Euro Indoor Women — Muir Thrills The Locals

Skillful advance planning allowed Laura Muir to thrill the locals in both the 1500 & 3000. (MARK SHEARMAN)

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND, March 01-03—The 2019 European Indoor Championships timetable had been set in stone just under 2 years ago, after Laura Muir had done the 1500/3000 double with a pair of championship records at the last Euros in Belgrade and it was a long-range gamble that paid off for the organizers as her wins at the Emirates Arena raised the roof at the end of both the first and last days in Glasgow.

Muir, very much the local heroine, as she had until recently been studying Veterinary Science at the University of Glasgow, eased through her 1500 heat in 4:09.28 early in the Friday evening session before returning to the track 2½ hours later to contest the longer distance which, unlike in the Serbian capital, was being run as a straight final. Her expected main rival, Germany’s Portland-based Konstanze Klosterhalfen, had clocked an 8:32.47 NR just two weeks before and tried to take the sting out of Muir’s renowned finish by pushing hard from the halfway point.

The list-leading German reached 2K in 5:48.92 and then continued to work hard at the front but she just couldn’t shake off the favorite, who took the lead just before the bell and covered the last lap in 28.32 to cross the line in 8:30.61, taking more than 5 seconds off her Belgrade meet record of 8:35.67.

With the benefit of almost two days’ rest, Muir was the prohibitive favorite for Sunday’s 1500 and fulfilled her role in style in the meet’s last individual final on the track. She went into the lead shortly after the gun and then led all the way to the line. Poland’s Sofia Ennaoui courageously tried to stay with her as the pair opened a big gap over the rest of the field but when Muir surged with 2 laps to go, the race was effectively over. Muir went through the last 800 in 2:03.87 and crossed the line in 4:05.92, 25m in front of Ennaoui and although she was just over 3 seconds outside her meet record it was a devastating display that will serve as a warning to the rest of the world ahead of the summer. “I had Plans A, B, C and D,” said Muir, after clinching her second gold. “But that was Plan A.” Her impressive performance had IAAF President Seb Coe, no mean miler himself, touting her claims as a 1500 gold medal contender in Doha, after just missing out on the podium in London two years ago when she finished 4th.

The first day also saw Katarina Johnson-Thompson put together a pentathlon tally of 4983, the No. 4 total ever. The Briton produced a hugely consistent high-quality series including jumps of 6-5 (1.96) and 21-5¼ (6.53), but the performance that gave her the most satisfaction was her weakest event, PRing in the shot with a 43-1¾ (13.15). For only the second time ever indoors, 5 women went better than 4700 in the same competition.

As with Karsten Warholm on the men’s side, the focus of attention this summer for Switzerland’s Léa Sprunger will be the 400H but without any barriers to bother her in Glasgow she sped to a world-leading 51.61 over 2 laps of the track.

The jumps provided most of the other women’s highlights. Two-time defending champion Ivana Španović was behind the Belarusian surprise Nastassia Mironchyk-Ivanova, who had leapt 22-9 (6.93) with her opener, until she flew out to 22-11¼ (6.99) in round 5 for a share of the world lead and her third consecutive title. Former World Junior (U20) TJ champion Ana Peleteiro came of age in the fourth stanza when she bounded out to a Spanish Record 48-4 (14.73) NR and victory by 9 inches.

Two Russian victories came by way of Anzhelika Sidorova, who was flawless up to 15-11 (4.85) before failing three times at a world-leading 16-1¾ (4.92), while Mariya Lasitskene was over 2m for the ninth competition this winter—the rest of the world combined have 5—and won with 6-7 (2.01).


EURO CHAMPS WOMEN’S MEDALISTS

(3/1—1500h, 3K, Pent; 3/2—60, 400)

60 METERS

1. Ewa Swoboda (Pol) 7.09; 2. Dafne Schippers (Hol) 7.14; 3. Asha Philip (GB) 7.15.

400 METERS

1. Léa Sprunger (Swi) 51.61 (WL) (24.53/27.08);

2. Cynthia Bolingo Mbongo (Bel) 51.62 NR (24.75/26.87); 3. Lisanne de Witte (Hol) 52.34 PR.

800 METERS

1. Shelayna Oskan-Clarke (GB) 2:02.58 (60.42/62.16); 2. Renelle Lamote (Fra) 2:03.00 (60.50/62.50); 3. Olha Lyakhova (Ukr) 2:03.24.

1500 METERS

1. Laura Muir (GB) 4:05.92 (14.98, 28.98, 57.58); 2. Sofia Ennaoui (Pol) 4:09.30; 3. Ciara Mageean (Ire) 4:09.43. Heats: I–1. Muir 4:09.29.

3000 METERS

1. Muir 8:30.61 (WL) (2:56.99, 3:02.08 [5:49.07], 2:41.54) (4:25.65/4:04.96) (2½ hours after 1500h);

2. Konstanze Klosterhalfen (Ger) 8:34.06; 3. Melissa Courtney (GB) 8:38.22 PR.

60 HURDLES

1. Nadine Visser (Hol) 7.87; 2. Cindy Roleder (Ger) 7.97; 3. Elvira Herman (Blr) 8.00.

4 x 400

1. Poland 3:28.77 (WL) (Anna Kiełbasińska 52.45, Iga Baumgart-Witan 51.41, Małgorzata Hołub-Kowalik 52.63, Justyna Święty-Ersetic 52.28);

2. Great Britain 3:29.55 (Laviai Nielsen (52.67, Zoey Clark 52.34, Amber Anning 53.10, Eilidh Doyle 51.44);

3. Italy 3:31.90 (Raphaela Boaheng Lukudo, Ayomide Folorunso, Chiara Bazzoni, Marta Milani).

HIGH JUMP

1. Mariya Lasitskene (Rus) 6-7 (2.01) (6-1½, 6-3¼, 6-4¼, 6-5½, 6-6¼, 6-7 [2], 6-8¾ [xxx]) (1.87, 1.91, 1.94, 1.97, 1.99, 2.01 [2], 2.05 [xxx]); 2. Yuliya Levchenko (Ukr) 6-6¼ (1.99); 3. Airinė Palšytė (Lit) 6-5½ (1.97).

POLE VAULT

1. Anzhelika Sidorova (Rus) 15-11 (4.85) (14-11, 15-7, 15-9, 15-11, 16-1¾ [xxx]) (4.55, 4.75, 4.80, 4.85, 4.92 [xxx]); 2. Holly Bradshaw (GB) 15-7 (4.75); 3. Nikoléta Kiriakopoúlou (Gre) 15-3 (4.65).

LONG JUMP

1. Ivana Španović (Ser) 22-11¼ (6.99) (=WL) (22-7¾, 22-¾, 22-3¾, 22-3, 22-11¼, p) (6.90, 6.72, 6.80, 6.78, 6.99, p);

2. Nastassia Mironchyk-Ivanova (Blr) 22-9 (6.93) PR (22-9, f, 22-7¼, 22-2½, f, f) (6.93, f, 6.89, 6.77, f, f); 3. Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk (Ukr) 22-5¼ (6.84).

TRIPLE JUMP

1. Ana Peleteiro (Spa) 48-4 (14.73) NR (f, f, 47-9¼, 48-4, f, f) (f, f, 14.56, 14.73, f, f); 2. Paraskeví Papahrístou (Gre) 47-7 (14.50) PR; 3. Olha Saladukha (Ukr) 47-5¾ (14.47).

SHOT

1. Radoslava Mavrodieva (Bul) 62-8¾ (19.12) PR (61-5¾, 60-8, 61-¼, 62-4½, 62-8¾, 62-2½) (18.74, 18.49, 18.60, 19.01, 19.12, 18.96); 2. Christina Schwanitz (Ger) 62-8½ (19.11) (61-7, 61-3, 62-8½, f, f, 61-9½) (18.77, 18.67, 19.11, f, f, 18.83); 3. Anita Márton (Hun) 62-4 (19.00) (60-3¼, 59-10½, 62-4, 61-3½, 60-6½, 61-¾) (18.37, 18.25, 19.00, 18.68, 18.45, 18.61).

PENTATHLON

1. Katarina Johnson-Thompson (GB) 4983 (WL) (x, 6 W) (8.27, 6-5/1.96, 43-1¾/13.15, 21-5¼/6.53, 2:09.13);

2. Niamh Emerson (GB) 4731 PR (8.54, 6-1½/1.87, 45-8½/13.93, 20-7¾/6.29, 2:12.56); 3. Solène Ndama (Fra) 4723 =NR (8.09, 5-10/1.78, 46-8¼/14.23, 20-4½/6.21, 2:11.92).