Illness leaves Sophie out of hammer medals in European Champs

England's Sophie Hitchon during the Women's Hammer Final during the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Photo: David Davies/PA Wire
England's Sophie Hitchon during the Women's Hammer Final during the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Photo: David Davies/PA Wire

Sickness put an end to Sophie Hitchon’s hopes of building on the the bronze medal she won at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, at the European Championships in Zurich.

Sophie missed out on a place in last night’s hammer final after finishing 19th overall in qualifying on Wednesday afternoon with a best throw of 62.93m - almost eight and a half metres down on her season’s best.

Afterwards she revealed her struggle to even attempt to throw at all: “So disappointed after being sick over a few days, struggled to recover to full fitness.

“I was unsure if I was going to make it to the Champs on Monday, but I gave it a shot.”

Sophie threw a first round effort of 62.93m, before two no throws saw her end down in 10th in Group B of qualifying, and 19th overall.

Group A earlier saw Slovakia’s Martina Hrasnova finish top with 73.05m, ahead of Poland’s Joanna Fiodorow (71.33m), Alexandria Tavernier of France (70.91, PB) and world record holder Betty Heidler (70.09m).

Poland’s defending champion Anita Wlodarczyk (75.73m), Russia’s Anna Bulgakova(70.58m), Eva Orban of Hundary (70.48m) and Kathrin Klaas (Germany, 69.78m) all qualified automatically from Group B after passing the 69.50m qualifying mark.

Those eight were joined by the four next best throws - Carolin Paesler (Germany, 68.467m), Bianca Perie of Romania (67.82m), the Czech Republic’s Katerina Šafránková (67.26m) and Slovakian Nikola Lomnická (67.18m).

Sophie’s lowest previous mark of the season had been the 65.31m she threw to qualify for the final of the Commonwealth Games at Hampden Park. Her best effort this season was the 71.53m she reached at the Werfertage meet in Halle in May.

Sophie had finished 11th with 67.17m in Helsinki, at the last European Athletics Championships two years ago.

She had been hoping to improve on that in Zurich, but, regardless, has a major medal in her first year as a senior.