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ATHLETICS EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS - DAY FOUR

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Fourth day of competition, 9.7.2016

There are a lot of interesting finals in the evening session of day 4 of the European Championships. The night will culminate with two epic do-or-die events, as the women's 800m and men's 1500m finals take place.

20:05 WOMEN'S 5000M FINAL

There is one name above all others in the women's 5000 metres. Yasemin Can's (TUR) European leading time of 14:37.61 is over 12 seconds better than the woman in second place, who s Sweden's Meraf Bafta (14:49.95). Only Can will also run the 10 000 metres in Amsterdam, but as previous major championships have shown, it's completely possible to be successful in both. Bafta did win the 5000m in the last European Championships, but if anyone can challenge Can this time out it would be a major surprise.

Behind Can and Bafta in the European rankings is Norway's Karoline Bjerkeli Groevdal (14:57.77), who is also competing in the 10 000 metres. Besides the three women mentioned, only Team GB's Steph Twell has managed to run under 15 minutes, with her time being 14 minutes and 59 seconds flat.

After those four the next name to take note of is the hosts' Maureen Koster, whose done 15:07.20 this season. The Dutch crowd may well spur her on towards greatness. At only 21 years of age Sweden's Sarah Lahti is another to look out for. Her time of 15:10.76 is rather impressive for her age.

Other Team GB athletes in this event capable of success are Laura Whittle (15:08.58) and Eilish McColgan (15:09.94). The British ladies are ranked sixth and seventh respectively in this season's European rankings.

The other Dutch athlete appearing in the 5000 metres is Susan Kuijken, who won bronze in the last European Championships. Kuijken's record from 2013 is impressive (15:04.36), but she's been struggling this season as her SB is only 15:37.26. However, if the final goes to the wire and has a slow pace she could make an impact.

Betting tips:

To be updated...

Ranking:

A: Favourite

Yasemin Can

B: Challengers

Meraf Bafta, Karoline Bjerkeli Groevdal, Steph Twell

C: Surprise packages

Maureen Koster, Laura Whittle, Eilish McColgan, Sarah Lahti, Susan Kuijken

 

20:30 MEN'S 110 METRE HURDLES FINAL

This season's European rankings are littered with Frenchmen, as in the top 7 seven times as many as four have been made by French athletes. Out of those four Dimitri Bascou (13.24), Pascal Martinot-Lagarde (13.29) and Wilhem Belocian (13.30) are the favourites in the final, while the fourth man, Aurel Manga (13.33) has to settle for a back-up role.

However, the best time by a European this season belongs to Spain's Orlando Ortega, whose run 13.12, but sadly he won't be running in Amsterdam. Ortega switched to Spain from Cuba in 2013 after disagreements with Cuban administration. The talented hurdler gained a Spanish passport last year, but he won't be representing his new nation until the Olympics in Rio.

The man most capable of challenging the French is Team GB's Any Pozzi. The Brit has run 13.31 this season, but he is very consistent as he's only once gone over 13.40 all season. Another surprise package could be Poland's Damian Czykier, who ran his record of 13.35 right before the European Championships.

Betting tips:

To be updated...

Ranking:

A: Favourites

Dimitri Bascou, Pascal Martinot-Lagarde

B: Challengers

Wilhem Belocian, Andy Pozzi

C: Surprise packages

Damian Czykier, Balasz Baji

 

20:40 WOMEN'S 800M FINAL

There are a couple of major absences in the women's 800 metres, as both the reigning European- and World Champion Maryna Arzamasova and the silver medalist from two years ago, Lynsey Sharp have pulled out. Sharp's SB of 1:59.03 is the second fastest time in Europe this season, while Arzamasova is fourth on the same list with 1:59.65.

With those two absent, all the pressure is on Renelle Lamote of France, who has the best European time this season with 1:58.01. That time is also her personal best. At only 22 years of age, Lamote was in the last European Championships as well, but then she wasn't good enough for the final - yet. She came eighth in last year's World Championships, so her career is clearly going forward.

Despite the absences Lamote has plenty of challengers. Ukraine's 21-year old Nataliya Pryshchepa (1:59.08) and the more experienced, 28-year old Nataliya Lupu (1:59.70) have been in good form this season. Justine Fedronic of France (1:59.86) and Poland's Angelika Cichoka (1:59.97) are also running fast this season. The seven best women are all within less than two seconds of each other, but only Lamote has gone under 1:59 this season.

Two dark horses in the race could be Poland's Joanna Jozwik and Switzerland's Selina Büchel. Both have impressive PB's of 1:58.35 and 1:57.95, but this season they haven't reached those heights. Winner of the bronze medal two years ago, Jozwik has done 2:00.72 this season, with Büchel clocking in two hundredths of a second slower. At their best both are more than capable of challenging for a place on the podium.

Russia's Julia Stepanova gained a special permit to run in Amsterdam, as it was her revelations that led to the Russian doping scandal. She hasn't run the 800 metres this season, but her PB of 1:58.99 is impressive. She probably won't be in that kind of form, but she does has the potential to surprise.

Betting tips:

To be updated...

Ranking:

A: Favourites

Renelle Lamote, Nataliya Pryshchepa, Nataliya Lupu

B: Challengers

Justine Fedronic, Angelika Cichocka, Joanna Jozwik, Selina Büchel

C: Surprise packages

Olha Lyakhova, Sofia Ennaoui, Christina Hering, Anita Hinriksdottir, Julia Stepanova

 

20:50 MEN'S 1500M FINAL

It promises to be an epic battle in the men's 1500 metres. The five best times in Europe this season are all within about half a second of each other, and although Team GB's Chris O'Hare won't be running in Amsterdam, there are many possible candidates for a medal - even behind the remaining four men in the rankings. Two years ago the gold was "stolen" by Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad, who is better known for his exploits in the 3000m steeplechase. However, the French hot-head hasn't competed in the 1500 metres for a while, meaning that he won't be defending his title this time out.

The best time out of the European's belongs to Germany's Homiyu Tesfaye (3:35.05), who came fifth in the last European Championships at only 21 years of age. The man in second, Czech's Jakub Holusa has run only a tenth of a second slower. Besides his impressive SB, the Czech has also won silver in the indoor World Championships this season. Now Holusa is looking for his first outdoor medal.

Florian Carvalho (3:35.39) and Mourad Amdouni (3:35.58) of France are fourth and fifth in this season's rankings, but an even stronger challenger for the gold is Norway's 25-year old Henrik Ingebrigtsen, who won gold in 2012 right in front of Carvalho's nose. The Norwegian came second two years ago, so he has a lot of experience despite being relatively young. This season Ingebrigtsen has done 3:36.00, while his little brother Filip is right behind him with his time being 3:36.21.

Another who could make an impact on the podium places is the 2012 bronze medalist, David Bustos. The Spanish runner has clocked 3:36.14 this season.

Betting tips:

To be updated...

Ranking:

A: Favourites

Homiyu Tesfaye, Henrik Ingebrigtsen

B: Challengers

Jakub Holusa, Florian Carvalho, Mourad Amdouni

C: Surprise packages

David Bustos, Filip Ingebrigtsen

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