European Championships round-up: Great Britain win two bronze medals
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 09/07/16 10:29pm
Two of Britain's Olympic hopefuls have secured bronze medals on day four of the European Athletic Championships in Amsterdam.
Steph Twell battled to bronze in the 5,000 metres, in a time of 15:20.70, her first major medal since a third-placed finish at the 2010 Commonwealth Games following a broken ankle in 2011 and then a foot injury which ruled her out of London 2012.
Julian Reid secured a bitter-sweet third-placed finish in the triple jump thanks to a first-round leap of 16.76m, but he was unable to secure a second Olympic qualifying standard of 16.85m needed to guarantee his place on the plane to Rio.
A first major medal of his career for the Jamaican-born 27-year-old was still reason to celebrate, though, and he remains in the frame for Rio selection when the team is announced on Wednesday.
Great Britain's men's 4x100 metres relay quartet avoided the baton blunders which have plagued them over recent seasons to coast into the final of the European Championships on a night of two more bronze medals for the team in Amsterdam.
A strong line-up of James Dasaolu, Adam Gemili, James Ellington and Chijindu Ujah took no risks with safe changeovers to come home in the European-leading time of 38.12 seconds and qualify fastest for Sunday's final at the Olympic Stadium.
Britain's men may be the defending sprint relay champions in the Dutch capital, but their recent relay record makes sorry reading.
They have been disqualified from the last four global championships, including London 2012, and most recently at last year's World Championships in Beijing after which team members turned on each other.
They are after a clean run in Amsterdam to ensure they head to the Olympics in Rio in the best possible form to take on Jamaica and the United States.
Ellington, who finished fifth in the individual 100m, said: "We just wanted to get it around as smoothly as possible. I think those bends are really tight in lane one as well, so to run 38.12 in the semi-final gives us a lot of confidence heading into the final."
Ujah bore the brunt of his team-mates' criticism in Beijing, but the tensions which spilled over on that occasion now appear to have been settled.
Gemili, who withdrew from the individual 100m to focus on the relay, said: "We are all running very fast so we are pushing each other to make the team."
The women's quartet of Asha Philip, newly-crowned European 200m champion Dina Asher-Smith, Bianca Williams and Daryll Neita also enjoyed serene progress in 42.59secs.
Britain are favourites for all four relays and the 4x400m teams are determined to make statements of intent ahead of the Olympics.
Both quartets ran European-leading times, with the women's team of Eilidh Doyle, Margaret Adeoye, Kelly Massey and Seren Bundy-Davies clocking 3:26.42, while the men's four of Rabah Yousif, Delano Williams, Nigel Levine and Jarryd Dunn came home in 3:01.63.
Britain won world bronze in both events in Beijing and believe they are well placed to make the podium again in Brazil.
Dunn said: "The team we are going to put out there are going to go and challenge for a shiny medal - not just a bronze. We know we can challenge for the top two positions on that podium."
The men can bring in the likes of two-time European champion Martyn Rooney and British champion Matthew Hudson-Smith, while the women can still call on British number one Emily Diamond, European bronze medallist Anyika Onuora and two-time world champion Christine Ohuruogu.
Robbie Grabarz and Chris Baker made equally light work of high jump qualifying, Grabarz producing three first-time clearances and Baker four to achieve the automatic qualifying mark of 2.25m.