Germany's Gesa-Felicitas Krause after her 3000m steeplechase victory at the European Team Championships in Lille (© Getty/AFP)
Germany leads the European Team Championships after the second day of competition in Lille, France.
Germany tallied 166 points on Saturday (24), 15.5 ahead of Poland, who ended the day with 149.5.
Host nation France, hampered by withdrawals of some leading names due to injuries – including Floria Gueï, Rénelle Lamote and Jimmy Vicaut – sits in fourth position with 134 points, 10.5 behind Great Britain who is currently third with 144.5.
With six successes, the British squad was neck and neck with Germany all day. While the men’s 4x100m won in a strong 38.08 competition record, the British women’s 4x100m team missed the final exchange zone and didn’t finish, leaving Germany with the victory in a competition record of 42.47 to take the lead in the team standings.
Earlier in the afternoon, Jack Green of Great Britain prevailed in the 400m hurdles in 49.47 as compatriot Dwayne Cowan won a tight 400m in 45.46 to clip 0.29 from his previous pest, ahead of Poland’s Rafal Omelko (45.53) and Italy’s Davide Re (45.56).
Harry Aikines-Aryeetey dominated the 100m against a slight -0.5m/s headwind to clock 10.21, 0.06 ahead of German’s Julian Reus as Netherland’s Churandy Martina finished third in 10.30. Stuart Dutamby of France, who replaced the European co-record-holder Jimmy Vicaut, was a distant eighth in 10.48.
Eilidh Doyle clocked a season’s best of 54.60 to win the 400m hurdles, nearly a second clear of Italy’s Yadisleidy Pedroso, who clocked 55.39. Meanwhile, Dan Bramble succeeded in the long jump with an 8.00m season’s best.
Germany scored maximum points (11) in the women’s 3000m steeplechase courtesy of the world bronze medallist and 2European champion Gesa-Felicitas Krause. The 24-year-old produced a solitary run, breaking off the rest of the field on the first lap en route to her 9:27:03 victory, 15 seconds ahead of her nearest opponents.
France collects three victories
In windy and cloudy conditions, the women’s discus contest featured a head-to-head clash between Frenchwoman Mélina Robert-Michon and Germany’s Nadine Müller.
Robert-Michon, the Olympic silver medallist, took the early lead with a 61.56m opening effort. Then Müller took command thanks to a second-round throw of 62.57m. Robert-Michon added five centimetres to better that mark a round later to clinch her fourth victory at this event.
“I knew it would be hard as the first part of the season was tricky,” said Robert-Michon. "This victory does me good."
France won three of the day’s 20 events. High jumper Mickaël Hanany cleared 2.26m while Carole Zahi was a convincing winner of the 100m in a time of 11.19, just 0.01 shy of her career best. Germany’s Gina Lückenkemper and Britain’s Corinne Humphreys were second and third in 11.35 and 11.50 respectively.
Czech Jakub Vadlejch improved the championship record in the men’s javelin with an 87.95m toss. His compatriot Tomas Stanek did the same in the shot put with a second-round effort of 21.63m, 38 centimetres off his personal best of 22.01m set three weeks ago in Schönebeck, which currently has him sitting third on the season’s world list.
David Storl, the 2011 and 2013 world champion, was second, reaching a season’s best of 21.23m. Poland's Konrad Bukowiecki was third with 20.83m with Frenchman Frédéric Dagée fourth at 20.04m, his first time beyond the 20-metre barrier.
Belarusian Hanna Malyshik took advantage of the absence of world record-holder Anita Wlodarczyk to clinch the women’s hammer with a 74.56m effort.
Lewandowski holds off Wightman
Poland's Marcin Lewandowski responded well to Stockholm IAAF Diamond League winner Jake Wightman’s move over the last bend to take the 1500m. The European indoor champion clocked a 50.50 final lap to win the tactical contest in 3:53.40, ahead of Wightman (3:53.72) and Germany’s Timo Benitz (3:54.28). Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad returned to action following a long injury and wound up fourth in 3:54.54. The three-time Olympic medallist will line up tomorrow for the steeplechase, his specialty.
As expected, Olympic champion Ekaterini Stefanidi of Greece prevailed in the women’s pole vault after topping 4.60m with her second attempt. Only Iryna Zhuk of Belarus managed to stay in the competition this long before exiting after her first attempt at 4.65m. Adding a tactical twist, athletes couldn’t have more than four misses on their scorecard through the entire competition.
Stefanidi seized the opportunity and cleared 4.70m to take the lead before ending with three unsuccessful attempts at 4.82m.
Greece also scored maximum points in the triple jump courtesy of Paraskevi Papahristou, who reached a season’s best of 14.24m.
Quentin Guillon for the IAAF