Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Dafne Schippers into final of 100
ZURICH -- Mo Farah looked a picture of perfect health on Wednesday and made the image even better by adding another gold medal, a new Mobot dance and a hug from his friend Usain Bolt.
After being airlifted to a hospital with a stomach ailment barely a month ago, the Olympic and world champion won the 10,000 meters at the European Championships on Wednesday, setting him up for yet another long-distance double with the 5,000 still to come.
Farah led a British one-two as Andy Vernon swept past Turkey's Ali Kaya in the final meters to claim silver inches.
After skipping the Commonwealth Games because of the four-day hospital stay and momentary heart worries, Farah looked composed from the opening gun, performing with maximum efficiency and minimum sweat to win his fourth straight European Championship event.
"I didn't want to let people down after missing the Commonwealth Games," he said.
He already won the Euro long-distance double in 2010 and the 5,000 in 2012, his only race two years ago as he was preparing for his Olympic double.
In cold and blustery weather on Wednesday, Farah finished in a slow 28 minutes, 8.11 seconds, 0.55 seconds ahead of Vernon -- who beat Kaya by 0.01 seconds.
Farah's victory would normally have been a given at the Euros, but had looked doubtful earlier this summer when after a training run, he collapsed on his bathroom floor in Park City, Utah, and had to be airlifted to a hospital.
"They thought something was wrong with my heart. It was scary at times," Farah said.
Once that worry proved ill-founded, further tests on his stomach also failed to come up with a clear diagnosis. So, he was given the all-clear to compete.
After Wednesday's race, Farah went up in the VIP stands to seek out Bolt, where the sprint and long-distance greats embraced.
"He is someone who has been there and done it and he is a friend of mine," Farah said.
On top of that, he showed off a new version of his signature Mobot move where he brings his hands on top of his head in the shape of a heart. On Wednesday, he did a little dance on top.
"Boring seeing the same picture, so I said I'd give them something," Farah said.
Farah was also proven right when, moments ahead of the men's 100 final, he predicted that "Dasaolu will win."
Sure enough, James Dasaolu came through to take gold in 10.06 seconds ahead of double defending champion Christophe Lemaitre of France and fellow Briton Harry Aikines-Aryeetey.
And making it triple gold for Britain on Wednesday night, Tiffany Porter won the women's 100 hurdles ahead of France's Cindy Billaud.
In the women's 100, heptathlete turned sprinter Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands claimed the first of what she hopes will be three golds, turning on the turbo late to win the final in 11.12 seconds into a strong headwind. She bead Myriam Soumare of France by 0.04 seconds, while Britain's Ashleigh Nelson took bronze in 11.22. Defending champion Ivet Lalova of Bulgaria came fifth.
Schippers is also favored to win the 200 later in the week and will compete with the Dutch sprint relay team over the weekend.
"This is giving me a shot of energy," she said of her gold-medal run. "Now, I have to recover as quickly as possible because tomorrow morning I have my 200 heat."
In the men's discus Germamy's Robert Harting was as dominating as ever, adding the second European title to three world championships and one Olympic gold. He beat his longtime rival Gerd Kanter of Estonia and Poland's Robert Urbanek.
All day, rain, wind and cold temperatures hit Zurich but the men's race walkers still managed to create a thrilling finish as Miguel Angel Lopez of Spain pulled away from two Russians to win the 20-kilometer event. Aleksandr Ivanov took silver and Denis Strelkov took bronze.
In the decathlon, Andrei Krauchanka of Belarus took gold ahead of France's Kevin Mayer and Ilya Shkurenyov of Russia.
In the women's long jump, Eloyse Lesueur of France won ahead of Ivana Spanovic of Serbia and Darya Klishina of Russia.
Raf Casert can be followed on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/rcasert