Daryll Neita misses out on 200m gold by 0.01sec … after thinking she had won

    Whenever Daryll Neita is at a loose end, she often watches videos of herself running on loop. It is a process that can swallow up hours, as she plays, pauses and rewinds footage on her phone, scanning for clues like a forensics scientist, hoping it will help her put to together the perfect race. Sadly, after a dramatic and heartbreaking night in Rome, she is still waiting.

    It was painful enough that Neita, whose bubbly personality makes her one of the more popular ­members of the British team, had been a big favourite for 200m. And that she lost out on gold by 0.01sec. But the final heartbreak came when she crossed the line and thought she had won – only to show the Swiss athlete Mujinga Kambundji had pipped her in a photo finish in 22.49sec.

    “I am honestly just so disappointed,” said Neita, who had to settle for silver. “I know how much I should have got that. I thought it was close on the line, I could feel myself dipping which isn’t my strongest thing.”

    Neita, who has won individual bronze medals at the European championships and ­Commonwealth Games, praised Kambundji ­afterwards. But she knew she had blown a golden opportunity. “I’m upset at myself because I came here for the gold,” she said.

    There was another British medal on the penultimate night as Megan Keith won bronze in only her third 10,000m race. It was some performance, especially as the 22-year-old student from Inverness had been reluctant to move up from 5,000m as she found the event dull.

    But in a race where the pace quickly whittled down the field and forced her fellow British ­runners ­Jessica Judd-Warner and Eilish McColgan to drop out, Keith held firm. She even bravely took the lead with five laps left, but had no answer when Italy’s Nadia Battocletti, who won the 5,000m, kicked for home to win in 30min 51.32sec.

    “I’m really happy,” said Keith, who came home in 31:04.77. “I gave it a shot for a brighter colour but you can’t not be happy with a bronze. I’m just soaking it all in.”

    Asked about her comments in March about the 10,000m being “pretty boring”, she said: “I stand by it being monotonous. You have to zone out but also keep intense ­concentration. I’m still practising that. But I don’t find it dull, it’s just a new challenge.”

    Megan Keith on her way to bronze in the 10,000m. Photograph: Manon Cruz/Reuters

    This was also a night when multiple Olympic and world champions laid down a thumping marker before the Paris Games. Everywhere you looked records were toppled, accompanied by gasps of astonishment and awe.

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    In the men’s 400m hurdles, ­Norway’s Karsten Warholm broke the European championship record in 46.98sec, winning by more than half a second from the Italian ­Alessandro Sibilio. Femke Bol’s response in the women’s 400m hurdles? To smash the championship record while ­winning by the best part of two ­seconds in 52.49.

    In the men’s triple jump the ­Spaniard Jordan Díaz Fortun then jumped 18.18m – the third-longest in history and only 11cm behind ­Jonathan Edwards’s 29-year-old world record – to take gold. Another championship record.

    But the biggest cheer of a fantastic night in Rome came when Gianmarco Tamberi, who famously shared an Olympic gold medal in Tokyo, soared over 2.37m to win the high jump in front of an adoring home crowd.

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