High jump anguish for tearful Lake

Morgan Lake missed out on a place in Sunday's high jump final

Morgan Lake missed out on a place in Sunday's high jump final

First published in National Sport News © by

Great Britain's Morgan Lake, the youngest competitor at the European Championships, could not hold back the tears after failing to qualify for the high jump final.

Just weeks after claiming the world junior heptathlon and high jump titles, the 17-year-old was left frustrated on her senior debut in Zurich.

In wet, difficult conditions, Lake started well enough by clearing 1.75 metres and 1.80m at the first attempt, before leaping 1.85m at the second time of asking.

The teenager came agonisingly close to clearing 1.89 with her final jump, but just clipped the bar to see her finish joint 17th and miss Sunday's final.

While Lake will no doubt look back at this experience as invaluable, the emotions clearly proved too much at the time as tears rolled down her cheeks.

There was better news at the Stadion Letzigrund for Great Britain in the men's 1,500m, with Charlie Grice and Chris O'Hare impressively qualifying for the final.

Grice's time of three minutes 39.41 seconds saw him finish second in the first semi-final - a race which saw France's Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad return to action after being stripped of his 3,000m steeplechase crown on Thursday night for removing his vest down the home straight.

O'Hare went in the second semi-final, getting himself out of trouble having been boxed in and producing an impressive surge to win in three mins 39.24secs.

"I just sat back for the first two laps and let the race go by," he told the BBC. "I let everybody make their moves, so I was a spectator.

"With 300m to go I thought 'should I sit or should I press for the front?' I put my foot to the floor with 150m to go. I am happy with how it went."

The British duo are joined in the final by Paul Robinson and Ciaran O'Lionaird of Ireland, who saw strong medal chances extinguished in downtown Zurich.

Robert Heffernan was looking to add the European crown to last year's World Championships triumph in the 50km race walk.

The Irish team captain looked to be in the medal hunt at the halfway point, but soon began to drop off the pace.

Heffernan was clearly battling with a knock and, having stopped briefly to stretch, withdrew just before the 40km mark.

He showed his class at the finish line, though, by going to congratulate France's Yohann Diniz for setting a new world record of 3:32:33.

Ireland's Brendan Boyce was never going to challenge the leading pack, but set a new personal best as he finished 16th in 3:51:34.

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