Heartbreak as Healy finishes fourth to end individual run in Berlin

Will Downing

Phil Healy’s individual run has come to an end at the European Athletics Championships in Berlin, after a gallant display in the women’s 200m semi-finals – but still has the 4x100m relay to come.

Healy finished fourth in her semi 23.23 seconds, with reigning world champion Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands taking the victory in 22.69 in her search for a fourth individual European outdoor title.

Britain’s Beth Dobbin was second in 22.84, with Swiss Sarah Atcho third in 22.88.

Only the top two plus next two fastest losers were slated to progress.

Phil Healy finishes 4th. ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Healy, whose run to Berlin included setting new Irish records over both 100m and 200m, had got through this morning from the opening round heats, placing third in a creditable 23.34 seconds.

The Bandon sprinter’s Irish record is 22.99, and is the first Irish woman to hold both 100 and 200m Irish records simultaneously since Michelle Carroll in 1978.

Healy said: “There were girls who beat me in the heats this morning who I beat in this, so I’m really happy with being 11th overall.

It’s my third-fastest time ever, coming in my fourth race of the week.

“What I produced this morning is now my fifth-fastest time.

“There was stuff I needed to improve from this morning and I did that this evening.

“I’m really happy that I can take this onto the 4x1 this weekend.”

Defending 200m and new European 100m champion Dina Asher-Smith of Britain won the first semi-final in 22.33 ahead of former European 100m champ Ivet Lalova-Collio of Bulgaria.

22.58 was the winning time for Jamile Samuel of the Netherlands as she took the third and last of the semi-finals, ahead of Mujinga Kumbundji of Switzerland with 22.84.

This on the night when a 17-year-old schoolboy was crowned European 1500m champion.

But no ordinary schoolboy from an ordinary family – at one stage, all three Ingebrigsten brothers held the top three positions – Henrik, Filip and Jakob.

Jakob, born in September 2000, won European junior gold over both 5000m and the 3000m steeplechase last year in Grosseto, and came into Berlin having won silver and bronze at the World U20s in Tampere last month.

The younger Ingebrigtsen pushed up in the final straight as his older brothers fell away, and was almost pipped on the line by 2010 European champion Marcin Lewandowsi of Poland, but held out to win by a mere four-hundredths of a second – 3:38.10 to 3:38.14 in a dramatic, thrilling and almost unfathomable finish.

In the process, he dethroned the champion from two years ago – his brother Filip.

Britain’s Jake Wightman, who was putting up the strongest challenge with 50 metres to go, was third on 3:38.25.

Oldest brother Henrik was fourth after a late surge almost forced him back into the medals, and as a result, his last four European 1500m finals have seen him finish chronologically first, second, third and fourth.

All three Ingebrigtsen brothers have now been European 1500m champion – Henrik in 2012, Filip in 2016, and Jakob now – an incredible, ludicrous case of strong family ties.

For once, the Borlées paled by comparison in their 400m jaunt.

2010 European champion Kevin won silver and twin brother Jonathan was in bronze position behind Britain’s Matthew Hudson-Smith in the men’s 400m final – the Wolverhampton speedster winning his first major individual international title in 44.78 seconds.

For Jonathan Borlée, it was his first ever individual Championship medal after three European relay golds alongside his brothers.

Belgium’s glory continued with Nafi Thiam setting a world lead of 6816 points to win the heptathlon in Berlin.

The Belgian awesomely threw beyond 57 metres in the javelin, and only had 57 points to spare over Commonwealth champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson, who won the closing 800m by a large margin to complete a lifetime best of 6759 points. Carolin Schäfer of Germany was third.

A bronze-medallist in Amsterdam two years ago, Lea Sprunger is now European champion for the first time after coming good in the women’s 400m hurdles.

The Swiss ex-heptathlete set a new European lead to win in 54.33 seconds, ahead of Ukraine’s Anna Ryzhykova, whose compatriot Nataliya Pryshchepa retained her 800m crown.

Former European indoor champion Pascal Martinot-Lagarde swept to men’s 110m hurdles glory for France, given the decision over neutral athlete and twice champion Sergey Shubenkov by 0.002 of a second – both clocked 13.17.

Another Russian athlete competing under the neutral European Athletics flag, the great high-jumper Mariya Lasitskene, cleared two metres only to see Bulgaria’s Mirela Demireva do the same, but Lasitskene won on countback.

Marie-Laurence Jungfleisch of Germany was third.

The home nation did strike gold in the women’s javelin though, thanks to a mammoth throw of 67.90 from Christin Hussong for her first ever major Championship medal – and a Championship record to boot.

Glory too for Greece with Paraskevi Papahristou bagging the women’s triple jump, and the evening concluding with Thomas Barr receiving his European 400m hurdles bronze medal in a midnight ceremony at Kaiser Wilhelm Kirche in Berlin city centre.


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