The fastest 3,000 m runner of this year’s indoor season has now won the
gold medal at the event in the European Championships. Alistair Cragg had
beaten a weakened Kenenisa Bekele – the Ethiopian had lost his
fiancée at the beginning of the year – in Boston to run the
fastest time of the year (7:39.89 minutes).
Now he transformed the 3,000 m European final in Madrid into a one man show. It
will be very interesting to see what the 24-year-old will be capable of in the
summer season. In Madrid he clocked 7:46.32 minutes.
Coming from fourth place on the last 70 metres Britain’s John Mayock
managed to win a silver medal in 7:51.46 while Reyes Estévez
(Spain/7:51.65) had to be content with third place. Günther Weidlinger
(Austria/7:52.35) was fourth after he had been in second position during the
last few laps.
Mark Caroll, the second Irish, had first taken the
The second Irishman in the field, Mark Caroll, had first taken the lead.
Obviously he was doing a sort of a pace job for Alistair Cragg. He passed 1,000
m in 2:35.50. And Cragg was right behind him, followed by Estévez. At
1,200 m Cragg took over the lead and stayed in this position right through the
When he injected some more pace at 1,700 m the gap that opened was growing
constantly. At the end it turned to be an impressive solo run by the Irishman.
“I intended to win the race today but somehow I did not feel well during
the last five laps. And I started thinking about tomorrow’s 1,500 m
final. I want to get a medal there as well”, Reyes Estévez
Romanian Elena Iagar won the 1,500 m
There was one more final in the running events on day two of the championships.
Romanian Elena Iagar won the 1,500 m in a world leading time of 4:03,09
minutes. She was well ahead of Corina Dumbravean (Romania/4:05,88) and Hind
Dehiba (France/4:07,20). “I felt so strong today. I knew that there would
hardly be an athlete who could beat me today”, Elena Iagar explained.