Year in review: August and September

Muir post race

With major championships coming thick and fast for senior athletes, August and September produced the most medals in 2018 for British athletes, owed largely to the success of the Great Britain & Northern Ireland team at the European Championships, and World Para Athletics European Championships. There were also medals away from the track. 

Laura Muir (handicap -2.1) claimed her first senior outdoor title as she took European 1500m gold, becoming the first Brit ever to claim the gold, winning in 4:02.32, followed by Laura Weightman (handicap -1.9) in 4:03.75, who took bronze. 

Great Britain & Northern Ireland cemented their place atop the medal table as the men’s and women’s 4x100m relay teams took gold within moments of each other, with Dina Asher-Smith securing her third gold medal of the championships and the men’s team securing a third consecutive title.

Eilish McColgan (handicap -2.7) took silver in the women’s 5000m after Israel’s Lonah Chemtai Salpeter ran off in celebration, thinking she had won silver, but did so a lap too early, allowing McColgan to upgrade her medal.

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In the final Diamond League meeting before the finals in Brussels and Zurich, Reece Prescod almost upstaged world leader Christian Coleman as the pair clocked 9.94 in Birmingham, the second time in as many weeks the Londoner had gone under 10-seconds.

Shaunae Miller-Uibo continued her unbeaten season with victory in the women’s 200m, pipping Dina Asher-Smith to victory in the closing stages, as Kenya’s Emmanuel Korir clocked 1:42.79 for a meeting record in the men’s 800m.

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Hollie Arnold completed the Grand Slam of titles after taking gold in the F46 javelin at the World Para Athletics European Championships in Berlin, throwing a championship record of 40.15m in the process.

Arnold’s medal was one of six secured on day one of competition, with Harri Jenkins kick-starting the medal rush with T33 100m gold. Zak Skinner, Luke Nuttall, Ali Smith and David Devine (handicap -3.3) took T13 long jump, T46 1500m, T38 400m and T13 1500m silver respectively, and Laura Sugar notching T44/64 100m bronze.

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The British team rounded off the World Para Athletics European Championships with a half-century of medals, 20 of which were gold, with Aled Davies securing the ‘triple double’ of the F63 shot put and F63 discus over the course of the week-long championship, setting a championship record in the former.

Thomas Young took his second European title in 24 hours, stopping the clock in 11.66s to win the T38 100m, with Sophie Hahn securing her third gold medal in a matter of days after helping the Universal 4x100m relay team to victory in 48.73, a world record mark.

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Dina Asher-Smith placed second in the 100m at the Diamond League finals in Zurich, being edged out by Murielle Ahoure in 11.01s, with the Londoner a shade further back in 11.08s. She then stepped into the 4x100m team to close the programme, flying down the home straight for a British win in 42.28.

Matt Hudson-Smith followed up his gold at the European Championships with a third place finish in the men’s 400m, pushing all the way to the line, only to be edged out by American duo Fred Kerley and Nathan Strother.

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Laura Muir rounded off her best year on the track by taking the Diamond League title for the 1500m with a perfect run in Brussels, powering down the home straight for victory in 3:58.49, to add to her World Indoor 1500m silver and 3000m bronze and European 1500m gold.

Shara Proctor added to her bronze medal from the European Championships and Commonwealth Games with a second place finish in the women’s long jump with a best of 6.70m.

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Anthony Clark  (handicap -1.4) was the first Brit home at the IAU 100km World Championships in Sveti Martin, Croatia, and claimed gold in the over-40 men’s category in the process, in a time of 6:43:22, improving his time at the British Championship by 17 minutes.

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Kelly Sotherton was finally presented with her Olympic bronze medal from the Beijing 2008 Heptathlon at the Team GB Ball in London.

She originally finished the competition in fifth place but was promoted to bronze following two subsequent disqualifications. The medal finally confirmed her as a triple Olympic medallist.

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There was more success for the British team at the World Mountain Running Championships (uphill) as team silver medals were won by the senior women and junior men in Andorra.

Emily Collinge (handicap 2.8) steered the senior women’s team to second place in the team event courtesy of a seventh place finish in 1:07:57, with Sarah Tunstall (handicap 5.1) home in 10th. The junior men’s race saw Joseph Dugdale (handicap -0.9) take fourth individually, with Matthew Mackay (handicap -1.8) seventh and Jack White (handicap -2.6) 11th.

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