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European Athletics Championships Retrospective Day 4

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Throughout the end of year holiday period, European Athletics is offering a day by day review of the European Athletics Championships held from 12-17 August in Zurich.  

Day 4, Friday 15 August, Hussein sends the home crowd wild

It was a night that hosts will long remember as Kariem Hussein produced the run of his life to win the 400m hurdles at the European Athletics Championships.

The noise just grew in the Letzigrund Stadium as the Swiss star moved into the home straight and with a measured display; he was just not going to miss out on this glory as he won in 48.96 from Estonia’s Rasmus Magi in 49.06 and Denis Kudryavtsev in 49.16.

Hussein was bubbling with delight and said: "This was an awesome crowd. It’s a strange feeling.  All of my emotions went into this race, I wanted it so much."

It was some fourth day in Zurich and one that began with a world record from one of the great stalwarts of race walking, France’s Yohann Diniz.

At 36, Diniz made it a hat-trick of European titles in the 50m walk, bridging a gap from Barcelona in 2010 as the event was not staged in Helsinki in 2012, with his first success in Gothenburg in 2006.

He won in a world record time of 3:32:33 from Matej Toth, of Slovakia, with 3:36:21 and Russia’s Ivan Noskov in 3:37:41.

Inside the Letzigrund Stadium, Dafne Schippers did not disappointment as she completed the sprint double with another brilliant performance, this time adding 200m gold to the 100m she had won 48 hours earlier.

Her success meant she repeated the feat of her legendary Dutch countrywoman Fanny Blankers-Koen in Brussels in 1950.

Schippers ran a national record of 22.03 as she beat Britain's Jodie Williams in 22.46 and France’s Myriam Soumaré in 22.58.

The men’s 200m was equally thrilling as Adam Gemili broke the British under-23 record as he won in a stunning 19.98 - despite it being wet and the race run into a headwind of 1.6m per second.

Gemili triumphed from France’s Christophe Lemaitre in 20.15 with Serhiy Smelyk, of the Ukraine, third in 20.30.

It was the night of the two 400m finals, too, and for Britain’s Martyn Rooney, a major title at last as he won the men’s event in 44.71 from teammate Matthew Hudson-Smith in 44.75 with Donald Sanford in third in 45.27 to land Israel’s first-ever European Athletics Championship medal.

Italy’s Libania Grenot took the women’s race in 51.10 from Ukraine’s Olha Zemlya, who was second in 51.36 with Indira Terrero, of Spain, third in 51.38.

On a superb evening for the Netherlands, Sifan Hassan had too much for world champion Abeba Aregawi in a thrilling 1500m final, winning in 4:04.18 from the Swedish star in 4:05.08 with Laura Wightman, of Britain, third in 4:06.32.

Poland had double success as Adam Kszczot won the 800m and Anita Wlodarczyk took the hammer.

Kszczot added the outdoor title to his European indoor success at the distance with victory in 1:44.15 ahead of teammate Artur Kuciapski in 1:44.89 as Ireland’s Mark English took bronze in 1:45.03.

Wlodarczyk produced a national record of 78.76m to win gold from Slovakia’s Martina Hrasnova in second with 74.66m and another Polish athlete, Joanna Fiodrow, third with 73.67m.

Bohdan Bondarenko, of the Ukraine, added the European high jump crown to his world title with 2.35m in a one-two for his country as, with 2.33m, Andriy Protsenkot was second with Ivan Ukhov, the Olympic champion from Russia, third with 2.30m.

Just 53 points separated the top two women in the heptathlon and with 6551, France’s Antoinette Nana Djimou retained the title from the Netherlands’s Nadine Broersen with Nafissatou Thiam, of Belgium, third with 6423.