Britain’s George Mills claims European championship 5,000m silver

    Some athletes celebrate their first major medal with a night on the town. Others, with a modest drink or two. But after George Mills had won a gutsy European championship 5,000m silver behind only the brilliant Norwegian Jakob Ingebrigtsen, he promised that his only indulgence would be some fermented kombucha – if he could find any in Rome – before going back into hard training on Sunday.

    But what a performance Mills produced in only his third run over the distance. After a slow race, Ingebrigtsen, the reigning Olympic 1500m champion and double 5,000m world champion, pushed for home at the bell. Yet the 25-year-old Mills refused to submit, harrying his esteemed rival down the back straight before Ingebrigtsen powered away to win his third European 5,000m title in 13mins 20.11sec.

    Mills was only just over a second back to comfortably secure Britain’s first medal of these European championships. And, as he admitted afterwards, he did briefly believe that he might emulate his fellow Britons Jake Wightman and Josh Kerr by outsprinting Ingebrigtsen in a major championship.

    “Coming down the back straight I was like, ‘My legs feel OK, but I’m hurting.’ But he had another gear – he’s a world class Olympic champion. So it shows the level I’ve got to get to.”

    Asked how he would celebrate, Mills replied: “No celebration. Nothing at all. It’s mid-season, the season finishes mid-September.”

    “Running is what I love,” he added. “I’ll enjoy going for a run on Sunday doing my next session. I think if you’re celebrating mid-season, it’s a bit weird.”

    But while Mills junior refused to be carried away, his proud dad, Danny, who played 19 times for England, was understandably thrilled. “He is one of the most dedicated athletes I know,” said Mills, citing the moment his son went to join the ON training camp in Switzerland as a key turning point. “I have spent my whole life in sport. And with George there’s no stone unturned.

    Romell Glave (right) finishes third behind Olympic 100m champion Marcell Jacobs Photograph: Aleksandra Szmigiel/Reuters

    “You work 10 years for moments like this and then you get 13 minutes to perform,” he added. “It’s like having a 13-minute penalty shootout. It’s just sudden death from the beginning – you’re waiting for somebody to miss because there are so many things that can go wrong. But he believed in himself. And he backed himself. We’re a very proud family this evening.”

    Mills senior never played in the Stadio Olimpico, but he was on the bench when Leeds beat Lazio and drew with Roma here. “So Rome’s a good place for the Mills family,” he added. “I think we might come back.”

    There was a second medal for Britain on the night in the men’s 100m as Romell Glave finished in third behind the Olympic champion Marcell Jacobs.

    In truth Jacobs did not have to be at his dominant best to win in 10.02sec, ahead of his compatriot Chituru Ali, who ran 10.05. Glave was always in contention but could do no better than run 10.06. The other Briton in the field, CJ Ujah, did not make it out of the semi-finals after running 10.24.

    skip past newsletter promotion

    Earlier in the night, a high quality men’s long jump final was won by the Olympic and world champion Miltiádis Tentóglou in a European championship record 8.65m.

    The Greek, who has described World Athletics’ proposals to remove the long jump board as “dog shit”, beat the exciting Italian teenager Mattia Furlani, who took silver in 8.38m, with Britain’s Jacob Fincham-Dukes fourth with 8.12m.

    Another Olympic champion, Belgium’s Nafi Thiam, won the women’s heptathlon with a championship best score of 6,848. That was 213 points ahead of French athlete Auriana Lazraq-Khlass, who took silver. Britain’s Jade O’Dowda was sixth in a personal best of 6314.

    A third championship best came in the women’s 100m hurdles with the French star Cyréna Samba-Mayela taking gold in 12.31sec. Britain’s Cindy Sember was fourth in 12.56.

    Meanwhile another Briton, Scott Lincoln, can count himself unlucky after finishing fourth in the men’s shot put – just six centimetres off a medal – after throwing 20.88m. The event was won by Leonardo Fabbri in 22.45m.

    It was Italy’s fifth gold so far of these championships and their 10th medal overall.

    Source link

    Related articles



    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here

    Share article

    Latest articles


    Subscribe to stay updated.