Mixed emotions for Sharman

Mixed emotions for Sharman

Will Sharman, left, had to settle for second again

Will Sharman was "gutted" not to have won the 110m hurdles

First published in National Sport © by

Will Sharman had to settle for 110 metres silver at the European Championships, missing out on the first major title of his career for the second time in a matter of weeks.

Fresh from his second-place finish at the Commonwealth Games, the 29-year-old was again pipped to the line in Zurich.

Sharman impressed in qualifying for the final at the Stadion Letzigrund and secured a personal best of 13.16 seconds in the semi-finals.

It was a feat he was unable to repeat later on Thursday evening, though, as he clattered into the seventh and eighth hurdles after a strong start.

Sharman dipped to take silver in 13.27secs and was clearly relieved to have clinched a podium place in a race in which only two hundredths of a second separated second and fifth.

"I kind of got away with it when I slapped the hurdle with the trailing leg but that exposed the next hurdle which I hit with my lead," he told the BBC.

"It's mixed emotions because I knew I was in the lead, I knew where [Sergey] Shubenkov is good and I knew where I was stronger and I didn't expect to be in the lead in the middle section. I could have done more and that's why I was gutted.

"Going into this I was a bronze medal hopeful but the good thing is that we've been working on improving my absolute time so that if I do make a mistake in the final I can still come away with a medal.

"I am taking it down all the time and I think there's still more to come.

"On the start line I was quite tired, having done a personal best not long before, and I wanted just one more effort. When you're drained and the chips are down you have to produce your best result and I almost did."

Sharman was supposed to be joined in the final by Lawrence Clarke, only for his fellow Briton to miss out after tweaking his hamstring in the warm-up.

Andy Turner was also absent from the final, having finished seventh in his semi-final - the 2010 European and Commonwealth champion's last appearance at a major event before retiring at the end of the year.

"I'm not going to go away disappointed," he said. "I finished my career where I wanted to be and that is on the track. I didn't want these achilles problems to determine the end. It sits well with me. There's not a next time but I'm cool with that."

Britain's only other medal hope on Thursday came in the women's javelin, with team captain Goldie Sayers finishing eighth.

Having endured a nightmare 18 months with a career-threatening elbow injury, just to be in Switzerland is an impressive feat for Sayers, who was unable to improve on her third-round throw of 58.33m.

"That was just incredibly frustrating," she said. "I didn't have a big throw in me today - if I did, I didn't get it out.

"My arm feels as good as it has ever been - that to me just shows the lack of throws in my training over the last 12 months."

Elsewhere on Thursday, Jodie Williams, Bianca Williams and Dina Asher-Smith impressively secured their places in the women's 200m final.

Adam Gemili will be Great Britain's sole representative in the men's line-up, qualifying quicker than any of his rivals for the European crown.

Two weeks on from winning silver over half that distance at the Commonwealth Games, the 20-year-old former footballer looks well placed to add another medal to his collection after crossing the line in 20.23s.

"It was a good race," Gemili said. "I'm just trying to save as much energy as I can for (Friday). I needed to qualify, I've done that, made another senior final and anything can happen now."

Earlier in the day Commonwealth pole vault champion Steven Lewis qualified for the final, while Eilidh Child again bossed the 400m hurdles field in qualifying for the final.

The Glasgow 2014 silver medallist has a day's rest before the final on Saturday, when she will follow reigning 800m champion Lynsey Sharp and Jessica Judd onto the track.

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