Neil relishes another European 1500m final but Erin misses out

Monday 10th June 2024

Photo by James Rhodes in Rome

European Indoor Championships silver medallist Neil Gourley overcame jetlag to deliver a very cool and controlled performance in qualifying for Wednesday’s 1500m final in Rome.

The 29-year-old – who missed the indoor season due to injury – proved he was in incredible shape with a superb mile personal best at the Prefontaine Classic on 25 May (3:47.74), his first significant outing since the 2023 World Championships.

A return to championship racing in Rome presented a different challenge for Gourley and he passed the test with ease, staying out of trouble in the early stages of a slow heat before putting himself in a good position to kick as Spain’s Adel Mechaal pushed the pace.

Neil eventually pulled away with ease to take the win in 3:44.05 and now faces another final against Jakob Ingebrigtsen and all-comeres in Rome on Wednesday evening.

Erin Wallace made the semi-finals of the Women’s 800m after progress on Monday morning from the heats.

But a solid run of 1:58.89 for sixth place was not enough to progress from a fast race.

‘It went fine so I can sleep between now and the final,’ he said.

‘That was the last thing coach said, ‘Don’t fall asleep’; it was an interesting choice of words, but I definitely could have.

‘Tactically I’m happy with where I put myself. It was really about just being ready to respond when somebody inevitably went – it was just a case of being aware of anyone making a big move.

‘While the Diamond League circuit is really valuable, this is somewhere where I can experience proper racing, which I just did, and to make sure I execute tactically.’


Erin finished sixth in the first of the two European semi-finals and was unlucky in the sense that was the faster race.

As it turned out, fifth would have put her through and her time of 1:59.89 was the third fastest 800m run of her career.

‘I think I give it my best shot but I kind of got stuck a few places,’ said the Giffnock North AC athlete.

‘But I’m really, really disappointed to not make the final but I think you can’t be too disappointed running sub two like that.

‘I still feel quite new to the event so any time under two minutes is great. But I want to come back and make finals in the future. I feel like I am just getting started.’


Tags: European Champs, Neil Gourley, Rome

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