Maria Karastamati 11.03sec - Euro U23 - 17July05


Karastamáti runs world-class 100m – Euro U23 Champs, Day Three
Sunday 17 July 2005
Erfurt, Germany - With virtually all of the qualifying rounds completed the first two days, the European U23 Championships turned its attention to the awarding of medals on Saturday (16 July).

Russia, as expected, immediately took charge with five event wins. Combined with the three gold medals from Friday, the Russians now have eight wins out of the twenty-four disciplines decided thus far. France and Germany have three each.

Championship record

The most imposing result of the day came with Greek María Karastamáti’s 11.03 victory in the women’s 100 metres, an U23 championships record. She was the bronze medallist from last winter’s European Indoor Championships. Jacques-Sebastien ran a PB 11.46 for the silver.

Close women’s 400m – hot men’s semis

After the hotly contested semifinals yesterday, the men’s 400 metres was a highly-anticipated final. Alas, the gritty runs turned in by the finalists - six of the seven in today’s final had run a PB yesterday - left the entire field in a state of exhaustion. Expected winner Robert Tobin of Great Britain, with a year best of 45.01, needed only 46.81 to win his first European title. It was not a walk-over for the lean Briton, however, as Germany’s Kamghe Gaba mounted a late challenge which Tobin was able to overcome. Gaba won the silver in 47.07.

The women’s 400 metres was an exciting affair which came tantalizingly close to producing a major upset. Olga Zaytseva moved out to an expected early lead, and came off the final curve heading for an easy win. After a conservative opening 200, Christine Ohuruogu of Great Britain showed her finishing power, chewing up Zaytseva’s lead and coming close to claiming an impressive win.

After a delay to read the photo, Zaytseva received the nod as the European U23 champion with a 50.72 clocking, with Ohuruogu only 0.01 behind in 50.73.

Final hurdle crash but holds on for gold

British runners continued to light up the track as Rhys Williams took the men’s 400 Hurdles in a PB 49.60. The Welsh runner could easily have run faster had he not crashed into the final hurdle. Williams was fortunate to have maintained his balance, which allowed him to fend off the fast-closing Minás Alozídis of Greece, whose 50.04 took the silver.

Danut Simion of Romania, the only entrant in the men’s Long Jump to exceed eight metres in qualifying, also dominated the final today with a PB 8.12 for the win. Dmitriy Sapinsky of Russia slipped in a fifth-round 8.01 to take the silver from Povilas Mykolaitis of Lithuania, who ended with the bronze at 8.00.

The second of the day’s two championships records came with Robert Harting’s 64.50 win in the men’s Discus Throw. The German held off Poland’s Piotr Malachowski, who took silver with 63.99.

Another near-upset came in the Women’s High Jump. Sweden’s Emma Green -a member of the same training group as Kajsa Bergqvist and Christian Olsson -forged a perfect jump slate up through 1.92, a height at which U23 leader Tatyana Kivimyagi needed three attempts.

The Russian then had a first-jump success at 1.94 to snare the gold medal from Green.

Both steeplechase gold medals fell into Polish hands, as Radoslaw Poplawski and Katarzyna Kowalska sprinted away from trouble in the last stages of their events. Their winning times were 8:32.61 and 9:54.17, respectively.

French stunners – 800m and Pole Vault

After several averted upsets, one finally did occur in the men’s 800 metres, as Kevin Hautcoeur of France outkicked favourite Manuel Olmedo over the last twenty metres for the gold medal in a pedestrian 1:51.29.

Despite tying up noticeably at the end, Olmedo miraculously was able to salvage the silver in 1:51.47, as Germany’s René Bauschinger took the bronze in 1:51.49.

Minutes after Hautcoeur’s stunning win, Damiel Dossevi added another French gold with his 5.75 PB win in the Men’s Pole Vault. Fabian Schulze of Germany saw his 5.65 produce the silver, as another French vaulter, Jérôme Clavier, tied with Finland’s Matti Mononen for the bronze.

Simone La Mantia of Italy, having already won the Women’s Triple Jump before her final attempt, used the euphoria of the moment to add to her lead, ending with a 14.43. Only one other competitor surpassed fourteen metres as Svetlana Bolshakova of Russia took silver with a PB 14.11.

Ed Gordon for the IAAF