BERLIN – The Borlee brothers provided the early highlight in the men’s 400m after all three made passage through to the semi-final on Day 1 at the 2018 European Athletics Championships in Berlin on Tuesday (7).
In fact, two of the three Belgian sprinters clocked the two fastest times from the qualifying round, with Jonathan posting 45.19 seconds to win heat two with the fastest time overall.
His twin brother Kevin was next with 45.29 when winning heat 1, while younger brother Dylan as the 10th quickest time of 45.84, which he used to win heat 3.
“Competing alongside my brother is not really added pressure for me and I just try to focus on myself instead,” Kevin said.
“After today’s race, I’m feeling good because I didn’t come here with a good qualifying time due to an injury. I’m confident I can ran much faster in the next round.”
Also making progress was Great Britain Two-time winner and defending champion Martyn Rooney, who finished second to Dylan in his heat in 46.27, as well as Pavel Maslak (45.83) from the Czech Republic, the silver medallist in 2016.
Olha Lyakhova of Ukraine is through as the fastest women in the 800m with a season’s best time of 2:00.26. The 2012 champion Lynsey Sharp of Great Britain is also through in the 800m after she ran 2:00.32 for second place to Lyakhova in heat 1.
Elsewhere, 20-year-old Italian and European U23 Champion Yohanes Chiappinelli was the top qualifier in the men’s 3,000m steeplechase with a time of 8:28.41.
In the field, World silver medal winner Daniel Stahl (67.07m) of Sweden and countryman Simon Pettersson (64.82m) led the way in the men’s discus throw qualifications with former Olympic and world champion Gerd Kanter of Estonian also advancing.
“I am pretty old and I am pretty experienced,” said Kanter. “My first big championships was in 2002 in Munich. I have eleven different championships medals. Here in Berlin, these are my last championships.
“I am satisfied with my big Q. I had some injuries last year and now I hope to quit my career in a good way. As I am amongst the oldest, I guess my perspective is quite different.
“I am delighted to be in the final. Hopefully I can get close to my SB in the final. We had some surprises in the qualification, everything is open. The conditions tomorrow will be tough as it will be very hot.”