Ekaterini Stefanidi of Greece wins the European pole vault title in Amsterdam (© Getty Images)
Ekaterini Stefanidi produced a championship record to win the pole vault to highlight day four of the European Championships in Amsterdam on Saturday (9).
The Greek vaulter handled the swirling winds in Amsterdam’s Olympic Stadium with aplomb, claiming gold by clearing first time at each height up to 4.70m.
The 2014 silver medallist then had the bar set to 4.81m – one up on Yelena Isinbayeva’s best from Gothenburg in 2006. She failed her first two attempts after struggling with the crosswind, and though she left the bar rattling with her third effort, it stayed put.
“I am ecstatic,” the 26-year-old said. “With 4.70m I was pretty sure I had won the title, but I also wanted the championship record.”
And she got it, as well as her first European title.
Germany’s Lisa Ryzih cleared 4.70m at the second attempt before retiring with a tender hamstring. Swede Angelica Bengtsson went over a season’s best of 4.65m to claim the bronze.
Can completes distance double
Yasemin Can of Turkey sealed a distance double by taking gold in the women’s 5000m. Three nights on from running away with the 10,000m title, it was largely the same story again, as she pulled away early and sustained the gap to cross the line in 15:18.15.
The battle behind Can was a more engaging affair. The chasing pack slowly split up as the laps passed, and Sweden’s Meraf Bafta emerged strongest as she won silver in 15:20.54. Briton Steph Twell also closed strongly to take bronze in 15:20.70 – a brilliant performance from a woman who has struggled with injuries more than most.
There were records of another sort in the women’s javelin.
Tatsiana Khaladovich went out to 66.34m – the third best throw in the world this year – in round two to improve her own Belarusian record and win the gold medal.
Sara Kolak produced a third-round 63.50m for a Croatian record, although it was only enough for bronze after Germany’s Linda Stahl pulled out a last-round 65.25m for silver.
World record-holder and world leader Barbora Spotakova looked short of her best, only able to reach 62.66m to finish fifth behind world champion Katharina Molitor.
World discus champion Piotr Malachowski added another European gold to his collection. The Pole hit 67.06m in the fourth round to pick up his second continental title.
Philip Milanov of Belgium took silver with 65.71m. Bronze went to Estonian Gerd Kanter, his 65.27m second-round effort his best of his series and his season.
A European lead and personal best of 17.20m from Max Hess won the German triple jump gold. The world indoor silver medallist’s winning mark was his only legal jump of the contest, having fouled three and passed on two of his other efforts.
Poland’s Karol Hoffmann produced a personal best of his own (17.16m) in round three to claim silver over Britain's Julian Reid, whose opening 16.76m was enough for bronze.
Brothers rejoice in 1500m
Norway’s Henrik Ingebrigtsen had the fastest personal best of the field coming into the 1500m final and was favourite for the title in Amsterdam. Yet it was his younger brother Filip who prevailed in a cagey race.
A leisurely 2:10 for the first 800m meant it was always going to be thus, with Filip Ingebrigtsen having the most left in his legs after the race took off at the bell. He was stunned as he took gold in 3:46.65.
“This is incredible. I can’t believe I’ve won,” he said, relishing the title all the more after failing to make the final two years ago.
Henrik, who took silver in the same event two years ago and gold in 2012, came home for bronze in 3:47.18. Sandwiched between the two was Spaniard David Bustos, who claimed silver in 3:46.90.
Dimitri Bascou won gold in the 110m hurdles in 13.25. He had been fastest in the semis (13.20) and stepped up in the final to claim his first senior title.
“I am very excited,” said the proud Frenchman. “I made a little mistake but luckily I could go on.”
Balazs Baji produced a Hungarian record to claim silver in 13.28. Another Frenchman, world junior champion Wilhem Belocian, ran 13.33 for bronze.
The women’s 800m was won by Ukraine's Nataliya Pryshchepa. The race was there to be won with all eight runners bunched up as they hit 600m in 1:29.67.
Coming off the final bend, Pryshchepa – who has seen her personal best improve by more than five seconds this year – had to use her hands as well as feet to squeeze through a gap between Rennelle Lamote of France and Selina Buchel of Switzerland. The space opened with 30 metres to go, and she rifled through to claim Ukraine’s first gold of the championships in 1:59.70.
Lamote held on for silver in 2:00.19, but Buchel was run down by Sweden's Lovisa Lindh, who took bronze with a personal best of 2:00.37.
British teams set relay standard
In the day’s qualifying rounds, the British teams owned the relays. Each of the men’s and women’s teams in both the 4x100m and 4x400m were fastest overall. They will be favourites for all four titles in tomorrow’s finals.
Germany's two-time world champion David Storl was the best in shot put qualifying, throwing his way into the final with a first-time 20.84m. The men’s high jump was a breeze for world indoor champion Gianmarco Tamberi, who had no failures on his way to clearing 2.25m to advance.
Later in the day Sara Slott Petersen, fourth at the World Championships last year, was quickest in the 400m hurdles semis in 55.59.
Thomas Byrne for the IAAF