Family affairs continue with combined wins at the European Athletics Championships

Family affairs continue with combined wins at the European Athletics Championships
Kevin, right, and Jonathan Borlée of Belgium celebrate winning silver and bronze medals respectively in the Men's 400m event during Day 4 of the 2018 European Athletics Championships at Berlin in Germany. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile.

by Will Downing

The family affairs have continued in Berlin with Jakob Ingebrigtsen leading home brother Henrik to complete an astonishing 1500-5000 double, while the three Borlée brothers combined to win another gold in the men’s 4x400m relay at the European Athletics Championships in Berlin.

The night after stunning all of Europe by winning the 1500m crown at the age of 17, Jakob ludicrously did it again in the 5000.

Coming head-to-head with the new 10,000m champion Morhad Amdouni of France, the younger Ingebrigsten scored another trememndous success, seeing off oldest brother Henrik into second place by almost two seconds, clocking a new European Junior record of 13:17.06.

Amdouni was third.

The three sprinting Borlée brothers – Dylan, Kevin and Jonathan – looked for a long time that it would not be their night in the men’s 4x400m relay, where Spain were dominant.

However, Bruno Hortelano tied up on the final 50 metres of his leg, and was overhauled by Kevin Borlée, who brought the Belgians home in a European-lead time of 2:59.47.

Britain came through in second to relegate the Spanish to third.

Poland continued their great record in the women’s 4x400 relay, with the European indoor champions taking the outdoor crown too, in 3:26.59 thanks to a blistering final leg from Justyna Swiety. France won silver, Britain bronze.

Swiety had started the night by coming from behind to win the women’s 400m crown in astonishing fashion.

Maria Belibasáki was all set to win for Greece when Swiety’s presence alongside caused her to stumble and fall over the line, costing her gold.

Swiety won in a European lead 50.41 seconds, with unfortunate Belibasáki still setting a Greek national record 50.45.

Bronze-medallist Lisanne de Witte set a new Dutch national mark of 50.77.

It completed three Polish gold medals on the night, as Adam Kszczot won his third consecutive men’s 800m title by romping home in 1:44.59.

Silver-medallist Andreas Kramer ran a Swedish record 1:45.03 in the silver medal position, and pierre-Ambroise Bosse was third.

Kszczot has also won three European crowds indoors and is reigning world indoor champion.

Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith competed the women’s sprint double by successfully defending her 200m title, absolutely beating Dafne Schippers out the gate.

Asher-Smith’s winning time of 21.89 was a European lead and a new British record, with Schippers second in 22.14, and team-mate Jamile Samuel third in 22.37, an equal lifetime best.

Germany had a great night in the field, winning the men’s high jump through Mateusz Przybylko, an equal lifetime best of 2.35 metres fending off Belarussian Maksim Nedasekau, while the women’s long jump crown went to Malaika Mihambo, who hit the front in round three with an effort of 6.75m and stayed there.

Maryna Bekh of Ukraine came within two centimetres of victory on 6.73, with British duo Shara Proctor (6.70) and Jazmin Sawyers (6.67) third and fourth.

A third field crown was almost secured in the women’s discus, where for a long time Nadine Müller led.

Eternal champion and 100/1-ON favourite Sandra Perkovic only came good in the penultimate round, by hurtling out a throw of 67.62, with Müller leading home a trio of Germans – Shanice Craft won bronze, Claudine Vita was fourth.

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