Don Brown leads Britain to dominance at Euro Masters sprint hurdles and 200m

British team wins 20 titles on day eight of of the European Masters Championships

Britain excelled on a busy day of competition at the European Masters Championships in Venice with what is believed to be a record in one day as they won 20 titles, dominating the 200m and sprint hurdles races by winning eight golds in each to equal the 1500m runners’ tally. They also claimed three steeplechase golds and a discus title.

The hurdlers started the ball rolling in the morning as they had the rare privilege of both genders participating at the same venue and they rose to the occasion, winning eight golds and also having some near misses too to equal the gold count at the 1500m.

The highlight was the M55 100m hurdles where Don Brown won in a British record 14.62 (-1.9m/sec) but he was pushed all the way by team-mate Barrie Marsden who was also inside Brown’s previous mark. Two other Britons, Neil Tunstall and Glen Reddington, made the top five.

The first to strike was W70 Jean Fail who won her second hurdles gold of the week with victory by over a second in the 80m hurdles in 17.38 (0.1).

Others to succeed at the longer hurdles and gain a second gold were W60 Jane Horder and W55 Julie Rogers.

World record-holder Horder won by almost a second in 13.05 (+1.6) but Rogers only won thanks to a superb ‘Colin Jackson-style’ dip in 13.67 (+1.8) which gave her a 0.04 of a second win over Italy’s Erika Niedermayr.

Tony Bowman was the first of the men’s winners as he won the M80 title by almost two seconds in 17.54 (+2.0).

Tennyson James ran a strong second half to win the M60 100m hurdles event in a close finish in 15.59 (-1.7) from Poland’s Wieslaw Musial (15.65).

Joe Appiah retained his title but not without incident as he pulled his hamstring at the third hurdle after a fast start and though slowing he was just about to hold off European record-holder Thomas Keiler, with 15.44 (+1.1) to the Swiss athlete’s 15.56.

Dave Awde looked to be on his way to a certain M35 110m hurdles gold but clattered a late hurdle and lost momentum and though he got across the line he was later announced as being disqualified for knocking over a hurdle deliberately.

However, after many hours and an appeal later, he was reinstated and gained gold in 15.60 (+0.1) ahead of Finlan’s Oki Vuonoranta, who ran 16.01.

Just missing out was M70 Tony Wells. In a blanket finish he was adjudged to have lost by a few thousandths of a second though he did share the winning time of 14.09 with Poland’s Marek Mielcarek.

Also medalling was W35 Catriona Pennet who was timed at 15.10 (-1.0) as gold went to Spain’s Emma Garcia in 14.94.

M75 defending champion Barry Ferguson has a knee problem and had to virtually walk across the line in sixth in 34.61 (-0.8)

Arguably the best hurdles performance came from Italy’s Arasmas Diaz who won the M40 event into a strong 2.8m/sec headwind in 14.37.

The Italian owns a 50.10 400m hurdles PB from 2012.

The 2000m steeplechase also saw some GB success. In the women’s combined W45 and W50 race there were two gold medals. In an exciting last lap with six close together at the bell, it was the crucial last water jump clearance that gave Lisa Thomas the win and W50 gold by over three seconds in 8:03.48. Thomas had medalled at 300m hurdles earlier in the week.

Close behind, and ahead at the water jump, was Ana Ramos-Villaverde who won the W45 title by less than two seconds in 8:06.72.

Jane Pidgeon, not at full fitness, won the W55 silver medal in 8:41.94 behind Italy’s Patrizia Passerini’s 8:36.89.

World champion Alex Swiecicki also struck gold with a clear win in the M70 race in 8:24.26.

The Polish-born athlete first steeplechased over 50 years ago and was originally in the same club as 1980 Olympic champion Bronislaw Malinowski.

His time took 19 seconds off his own British record set when winning gold in Malaga last summer and he won by an astonishing 65 seconds.

W40 Jacqueline Etherington won silver in 7:34.35 as Poland’s Danuta Woszczek won in an European record 7:00.02.

Graham Moffat finished strongly to take M50 bronze in 11:10.08.

There was also a medal for M35 Lee Athersmith with 10:29.76.

The first to win 200m gold was M80 Anthony Treacher, who won his second gold to go with the triple jump.

He won by over a second in 32.84.

Next to strike gold was Britain’s greatest ever masters sprinter Steve Peters who completed the sprint triple and kept his winning record going – he has won 39 consecutive European sprint titles since first coming to prominence in 1994.

He won by a second in 25.55 (-1.2) from Germany’s Rudolf Koenig’s 26.82.

300m hurdles champion Ian Broadhurst won his second sprint medal with third in 26.82 as Britain had four of the first five.

The most dominating sprinter, and probably the best age for age in Italy, is John Wright.

He also completed the sprint triple with a stunning 24.58 (-0.2) to win by 1.6 seconds from Italy’s Ettore Ruggeri.

It was his quickest electrical time since winning the 2014 European M55 title in Turkey.

Andy McCrum was third in 26.53.

Britain were now on a roll and hurdles champion Brown, in his third race of the day after also running a 200m semi, found it hard in the last 50 metres but he held on to win impressively in 24.06 (-1.1) from Germany’s Roland Groeger’s 24.22.

The golds kept coming as M40 Guiseppe Minetti won but it was close. Having a big lead, he tied up in the last 30 metres and winning in 24.25 (-0.8) as Lachmann Bernd and two other Germans all finished within 0.07 of him and in a blanket finish, he did not know he had won until 20 minutes later.

Next off and making it five on the trot was M45 world indoor champion Mike Coogan and he dominated his race to win by three metres in 23.21 (-0.8) with Ciaran Harvey picking up another GB bronze in 23.78.

The streak ended in the M40s but only just as 100m champion Lion Martinez of Sweden just caught Ian Horsburgh on the line with both timed at 22.62 (-0.8).

Jonathan Browne regained the dominance in the M35s as he completed the sprint double by seven metres in 21.70 (-0.5).

Additionally, M90 defending champion Dalbir Singh Deoul finished second in 53.48 (-0.6) as he was overtaken in the straight by Greece’s Konstan Chatziemmanouil (49.51).

Out in Caorle with relatively little support, the women found it much harder than the men but predictably Caroline Powell won her third sprint title.

She set a European record 30.55 (-0.9) to win by a second from Joylyn Saunders-Mullin (31.51), who won her third silver medal.

W40 Susie McCloughlin finished second in 26.31 (-0.9) behind Poland’s Malgorzata Gasowska’s 25.99 with another Brit Naana Adusei in third in 27.18.

W60 Joan Trimble picked up a bronze in 31.83 (-1.1) as did W80 Dot Fraser in 49.95 (-0.2).

In the field, John Moreland won M60 discus gold thanks to an opening round effort of 50.63m, which gave him a two-metre win over Finland’s Saulius Sviainis’s 48.59m.

Geoff Tyler won a M70 discus silver with a British record 43.42m behind Norway’s Arild Busterudis 45.51m.

There was an European W65 record in the javelin for Anne Kirstine Jensen’s 33.39m.

The medal success on Thursday means Britain have closed up on Germany and Italy in the medal table as they respectively won 14 and 9 titles compared to Britain’s 20.


1 GER 74 gold 74 silver 70 bronze 218 total
2 ITA 73 61 59 193
3 GBR 66 44 55 165
4 FIN 32 18 12 62
5 ESP 28 38 36 102
6 FRA 22 36 28 86

» See the September 12 and 19 issues of AW magazine for more coverage of the championships

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