Women's 1500m, 2021 European indoor championships - Day 2, story 5

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1305683772.jpgHanna Klein takes the bronze, photo by European Athletics

1305467583.jpgHolly Archer takes silver in 1,500m, after being disqualified, photo by European Athletics

1305683126.jpg

Elise Vanderelst takes the 1,500m gold, photo by European Athletics

In a race that was totally championship indoors, the women's 1,500m was quite satisfying, especially when Holly Ache was reinstated. This is Stuart Weirs' 5th piece on day 2!

Women's 1500

Holly Archer capped her senior GB debut with a 1500m silver medal. In a dramatic women's 1500m, Archer fought through the field in the final two laps and produced a killer sprint finish to move up into second position in 4:19.91 to claim her first senior international medal.

Ev08ep7WgAAKe9Y.jpgHolly Archer and Katarzynka the Gingerbread man, photo by European Athletics

An incredibly cagey start saw all nine athletes bunched up before a rapid increase in pace with two laps remaining caught everyone by surprise, with Archer and teammate Katy Snowden boxed in sixth and seventh position respectively.

1305683126.jpgElise Vanderelst takes the 1,500m gold, photo by European Athletics

But Archer held her nerve and timed her move perfectly, kicking off the final corner to climb from third to second, finishing just behind Belgian Elise Vanderelst, who took the crown in 4:18.44, with Snowden finishing sixth in 4:21.81.

Then the fun started. Archer was disqualified for obstruction but was reinstated following a successful appeal. Ageda Munoz of Spain was also disqualified but not re-instated.

1305467583.jpgHolly Archer takes silver in 1,500m, photo by European Athletics

After being confirmed as silver medallist, Archer said: "That was the longest wait ever. It was supposed to be half an hour but it turned into three hours. I feel absolutely delighted. To come so close and then get it taken away, I've been on a rollercoaster, but I'm really happy to finally get that silver.

1305467179.jpgHolly Archer, photo by European Athletics

"It was a scrappy race, but I feel like I raced it the best that I could, given the circumstances. I don't think I could have done anything better. I just wanted to stay out of trouble for as long as possible and show what I could do on the last lap. I literally have no memories. It was a total blur. From the gun, it was just jostling. The first 10m, arms and legs were going everywhere so I don't really remember much. All I remember is being fifth or sixth. At the bell, I still didn't know where I was.

1305683772.jpgHanna Klein, photo by European Athletics

"It's been an incredible experience. I came into this final with the ambition of getting the gold. I know I was fully capable of doing that today. If it was a faster race, I think I might have done it, so I'm devastated about that, but I'm happy that I still came away with the silver in a really tactical race. The experience has been amazing, and I will definitely learn from this in the future".

Hannah England, who twice finished in the top 4 in World championship 400s, said the race was "probably the most physical 1500m I've ever seen". Steve Cram - a legend in 1500m running - said on commentary that Archer had barged another runner but that if she were to be disqualified, then so should half the field.

The winner commented: "I still don't realise it. I ran the dream final. I took directly the inside lane. I had a lot of energy left, so I pushed. I did not expect to win. It is extraordinary. It's just crazy, I didn't expect this at all. It is my first European Indoor Champs and I directly win the title".

1305683193.jpgHanna Klein takes the bronze, photo by European Athletics

Hanna Klein was third. She commented: "I'm so excited! It was my dream to take a medal here and I did! It's my first medal in a senior championship. The colour doesn't even matter so much. The race was very tactical, it was a mess. I was just telling myself to stay calm. I'm small, so I was afraid of getting pushed and stepping on a line and getting disqualified, but it all worked for me".

1305683903.jpgHanna Klein takes the bronze, photo by European Athletics

Note Klein's comment that she feared being disqualified innocently. That should not be in a runner's mind.

A brilliant race full of skill, courage and tactics - worthy of a championship final. Sadly again, let down by an inept officialdom.

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