Croydon sprinters rule the European circuit

Leader: Martyn Rooney brings home the 4x400m GB & NI team for gold at the European Championships in Zurich                    Picture: Mike Fleet

Leader: Martyn Rooney brings home the 4x400m GB & NI team for gold at the European Championships in Zurich Picture: Mike Fleet

First published in Sport Sutton Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Sports editor

Croydon Harriers can boast some of the fastest men on the continent after a golden week at the European Championships in Zurich.

James Dasaolu was the first to strike winning gold in the 100m final on Wednesday, clocking 10.06 seconds ahead of France’s Christophe Lemaitre (10.13secs) and Sutton & District AC star Harry Aikines-Aryeetey (10.22secs).

The 26-year-old, who ran 9.91secs at the British Championships in Birmingham last year, missed out on the Commonwealth Games after a series of injuries.

He said: “It’s great to be the European champion. Track and field always has lots of ups and downs – I’ve had my hamstring injury but fast forward to Zurich in August and I’m the European champion.

“It’s a lovely thing to get my first senior outdoor gold medal. I’m just going to enjoy it. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be here at the beginning of the year.”

The medals continued to roll in on Sunday thanks to the 4x100m relay team, featuring James Ellington from Addiscombe.

Ellington ran the first leg, handing over to Aikines-Aryeetey, as the GB team clocked 37.93secs, ahead of Germany (38.09secs) and France (38.47secs).

Finally, Martyn Rooney, pictured, put the disappointment of a fourth-placed individual finish in Glasgow behind him to win double gold in the 400m and 4x400m relay.

Rooney pipped fellow Brit Matthew Hudson-Smith to individual glory, clocking 44.71secs compared to 44.75secs, with Donald Sanford of Israel taking bronze in 45.27secs.

“Finally some medals are coming our way. It’s been an eventful year and it’s been a great week,” he said.

“I was confident in my ability – I’ve struggled in past major championships but I'm very happy and excited to get onto the podium again.”

In the relay event, Rooney began the final leg in second place but powered past Russia’s Vladimir Krasnov in the home straight to clock two minutes 58.70secs – Poland took the bronze.

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