Sharp has to settle for silver

  • Last Updated: August 16 2014, 16:43 BST

Great Britain's Lynsey Sharp just fell short in her bid to retain the European crown, as not even a personal-best performance was enough for her to add gold to the 800 metres silver from the Commonwealth Games.

Lynsey Sharp: Celebrates her silver medal at the European Championships
Lynsey Sharp: Celebrates her silver medal at the European Championships

A fortnight ago, the 24-year-old became the pride of Scotland after overcoming the odds to secure a podium finish at Hampden Park.

Sharp was on a drip in the athletes' village clinic until 5.30am on the morning of the Glasgow final, yet managed to win silver after a wonderful late surge.

It was the Scottish middle-distance runner's second senior medal, with the first having arrived at the European Championships in Helsinki two years earlier.

Sharp only received the 800m title a year on from the race in Finland, having been upgraded from second after Russia's Yelena Arzhakova received a two-year doping ban.

In the build-up to this edition, she spoke of her desire to top the podium outright - something she was just unable to manage due to a Europe-leading time from Maryna Arzamasova.

The Belarusian was the only one to keep up with pacesetter Sharp, who tailed off down the home straight and was pipped to the line despite recording a PB of one minute 58.80 seconds in taking silver.

"I was in hospital and on antibiotics only a few weeks ago, so to get Commonwealth Games silver and now silver again here is an absolute dream," said Sharp, whose British team-mate Jessica Judd came seventh.

"I'm so unbelievably happy. I've had the Scottish record in my mind for two or three seasons now and I got it.

"I came here for the gold medal and to retain my title, that's why I went for it, which is a different tactic for me, but I'm happy with silver and my personal best. It was different for me not to finish strongly but I had to go for it."

Sharp took to the track after seeing the women's and men's British 4x100m relay teams secure safe progress to Sunday's finals in Zurich.

First up was Asha Philip, Ashleigh Nelson, Anyika Onuora and Desiree Henry, who eased through in a season's best time of 42.62 secs to win their heat.

"We've put so much into this relay this year and have done so much practice," Philip said. "The national record's definitely going to come, I have so much confidence for that."

The men's team soon followed and triumphed with ease, despite being without 100m champion James Dasoulu and 200m gold medallist Adam Gemili.

James Ellington, Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, Richard Kilty and Danny Talbot were charged with bringing the baton home, which they duly did in 38.26s.

"The European record is in my mind," Talbot said after anchoring the team home. "We will see what the coaches say. These guys are great and I am very proud of our team. Obviously, we can be really fast."

There were no problems either for Great Britain in the 400m relays, with Emily Diamond, Kelly Massey, Victoria Ohuruogu and Margaret Adeoye finishing second in their heat to reach Sunday's final.

Nigel Levine, Michael Bingham, Rabah Yousif and Martyn Rooney cruised home as fastest qualifiers in the men's event and will be joined in the final by Ireland, who finished third in the second heat.