So two days of the championships are over. Each nation has its own highlights and so do I. The 4th place by Clélia Rard-Reuse of the 100m Hurdles belongs to them, but I was also happy for Cindy Roleder who snatched gold. My favourite picture of Clélia is from last year – let me re-post it.
From an international point of view, the miracles didn’t happen. After Russian whistleblower Yuliya Stepanova had to give up her qualification race yesterday, today Susana Kallur‘s hurdle comeback came to a halt today in the semifinal.
Heptathlon Women: Last second qualifier Michelle Zeltner, Valérie Reggel, and Linda Züblin will be the three Swiss starters, after Ellen Sprunger decided to waive the last opportunity to qualify for the Olympics in the heptathlon. She will concentrate on the 4x100m relay.
The road to the championships were different. Michelle did two heptathlons in Götzis and Ratingen. She missed the Standard by 29 points, but was invited by European Athletics, because less than 30 athletes made it. Valérie had a slower start into the season after a knee surgery. Linda did only a few local competitions, then did a heptathlon attempt in Ratingen where she didn’t finish.
The favourites for the title are from the Netherlands. Nadine Broersen and Anouk Vetter both want to be on the podium before their home crowd. Antoinette Nana Djimou (FRA), Karolina Tyminska (POL), Hanna Kasyanova (UKR), Austra Skuyte (LTU) have PBs over 6500 points, but the two Dutch have better performances in 2016.
110m Hurdles Men: The two best Swiss hurdlers are Tobias Furer (13.66secs) and Brahian Peña (13.86secs). Tobias, the best of the 2015 season has now been challenged by Brahian. Competition is good, so both qualified for the Euros.
Both will be happy with performances that improve their PBs. Gold candidates on paper are Dimitri Bascou (FRA, 13.16), Pascal Martinot-Lagarde (FRA, 12.95), or William Sharman (GBR 13.16).
3000m Steeple Women: Fabienne Schlumpf (9:37.81) will be the Swiss starter in the steeple race. She had a nice victory at the international meeting in Luzern earlier this year. The best on paper in this race is Germany’s Gesa Feliciatas Krause (9:19).
400m Hurdles Women: Lea Sprunger made a big leap forward in her second season over the hurdles. In Geneva she ran her first sub 55 race and suddenly is one of the top European runners. Will she challenge the favourites Zuzana Hejnova (CZE), Denisa Roslova (CZE), and Sara Slott Petersen (DEN)?
This question will be answered on Sunday. In tomorrows qualifying rounds, the top starters will still rest and enter the competition only in the semifinal. In the qualifying round pressure will be on the other two Swiss starters are Petra Fontanive, and Robine Schürmann. Whereas Petra has already clocked under 57 in 2016, Petra was constantly struggling to get to the level of 2015. However, after the last test race in ugly conditions she will be optimistic.
200m Men Semifinals: Alex Wilson ran 20.80 and made it into the semifinal, like over the 100m. With two semifinals, the Europeans are are a big success for him. Now the favourites, Christophe Lemaitre (FRA), Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake (GBR), and Jaisuma Naidi Ndure (NOR), and Churandy Martina (NED) have to play their cards.
400m Hurdles Men Final: In the semifinal, the defending champion Kariem Hussein improved his season best to 48.87 secs. However, he will have strong opponents in the final. Yasmani Copello Escobar (TUR) leads the result list with 48.42. Norway’s Karsten Warholm (48.84) and Jack Green (GBR, 48.98) also clocked under 49 secs. It will be an exciting race. Everything between Gold and Wood is possible.
100m Women Final: The out in the semifinal over 200m was very disappointing for Mujinga Kambundji. Tomorrow, she will be under pressure in the semifinal over 100m. For the second Swiss, Salome Kora, the semifinal should be fun. She ran a new PB in the qualifying round and advanced one round. Expectations more than met.
The hosts are waiting for the first race of the superstar, Dafne Schippers. Will she make a Gold medal in the last race of the day?