(photo credit: IAA)
Danielle Frenkel will become the first Israeli woman to compete in a final at
the European Athletics Championships on Sunday after setting a new national
record in the high jump in a flawless morning of qualification in Barcelona on
The 22-year-old cleared 1.92 meters in her first attempt to
improve the Israeli record she set last month by one centimeter and advance
automatically to the final.
“I had a superb day,” Frenkel said. “I now
need to recover from the qualifiers and make sure I’m ready for the
Frenkel began the qualifiers at the entry height of 1.78m and
after passing it with her first effort went on to clear 1.83m, 1.87m and 1.90m
in her other first attempts before booking her place in the final with another
perfect jump at 1.92m.
“I felt ready and strong,” Frenkel added. “It is
all a result of hard work. I felt like I could clear any height. I’m optimistic
about the final.”
Frenkel’s success is a testament to the progress she
has made since turning her full focus to athletics four years ago. She improved
her personal best time and again and took a significant step forward this year,
winning her first Israeli championship and setting a new national
“Danielle was so ready for the championships that I had no doubt
she would make the final,” said Frenkel’s coach Anatoliy Shafran. “She cleared
1.92m in training several times so that height didn’t scare her. She gave an
Ma’ayan Foreman, who dominated the high-jump in
Israel until Frenkel’s emergence, finished 26th and last in the qualifiers,
jumping just 1.78, 11 centimeters shy of her personal best.
finished the 100m hurdles in 23rd position on Friday after clocking a time of
13.41 seconds in the heats.
Yohai Halevi also ended his participation in
Barcelona on Friday, leaping 7.90m, nine centimeters short of his Israeli
record, in the high-jump qualifiers.
Halevi failed to advance to the
final, finishing in 18th position.
Also Friday, Christophe Lemaitre
overcame another poor start to win the men’s 200 meters and secure a sprint
Lemaitre again recovered from an atrocious start and wobbly run
around the bend to surge past four runners and snatch victory by a hundredth of
a second, clocking 20.37 seconds at Barcelona’s Olympic stadium on
“Coming out of the bend my legs were so heavy. But you have to
push to the end to have a chance,” Lemaitre said. “I really pushed with
everything I had to do it.”
The 20-year-old Frenchman had to power
through the field over the last 60 meters in a similar finish to Wednesday’s win
in the 100, when he stumbled out of the blocks but recovered to secure his first
Myriam Soumaire denied Russia’s women another gold medal
when the Frenchwoman won the 200 meters at the European Championships on
Moments after teammate and 100m silver medalist Veronique Mang
was disqualified for a false start, Soumaire surged to the front of the field
from the outside lane to win the race in a European season’s best time of 22.32
Earlier, Zivile Balciunaite of Lithuania won the women’s
marathon while 50- year-old Merlene Ottey made history as the oldest athlete to
compete at the event when she ran in the 4x100 women’s relay.
went around the streets of Barcelona in 2 hours, 31 minutes, 14 seconds to earn
her first major triumph.
Nailya Yulamanova of Russia won silver in
2:32:15 and Anna Incerti of Italy took bronze in 2:32:48.
naturalized Slovenian of Jamaican origin, surpassed the age record held by
47-year-old French marathon runner Nicole Brakebusch- Leveque. But Slovenia
failed to get out of the heats, led by Russia.
France advanced to the
men’s 4x100 relay final on Sunday despite Christophe Lemaitre, who won the 100m
and 200m dashes, sitting out qualifying. Martian Mbandjock, who won bronze in
the 100m and 200m, anchored France. Germany was fastest in a time of
38.75.AP contributed to this report