Great Britain triumph at the European Championships

Track and field excitement is building with the Olympic and Paralympic Games just around the corner. The European Championships in Rome acted as the perfect opportunity for athletes to put their winter training to the test and attempt to gain those all important qualifying marks. With over 70 athletes representing Great Britain and Northern Ireland, it was certainly a championships to remember with some staggering performances and 13 medals across the board. Let's see how the English athletes got on.


The endurance contingent certainly put Great Britain on the map with a superb seven medals between them. Coming into the championships as favourite certainly adds some pressure but Keely Hodgkinson (Leigh AC, Trevor Painter) took it in her stride. Cruising through the heat and semi, she showed her true strength and fine form despite battling a head cold to take gold in the final in a time of 1:58.65.

Keely Hodgkinson competing at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Image by Mark Shearman

Over the half marathon it was a team gold for the quartet of Calli Thackery (Hallamshire), Clara Evans (Pontypridd, Chris Jones), Abbie Donnelly (Lincoln Wellington, Rob Lewis), and Lauren McNeil (Hallamshire). Calli was the first Brit over the line securing the individual bronze medal with 1:08:58 with Abbie close behind in sixth (1:09:57).

The medals kept coming as George Mills (Brighton Phoenix, Thomas Dreißigacker) secured a stunning silver in the men's 5000m. The Brighton athlete earned his very first senior international medal in a time of 13:21.38. Teammates James West (Tonbridge, Helen Clitheroe) was seventh and Jack Rowe (Aldershot Farnham and District, Tim Eglen) was 17th.

After taking bronze two years ago in Munich, Lizzie Bird (Shaftesbury Barnet, Pat McCurry) was back to go one better, taking the silver medal and the Olympic qualifying time in a hotly contested women's 3000m steeplechase (9:18.39). Just moments later it was Belgrave's Georgia Bell's (Trevor Painter) turn to take a step onto the podium as she ran a brave final straight in the 1500m to come home in second (4:05.33).

In the longest event on the track, the top British athletes from the Night of the 10,000m PB’s, Megan Keith (Inverness, Ross Cairns) and Patrick Dever (Preston, Andy Bibby), were back in action. Scotland’s Megan Keith secured bronze in the women’s event in only her third ever 10,000m on the track in 31:04.77. Inspired by his compatriot’s success, the following evening Patrick Dever led for much of the men’s race, but other athletes had more speed in the closing stages as he finished in sixth place (28:04.43).

Callum Wilkinson competed in the 20km walk and after not finishing the race in Munich, he was back with a bang to finish in ninth place (1:21:34).


The speed contingent impressed in Rome with many athletes setting new personal best times to compete with Europe’s best sprinters.

It was double medals in the 100m as Dina Asher-Smith (Blackheath and Bromley, Edrick Floréal) returned to the top to take the gold medal in 10.99, some six years after her victory in 2018. Romell Glave (Croydon, Michael Afilaka) took his first senior medal in third, almost stride for stride with Olympic Champion Marcel Jacobs before being pipped to 10.06. Charnwood's Amy Hunt (Marco Airale) had a fantastic race coming home in seventh in the women's 100m final (11.15).

In the 400m, Charlie Dobson (Colchester, Leon Baptiste) impressed, winning a magnificent silver in 44.38. Shaving one tenth off his PB, this result moves him into the top ten all-time European list. Breaking her PB in both qualification and the final, Laviai Nielsen (Enfield and Haringey, Tony Lester) finished sixth in the women’s 400m final in a time of 50.71.

Daryll Neita at Commonwealth Games

Daryll Neita (Cambridge Harriers, Marco Airale) missed out on gold in the women’s 200m final by the width of a vest to Swiss athlete, Mujinga Kambundji, as a photo finish confirmed second place for Daryll in a season’s best equalling time (22.50).

In the sprint hurdles, it was an agonising fourth for Cindy Sember (Woodford Green Essex Ladies, Chris Johnson) with 12.56.

Following a PB, 54.43, in qualification putting her sixth on the British all-time 400m hurdles list, Lina Neilsen (Shaftesbury Barnet, Tony Lester) finished seventh in her first major individual final. In the men’s 400m hurdles Alistair Chalmers (Guernsey, Matt Elias) also set a PB in his semi-final, unfortunately finishing third and narrowly missing out on qualification for the final.


Following her success at the World Athletics Indoor Championships in March, Molly Caudery (Thames Valley, Scott Simpson) had her hopes set high going into the pole vault final. Molly cleared 4.73m to claim bronze, her first GB & NI senior outdoor medal.

Molly Caudery

It was a tight competition in the men's long jump with Jacob Fincham-Dukes (Leeds, Matt Barton) tussling for a medal throughout. Opening with 7.71m in the first round, he then had a huge effort of 8.18, adding almost 50cm to his previous effort. Jumping a fantastic series, Jacob finished just two centimetres short of his PB and in an agonising fourth place.

In the high jump final, Morgan Lake (Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow, Robbie Grabarz) battled the inclement weather in to go clear at 1.90m before bowing out at 1.93m finishing in sixth place overall.

Jade O'Dowda (Newham & Essex Beagles, John Lane) showed her strength across the seven events of the heptathlon, finishing in a respectable seventh place with a brand-new PB 6314 points.


Tokyo Olympian and Commonwealth Games medallist Scott Lincoln (City of York, Paul Wilson) had an outstanding series in the men's shot put. He put himself in the mix for a medal with his throw of 20.94m before being pushed into an agonising fourth place just outside the medals.

Scott Lincoln

Previous European medallist Lawrence Okoye (Croydon, Zane Duquemin) was representing in the discus. Placing fourth in his qualification pool with 63.62m, it was enough to qualify him for the final later that evening. With the unusually quick turnaround, Lawrence was back and managed a throw of 63.48m with his last attempt to finish eighth.

In the hammer throw, Anna Purchase (Notts, Mohamed Ali Saatara) threw 69.24m in the third round to enter the top eight and secure three extra throws. That was her best throw of the series as she finished eighth in her first European final as a senior athlete.


Women's 4x100: Having qualified for the final ahead of the rest, the pressure was on the GB & NI women’s 4x100m quartet to deliver. The revised line up of Dina Asher-Smith, Desiree Henry (Enfield & Haringey, Steve Fudge), Amy Hunt and Daryll Neita rose to the occasion taking the lead out of the blocks and maintaining this to win the gold medal in a European leading time of 41.91.

Mixed 4x400: The quartet of Charlie Carvell (Telford AC, Stewart Marshall), Hannah Kelly (Bolton, Les Hall), Lewis Davey (Newham & Essex Beagles, Trevor Painter) and Emily Newnham (Shaftesbury Barnet, Nick Dakin) were representing in the mixed 4x400m. Being a relatively young team with two making their senior debut, the quartet excelled to finish in fifth with 3:13.97.

Men's 4x400: Following another commanding GB & NI victory in their heat, the men’s 4x400m relay team stepped up to the final. Toby Harries (Brighton Phoenix, David Sadkin), Michael Ohioze (Shaftesbury Barnet, Craig Cox), Lewis Davey and Alex Haydock-Wilson (Windsor Slough Eton and Hounslow, Earl Herbert) attacked the race finishing in seventh in 3:01.89.

Header image courtesy of British Athletics, other images Mark Shearman, Gary Mitchell and Team England