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European Indoors 2021: Amy-Eloise Markovc wins GB’s first gold

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Amy-Eloise Markovc produced a superb sprint finish in the 3,000m final to earn the British team their first gold at the European Indoor Championships.

The Stockport-born athlete, 25, pipped France’s Alice Finot and team-mate Verity Ockenden to win in a personal best of eight minutes 46.43 seconds.

“It’s a dream come true, to have a flag draped around your shoulders,” Markovc told BBC Sport.

“I knew we were moving at a good pace and knew I could make moves.”

Ockenden’s 8:46.60 was also a personal best and enough for bronze.

The Dorset-based athlete said: “What an incredible feeling. Competing with each other probably helped us to get to those positions.”

There was controversy in the eagerly anticipated men’s 1500m final with the disqualification of Norway’s precocious talent Jakob Ingebrigtsen, who had crossed the line first.

The 20-year-old outsprinted champion Marcin Lewandowski in the closing stages, but it was later deemed he had stepped off the track during the race as he was jostling for position. The Norwegian team have launched a counter-protest, but as it stands the 33-year-old Pole has won his fourth successive title.

Olympic heptathlon champion Nafi Thiam was head and shoulders above the rest of the field as she won the pentathlon with a personal best of 4,904 points. Compatriot Noor Vidts took silver with 4,791 while British debutant Holly Mills was fifth, scoring 4,517.

GB skipper into 400m final

Jodie Williams competed in the 60m in her first European Indoor Championships in Paris

Team captain Jodie Williams will be Great Britain’s only representative in Saturday’s 400m finals after finishing second in her race in a personal-best time of 52.09 seconds.

With only the first two to go through from each semi-final, Williams ensured she kept her form over the final 200m to cross the line behind outstanding favourite Femke Bol of the Netherlands.

“It was do or die,” the 27-year-old told BBC Sport.

“Semi-finals are always the hardest round. When you’re in the final you’re clear. I’ll go out there and have a good time.”

Justyna Swiety-Ersetic, a major hope for a home gold medal, won her semi-final in a Polish national record of 51.34 seconds, although that was 0.16 slower than Bol.

Cambridge and Coleridge athlete Holly Archer set a personal best of four minutes 9.77 seconds to win her 1500m heat and book a place in Saturday’s final. Katie Snowden came third in her heat to also secure a spot.

Promising Wigan athlete Keely Hodgkinson, who celebrated her 19th birthday on Wednesday, won her 800m heat in two minutes 5.63 to reach Saturday’s semi-final. Team-mates Ellie Baker and Isabelle Boffey also qualified for the next stage.

Another Wigan athlete, Emily Borthwick, 23, impressed on her senior debut by qualifying for Sunday’s high jump final with a personal best of 1.91m.

Jamie Webb, a strong British medal hope, came second in his 800m heat to advance into Saturday’s semi-finals, while Scot Guy Learmonth cruised to victory in his race.

The 28-year-old, who failed to qualify for the final at Glasgow 2019 after falling in the semi-finals, finished ahead of World Indoor and European outdoor champion Adam Kszczot of Poland.

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