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Bol and Duplantis star at athletics Euros

Femke Bol has been crowned queen of the European athletics championships after winning a third gold by anchoring the Netherlands to a first-ever 4×400 metres relay title.

Swedish great Armand Duplantis was again the king of the event after coming full circle with back-to-back pole vault golds on Saturday.

On a rainy, action-packed Saturday night which started with a rainbow over the Olympic Stadium, Albania landed a first-ever Euros gold from steeplechaser Luiza Gega, while Britain delighted in titles from 800m runner Keely Hodgkinson and the men’s 4x400m team.

The 400m and 400m hurdles winner Bol came from behind and then kicked on the home straight for victory in a Dutch record 3 minutes 20.87 seconds, together with Eveline Saalberg, Lieke Klaver and Lisanne de Witte.

Poland took silver and Britain bronze.

“It was such an amazing race. I really love to run with my girls and against other runners. This Championships feels special to me,” Bol said.

In a way, the sprinter-hurdler emulated iconic compatriot Fanny Blankers-Koen, who at the 1948 Olympics had won the 100m, 200m, 80m hurdles and 4x100m relay, and at the 1950 Euros the 100m, 200m and 80m hurdles.

Duplantis rose to stardom with gold at the last Euros in 2018 by improving his personal best by 12 centimetres to 6.05m, and has never looked back apart from a 2019 world championship silver on countback.

He won the 2021 Olympic gold, 2022 world indoor and outdoor title both with his fourth and fith career fourth world record heights, 6.20m and 6.21m, respectively.

Duplantis was was also untouchable on Saturday for victory with a championship record 6.06m, beating rising German Bo Kanda Lita Baehre (5.85m) and Norway’s Pal Haugen Lillefosse (5.75m).

European indoor champion Hodgkinson got a major outdoor 800m gold at last after silvers at last year’s Olympics and the world championships and Commonwealth Games in recent weeks.

Hodgkinson ran away from all rivals on the home straight for a comfortable victory in 1:59.04 ahead of Lamote Renelle of France (1.59.49) and Poland’s Anna Wielgosz (1:59.87) for Britain’s second gold in the event, 53 years after Lilian Board’s success in 1969 in Athens.

“I think it’s more of a mental thing coming into this being my third championships in four and half weeks. I made sure I was on the ball – I am just happy I executed well, and managed to come away with a gold medal,” Hodgkinson said.

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