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Eilidh seizes Euro gold in 4 x 400m relay

Monday 11th July 2016

Scotsman coverage on the Sunday action

Eilidh Doyle was back on the podium for an international championships again at the Europeans to crown a fine few days for Scottish athletes in Holland.

It was a tenth medal at this kind of level for the Scottish 400m hurdles record holder as she helped GB and NI to gold in the Women’s 4 x 400m final in Amsterdam.

Doyle’s gold added to bronze for Steph Twell in the 5000m and top ten finishes for seven Scots from the nine who competed in Holland with the others being Laura Whittle (5th), Eilish McColgan (6th), Jake Wightman (7th), Callum Hawkins (9th) and Chris Bennett (10th).

The British Women’s 4 x 400m team had set a European Lead in the heats on Saturday and despite changing the lineup, took the win on Sunday afternoon in Amsterdam with Eilidh on the third leg this time – after being on the opening leg in the heat.

Eilidh’s split time for the final was a superb 50.92, with the rest of the team being Emily Diamond, Anyika Onuora and Seren Bundy-Davies.

‘I prefer first leg, but third was good,’ said Eilidh.

‘It’s very hard to run when you’re in that much of a lead because you don’t know what’s going on behind you. I just tried to run a good solid leg, and when I pass the baton to Seren I just know she is going to do the job and we came away with the gold.’

Many congratulations to Eilidh, her family, coach Malcolm Arnold and all involved with her athletics over the years – roll on Rio!

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Callum Hawkins claimed a top ten finish in the half marathon – as he came home in ninth place to finish top Brit.

Unfortunately, he was the only Scot in action with brother Derek nursing an injury and Tsegai Tewelde a late wihdrawal through illness.

Callum came through from 13th place at 15K to finish in that ninth place in 63.57 minutes on a warm day in Holland – and he reckons the Amsterdam experience will help him for Rio.

‘I was feeling quite strong in the last 6km, but the middle part I just wasn’t feeling it,’ said the Kilbarchan AAc athlete.

‘It started off a lot more aggressive than I thought, normally I like to come through, but I thought I’d try something different and try to put myself near a medal but it didn’t pay off.

‘Racing in in a championship definitely helped pre-Rio. I’m going to Mallorca on Monday, so hopefully that will help me to get used to the heat.  The temperature here was up what Rio is going to be, so coming from Scotland I don’t get much of a chance to run in that, so this has definitely helped.’

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Chris Bennett finished 10th in the Men’s Hammer final in Holland – after a good performance in the heats on Friday.

Bennett threw 74.93m in the heat and was fourth best in qualifying but his best throw in the final was at 70.93m

‘Friday was my final – my main job was to make it to the European final,’ he said.

‘I had a lot of fun out there. I performed well at trials a couple of weeks ago, and I have been performing well so I have no regrets. I’ve enjoyed the experience of competing here at the Championships.’

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Shelby Watson picked up a bronze medal after the 100m T34 (Shelby is a T33 competing up a class) in the IPC Invitational events at European Athletics Champs in Amsterdam.

Well done to Shelby, who wore her Scotland vest in Holland, and her family, coach and support team.

With thanks to Ian Mirfin

Tags: Callum Hawkins, Chris Bennett, Eilidh Doyle, European Championships, Holland

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