I missed 4 stories on the European Indoors by Stuart Weir. This was one of them. Stuart Weir covered the 3 days in Glasgow with the keen observation skills that we have come to know and love. This race was won by Spain’s Alvaro di Arriba.
The men’s 800m
The men’s 800m was an event of intrigue and high drama. I have already written about the semi-final incident which let to the disqualification of Guy Learmonth and the award to Mark English, with whom Learmonth tangled, of an extra place in the final.
So it was that seven athletes lined up in the six lanes. The final result was:
Alvaro de Arriba (Spain) 1.46.83
Jamie Webb (GB) 1:47.13
Mark English (Ireland) 1:47.39
The winner was not a surprise. He took bronze in Belgrade two years ago, was fifth in the 2018 World Indoors and a finalist at last year’s European outdoors:
“ItÂ´s a really important moment to me, very meaningful in my career. Everything just went spectacular. How I feel now is proud to wear the Spain vest. People who know me, know perfectly everything I have been through. I know myself that I am in a good form, mentally and physically”.
Jamie Webb was a surprise silver medallist. His flashquote as recorded by British Athletics was slightly off the wall: “Everyone’s got opinions. I’ve learnt a lot and that I’ve just got to look after myself. People who think because I’m 23/24 going on 25, [Jamie, you are 24 as you seem confused] you’re not going to improve. But you are sort of a master of your own destiny, and I’ve got another 6 years of improvement.
“I look at people like Nick Symmonds who won Olympic bronze at 30/31, I think he was. There’s no reason why I can’t be 1:44/1:43s this summer, or 1:42, chipping away. I’ve improved every year and I was a latecomer to the sport. I only started training at 18 properly, very progressively and we’ve got a long-term view – it’s a big 18 months now with world champs all the way through until Tokyo.
“I can’t wait. I’m in a really good place and I’ve got a really nice team around me now.[Glad to hear it as his coach is his dad].
English was given a second chance and he took it, battling to a bronze medal, commenting: “I took an aggressive approach and thankfully it worked out. I had to come through a lot of traffic. I knew if Andreas Bube got in ahead of me there would be no getting past him”.