Amy-Eloise Markovc wins 3,000m gold as GB claim first medals at European Indoors

Amy-Eloise Markovc wins 3,000m gold as GB claim first medals at European Indoors

Great Britain’s Amy-Eloise Markovc claimed 3,000 metres gold, with compatriot Verity Ockenden taking the bronze, on day two of the European Indoor Championships in Poland.

Ockenden was just pipped by France’s Alice Finot for second in Torun, while another Briton, Amelia Quirk, came fifth.

The British trio all registered personal bests, with Markovc claiming victory with a time of eight minutes 46.43 seconds as she and Ockenden secured the GB team’s first medals of the event.

Markovc told the BBC: “It felt amazing. It’s a dream come true to finish and get a flag draped around your shoulders, that’s why we all do it.

“I couldn’t have done it without these girls (Ockenden and Quirk) pushing along the way. It was a great field out there and I was really pleased.

“I was a bit further back than I wanted to be earlier on but I just had to stay calm and I knew we were moving at pretty good pace so I could make some moves at the end, and it worked out pretty well. I just tried to be confident and calm the whole race.”

Ockenden, whose time was 8:46.60, said: “What an incredible feeling to be crossing the line so close to each other. I think competing with each other to get there probably helped us hold those two positions.

“Absolutely gutting for me to just get pipped on the line for silver, but I think if we hadn’t kind of been pushing each other for gold, maybe I wouldn’t have got bronze. So, very pleased. I think we all did a great job.”

Laura Muir decided not to defend the 3,000m and 1,500m titles she won in 2019 as she focuses on the outdoor season ahead of the rearranged Olympics.

Katarina Johnson-Thompson, who was the pentathlon title holder, is also missing from the British team, sitting out through injury.

In her absence, Belgium’s Olympic heptathlon champion Nafi Thiam took pentathlon gold on Friday, with Britain’s Holly Mills coming fifth.

Piers Copeland came fourth in the men’s 1,500m final, with Neil Gourley 11th, each having been bumped up a spot after Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen, having crossed the line first, was disqualified, handing the gold medal to Poland’s Marcin Lewandowski. Jacob Fincham-Dukes was seventh in the men’s long jump final.

Jodie Williams, the captain of the British team, made safe progress from her 400m semi-final. Jessie Knight and Ama Pipi were unable to do so in theirs.

Emily Borthwick qualified for the women’s high jump final with a personal best of 1.91m, but Morgan Lake failed to advance, finishing 13th.

Earlier on Friday, there was also a PB for Holly Archer (4:09.77) as she secured a place in the women’s 1,500m final by winning her heat. Katie Snowden also progressed.