Athletics News

Brits off to a flying start at Euro Masters in Toruń

Brits off to a flying start at Euro Masters in Toruń

Gold medals galore at the European Masters Indoor Championships in Toruń, Poland, on Sunday

Tom Nichols, Clare Elms, Chris Upson and Anthony O’Brien struck gold in Poland as Britain won 17 medals on Sunday (March 17).

The 3000m were the only track finals taking place at the famous indoor arena but the first gold medal of the day went to M35 high jumper Nichols.

The former South of England champion – a 2.11m jumper at his best – cleared 1.95m here in winning his first masters title.

M35 high jump winner Tom Nichols

The first to strike gold on the track was Elms who won her first W60 title but repeated her 3000m win from Toruń over 15 laps from 2019 when she won the W55 world title.

Here she led all the way and up until halfway was on schedule to add the world W60 mark to the W55 3000m mark she still holds but with three more races to go decided to ease back for a gold in 11:15.17 as she won by over 20 seconds from Italy’s Elena Fustella.

Clare Elms

Britain’s next gold went to Chris Upson and was also in the over-60 category. The much improved Scot ran in Toruń five years ago but was only 13th in the M55 race and this time was almost 40 seconds quicker.

Content to let Ireneusz Kasprzak from the host nation Poland to build a good lead, he chased him down with world M60 champion Dave Clarke on his shoulder but in the last kilometre he kicked away to win in 9:48.87 with the Northern Ireland runner a clear second in 9:54.76. Britain made it three in four with Greg Penn fourth.

Chis Upson leads David Clarke in the M60 3000m

Last year  Upson had only been fourth in the 1500m and eighth in the 5000m at the outdoor Euro Masters and he curiously warmed up for this year’s race by being first finisher in the Toruń parkrun in 18:18 the day before.

O’Brien, a former senior international, was the day’s final winner and it was no surprise as he had won the world title in Poland last year.

He led a pack of six over the second half of the race and kicked from the front to win in 9:03.69 from Spaniard Juan Crespo’s 9:04.28.

Simon Coombes was fifth in 9:06.47.

Marta Camps leads Nikki Sturzaker

The next closest athlete to winning was European Masters W50 800m champion Nikki Sturzaker. She had tracked Spaniard Marta Camps throughout and as they hit the final straight she kicked to overtake but 10 metres from the finish when clearly moving the quicker her hamstring pulled and she fell heavily.

She got up but was unable to walk and was overtaken by…

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