HELSINKI: Churandy Martina and Patrick Van Luijk made it a night to remember for Dutch sprinting when they claimed gold and silver in the 200 metres at the European championships in Helsinki on Saturday.
The Curacao-born Martina romped home in a time of 20.42 seconds to claim his first European title, with Van Luijk beating Britain’s Daniel Talbot to take silver.
It was also a good day on the track for Ukraine, as they claimed three of the top four places in the women’s 200, with gold going to Mariya Ryemyen and silver to Hrystyna Stuy.
Myriam Soumaré of France stopped the Ukrainians making a clean sweep of the medals when she came in third, four hundredths of a second ahead of Viktorya Pyatachenko.
The tight bends of the Helsinki track claimed another high-profile victim when Great Britain women’s 4×100 relay team were disqualified in their heat for stepping out of their lane.
The British team will now miss the London 2012 Olympics.
“They were emotional, all four,” Charles van Commenee, the British team’s head coach, told reporters.
“I must say that not only these four, every athlete here who has a last hope to get the Olympic qualifier in and fails to do so is very depressed.”
Polat Kemboi Arikan of Turkey claimed the day’s big distance medal, winning the men’s 10,000 by less than half a second from Italy‘s Daniele Meucci.