just over 400m to go.

Ireland’s Ciara Mageean struggled to keep Muir in her sights, but the Olympic silver medalist was too strong and crossed the finish line in 4:01.08, Mageean was 1.48 seconds behind.

Poland’s Sofia Ennaoui took bronze ahead of Britain’s Katie Snowden and Ellie Baker was eighth.

Speaking of the busy schedule of the Championships this year, Muir told the BBC: “It looked tough on paper but it actually did in person – never again!

“It was an amazing and unique opportunity that we would never get three champions in one year let alone five weeks in the summer. It was just crazy, but I was like, ‘You know what, I want to try’.

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“My goal was to get a medal in all three, which I managed to do, but to win the Commonwealths and win here, I’m so happy.

“That was the hardest part. It looked the easiest on paper, one event, just two laps so physically it was the easiest of the three but it was so tough mentally. It was the most difficult race I have ever run.”

Hughes added gold in the 200m to his silver in the 100m after setting a season-best 20.07 seconds, with Charlie Dobson threatening to make it a British one-two before being edged out by Italy’s Filippo Tortu.

“I’m so happy,” Hughes said. “My coach and I talked about it earlier in the season and we just extended our program to stay healthy.

“For us, the European Championship was above all a mental game because we knew we were fit. We just had to make sure my mental toughness was at the same level and I think I did a great job with that.”

Asher-Smith, who has endured a difficult season with injuries, ran faster in the final than in her semifinals but failed to catch Kambundji, who claimed gold in a time of 22.32 seconds.

“Obviously I came here to win so I’m not particularly happy but in the end Mujinga put on a better race – she’s been improving for ages so congratulations,” said Asher-Smith, whose teammate Jodie Williams finished fourth became.

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“I really thought I was in a little better shape but at the same time I finished second so that’s it.”

Lawrence Okoye won bronze in the discus with his first-round throw of 67.14 m, Sweden’s Simon Pettersson was fourth just an inch behind.

Okoye, who spent several years away from athletics while pursuing a career in the NFL, was in tears after becoming Britain’s first European medalist in men’s discus.

“It’s been a tough year for me in so many ways and to do what I did today just means the world to me,” Okoye said. “After some of the things I experienced, winning a medal in that area, I just couldn’t hold it back.

“Everyone knows I’ve had a great shot in me for a long time and hopefully this is the start of great things for me.”

Earlier in the day, Olympic gold medalist Tom Pidcock overcame an early fall to win gold in mountain bike cross-country.

“It was a pretty tough race,” said Pidcock. “I kind of made it difficult for myself because on this course at this speed, driving alone up front makes it all the more difficult.

“I crashed in the first corner – at least it was dry. Otherwise it would have been an even bigger crash but luckily it wasn’t that bad and I managed to get back up front.

“There are still a couple of world championships (this year) so I’m not done yet.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/general/athletics/laura-muir-dina-asher-smith-european-athletics-b2148924.html Laura Muir retains the European title while Dina Asher-Smith settles for 200 million silver

Fry Electronics Team

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