European Championships 2018: Matthew Hudson-Smith wins gold for Great Britain in 400m

Athletics European Championships
Venue: Olympic Stadium, Berlin. Dates: 7-12 August
Coverage: Live across BBC TV, BBC Radio 5 live and sports extra plus the BBC Sport website with further coverage on BBC iPlayer, Red Button, Connected TVs and mobile app.

Matthew Hudson-Smith won Great Britain's third athletics gold at the 2018 European Championships with victory in the 400m final.

The 23-year-old crossed the line in 44.78 seconds, ahead of Kevin Borlee and the Belgian's identical twin brother Jonathan, who took bronze.

Fellow Briton Katarina Johnson-Thompson secured heptathlon silver as rival Nafi Thiam won gold with 6,816 points.

Johnson-Thompson finished with a personal best total of 6,759 points.

Team-mate Meghan Beesley, 28, produced her best individual performance in a major outdoor meeting with bronze in the women's 400m hurdles.

The Briton clinched the medal from lane one, with Switzerland's Lea Sprunger taking gold ahead of Ukraine's Anna Ryzhykova. Scot Eilidh Doyle was eighth.

Beesley told BBC Sport: "I'm just so shocked. I kept thinking, 'just keep running to the finish line'.

"Before the race I looked at people who had run well in lane one and just went for it."

Jake Wightman won Britain's third medal of the day when he finished third in the men's 1500m, as Norwegian 17-year-old Jakob Ingebrigtsen won gold and Poland's Marcin Lewandowski clinched silver. Wightman's compatriots, Charlie Grice and Chris O'Hare, were fifth and ninth respectively.

"It was a very nerve-racking affair," Wightman told BBC Sport. "Up until the last 10 metres, no-one knew where the medals were going, but I'm buzzing to get a bronze."

Briton Dina Asher-Smith looks on course to clinch a European sprint double after winning her 200m semi-final. The 100m champion will be joined in Saturday's final by British champion Beth Dobbin, who finished second behind world champion Dafne Schippers in her race, and team-mate Bianca Williams, who qualified as a fastest loser.

There was disappointment elsewhere for Britain:

  • 110m hurdles final - World Indoor 60m hurdles champion Andrew Pozzi finished sixth
  • Women's 800m final - Adelle Tracey (fourth) Lynsey Sharp (sixth), Shelayna Oskan-Clarke (eighth)
  • Women's high jump final - Morgan Lake (seventh)
  • Women's triple jump final - Naomi Ogbeta (12th)
  • Men's 800m semi-finals - Daniel Rowden, Guy Learmonth and 2016 bronze medallist Elliot Giles failed to qualify for the final

'I'm never doing that again' - Hudson-Smith

Hudson-Smith - the fastest man in the final line-up - burst out of the blocks and had a huge lead after 300m before he tied up in the home straight. Victory was the Wolverhampton-born runner's biggest outdoor success.

In response to a question about his explosive start, the British champion told BBC Sport: "I'm never doing that again.

"I got to 350m, I've never really had lactic before but I was like, 'what is this?'. I was swimming - that's why I was on the floor for so long after the race."

He added: "It's a good feeling. The time doesn't matter, that's for the future. It was about winning and going on in the future.

"Times will come, I went for it and tried something new. That lactic was something different."

KJT fails to hold on to advantage

Johnson-Thompson held a 113-point lead over Thiam after the fifth discipline, the long jump - where she leapt to 6.68m, although Thiam produced 6.60m with her final effort to keep the pressure on.

The 23-year-old Olympic and world champion then threw a championship record of 57.91m in the javelin, Johnson-Thompson's 42.16m was a personal best but her lead was gone to be replaced by a sizeable deficit.

Commonwealth champion Johnson-Thompson went into the 800m trailing Thiam by 192 points, equating to a 13.5 second gap but was only able to eat into 10 seconds of the Belgian's advantage.

The Liverpool athlete told BBC Sport: "It's the European Championships and against the very best, one of the all-time greats, so I'm glad I was able to hold my own.

"I was the most calm I've ever been going into that, I was just concentrating on me and I'm proud of myself.

"I've had a difficult three years and I definitely feel it's a turning point even since the Commonwealth Games. It's taken a lot of hard work and a lot of people to get me to where I am and I have too many people to thank."

German Carolin Schafer took bronze with 6,602 points.

GB teams target relay medals

The British quartet of Cameron Chalmers, Dwayne Cowan, Rabah Yousif and Martyn Rooney set the best time from any European team this year in the men's 4x400m relay. Their time of three minutes 01.62 seconds saw them qualify for Saturday's final and Britain will also be able to call on Hudson-Smith in the final.

The women's team of Zoey Clark, Finette Agyapong, Mary Abichi and Emily Diamond finished second in their heat to qualify for the women's 4x400m relay final.

Britain's Laura Muir and Laura Weightman both advanced to Sunday's final in the women's 1500m. Muir won her heat in a time of 4:09.12, while Weightman was second in her heat but recorded a faster time of 4:08.74.

Adam Hague produced a career best effort of 5.61m to qualify for the men's pole vault final and Sophie Hitchon's throw of 68.69m took her into the women's hammer final, both events on Sunday.

Rosie Clarke came fourth in her heat to move into Sunday's final of the women's 3,000m steeplechase.

Overall medal table

Medal table
Great Britain are second in the overall medal table for the new multisport event

Great Britain only won one other medal on Friday as they seek to close the gap on Russia at the top of the overall medal table for the inaugural Championships.

That medal came in diving's 3m synchronised springboard final courtesy of Olympic champions Jack Laugher and Chris Mears, who won silver.

Will it be a super Saturday for GB? - day 10 preview

English women's golf player Georgia Hall
British Open winner Georgia Hall is involved in the mixed team event

GB ones to watch:

10:15-18:15 -There are three British teams in this unique mixed team golf event, including one containing four-time major winner Laura Davies and British Open champion Georgia Hall, along with Callum Shinkwin and Lee Slattery.

12:30 - Beth Shriever goes for gold in the women's BMX finals. Shriever won world junior gold in 2017.

13:00 -Double Olympic champion Max Whitlock will lead Great Britain in the men's gymnastics team final.

17:35 -Great Britain's triathlon mixed relay team will be hopeful of a medal despite being without either Olympic men's champion Alistair Brownlee or his brother Jonny, who won silver at Rio 2016.

19:05 -World leader Lorraine Ugen, 2015 World Championships silver medallist Shara Proctor and 2016 European silver medallist Jazmin Sawyers go in the women's long jump final.

19:45 - Dina Asher-Smith,the 100m champion, is looking to complete the sprint double when she goes in the 200m final. Beth Dobbin and Bianca Williams have also made the final.

20:30 & 20:50 - And the British team will be hoping to round off the night at the Berlin Olympic stadium with golds in both the men's and women's 4x400m finals.

Network coverage: 09:00-13:15, BBC Two; 13:15-16:30, BBC One; 16:30-17:30, BBC Two; 17:30-21:00, BBC One

Radio coverage: 19:30-21:00, BBC Radio 5 live

Further coverage: 08:00-22:00, golf, diving and open water swimming, BBC Red Button & 08:00-22:00, uninterrupted coverage on Connected TV and online.


Join the conversation

This entry is now closed for comments.


Top Stories


Explore the BBC