Asher-Smith storms to European sprint double
BERLIN – Agence France-Presse
Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith won the 200m at the European athletics championships on Aug. 11 to complete the sprint double.
The 22-year-old defending champion triumphed in 21.89sec, the best time in the world this year.
Olympic Games silver medalist Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands was second in 22.14sec to add to her bronze in the 100m.
Another Dutchwoman Jamile Samuel was third in 22.37sec.
Asher-Smith would bid for an historic treble when she runs in the 4x100m relay final on Aug. 12.
While Asher-Smith was celebrating her double gold, France’s Mahiedine Mekhissi gave up on his dream of a similar achievement when he pulled out of the 5000m, ending his hopes of a sixth career continental title.
The French Athletics Federation (FFA) gave no reason for the decision made by the 33-year-old who on Thursday claimed a fifth European title by winning the 3000m steeplechase.
Mekhissi, a three-time Olympic and two-time world medallist, added the 2018 steeplechase title to wins in 2010, 2012 and 2016. He also took gold in the 1500m in 2014.
The Frenchman joined the trio of German Harald Schmid and British pair Roger Black and Mo Farah as the sole athletes to have won five outdoor golds on the continental stage.
“I would like to breathe a little bit,” Mekhissi said after his win on Aug. 9.
“You are talking to me about the 5000m, but for the moment I am not thinking about the 5000m. I want to enjoy my 3000m steeplechase and tomorrow we’ll see.
“If I do not want to run, I will not run, I’ve been so deep that I feel empty.”
Poland’s Adam Kszczot won a third successive men’s 800m title, taking revenge on French runner Pierre-Ambroise Bosse who defeated him for the gold at the world championships in London last year.
Kszczot, 28, won in a time of 1min 44.59sec with Sweden’s Andreas Kramer taking silver and Bosse managing third place.
Poland’s Justyna Swiety-Ersetic took victory in the women’s 400m in 50.41sec, the best European time this season.
The 25-year-old finished ahead of Greece’s Maria Belibasaki (50.45) and Lisanne de Witte who was third in a new Dutch record of 50.77.