The women’s 3000m showed two Brits in the top 3, ad 3 Bits in the top 4, as Stuart Weir updates us on the event!
The women’s 3000m has been a good event for Britain at the European Indoor Championships – think Laura Muir, winning in 2017 and 2019 – to be precise winning the 1500m and the 3000m on both occasions! But Laura is not in the team this year. But the prelims had given calls for encouragement with all three British athletes qualifying comfortably.
In the final, Amelia Quirk, just 21, ran confidently and was always with the leaders while Verity Ockenden and Amy-Eloise Markovc stayed in the pack. Netherlands’ Maureen Koster looked the main threat until she fell with two laps to go. As the race moved to a climax, it seemed that a British 1,2,3 looked possible. All three British athletes ran PRs.
What a race! ðŸ’¥
— European Athletics (@EuroAthletics) March 5, 2021
Amy-Eloise Markovic – 8:46.43 who took gold, commented: “It’s unbelievable! That was the goal coming into it and I wanted to keep that winning mentality. It was definitely a bit nerve-racking and I’m just really pleased that I ran confidently, stayed calm, and trusted myself when I went to make a move. I’m really pleased with the result and it makes it even better that I’m going to be standing on the podium with Verity and had some great girls on the team in the final.”
Verity Ockenden finished in 8:46.60, just 0.17 seconds behind Markovc but had to settle for bronze, with Alice Finot of France separating the two British girls. Amelia Quirke made it three PRs for the British women with 8:48.42, finishing fifth.
Ockenden said: “It was a close race. What an incredible feeling to be Brits storming down that straight. We were both just really going for it, but having talked to Amy just now, we both really enjoyed using each other. The way we pushed each other, actually helped us hold other people off, but unfortunately not [Alice] Finot for me which was absolutely gutting. I knew she was there, but I just couldn’t lean quite enough, but that just makes me hungry to come back again”.
Three in the top five says a lot about the strength of British distance running – all the more so with Laura Muir and Melissa Courtney-Bryant absent.