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European Indoors in Madrid: Alistair Cragg runs away for the gold

The 3,000 m European final in Madrid was a one man show.


The fastest 3,000 m runner of this year’s indoor season has now won the gold medal at the event in the European Championships. Alistair Cragg had beaten a weakened Kenenisa Bekele – the Ethiopian had lost his fiancée at the beginning of the year – in Boston to run the fastest time of the year (7:39.89 minutes).
Now he transformed the 3,000 m European final in Madrid into a one man show. It will be very interesting to see what the 24-year-old will be capable of in the summer season. In Madrid he clocked 7:46.32 minutes.

Coming from fourth place on the last 70 metres Britain’s John Mayock managed to win a silver medal in 7:51.46 while Reyes Estévez (Spain/7:51.65) had to be content with third place. Günther Weidlinger (Austria/7:52.35) was fourth after he had been in second position during the last few laps.

Mark Caroll, the second Irish, had first taken the lead
The second Irishman in the field, Mark Caroll, had first taken the lead. Obviously he was doing a sort of a pace job for Alistair Cragg. He passed 1,000 m in 2:35.50. And Cragg was right behind him, followed by Estévez. At 1,200 m Cragg took over the lead and stayed in this position right through the race.
When he injected some more pace at 1,700 m the gap that opened was growing constantly. At the end it turned to be an impressive solo run by the Irishman. “I intended to win the race today but somehow I did not feel well during the last five laps. And I started thinking about tomorrow’s 1,500 m final. I want to get a medal there as well”, Reyes Estévez explained.

Romanian Elena Iagar won the 1,500 m
There was one more final in the running events on day two of the championships. Romanian Elena Iagar won the 1,500 m in a world leading time of 4:03,09 minutes. She was well ahead of Corina Dumbravean (Romania/4:05,88) and Hind Dehiba (France/4:07,20). “I felt so strong today. I knew that there would hardly be an athlete who could beat me today”, Elena Iagar explained.

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