Sophie stars in stellar field as Great Britain finish fifth in Euros

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Fresh from her Commonwealth Games selection, Sophie Hitchon helped Great Britain finish fifth at the European Team Championships in Braunschweig, Germany, at the weekend.

Sophie secured her second top-four finish in succession in the hammer with a third-round throw of 69.23m to finish fourth behind a trio of 74m-plus throwers.

Betty Heidler took 12 points for Germany with a best throw of 74.63m.

Sophie had finished third last year at Gateshead with what remains a British record throw of 72.97m.

Host nation Germany won the championships to end Russia’s dominance after three successive wins.

France finished third, ahead of Poland in fourth.

Britain finished third when the competition was staged at Gateshead last year but fielded what was described by performance director Neil Black as a “developmental team” in Germany, albeit with a couple of more established athletes, including the returning triple jumper Phillips Idowu.

It all added up to further international experience for Sophie, who is targeting a medal at next month’s Commonwealth Games, having last week been officially confirmed in England’s 129-strong squad for Glasgow, which begins on July 23rd.

She joins a squad brimming with medal prospects including double Olympic champion Mo Farah, Olympic long jump gold medallist Greg Rutherford, and heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson.

This weekend, however, she will be among the country’s best athletes at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium as they battle it out for the prestigious honour of being crowned British champion.

Sophie won the championships in 2011 and 2012, having claimed silver in 2010.

This weekend, European Championships qualificationis also at stake.

The top two athletes in each event, assuming they have an elligible qualification standard, will be automatically selected for the European Championships, which take place between August 12-17th in Switzerland.

Should the weekend go to the form book, Sophie has her sights set on a top-eight finish in Zurich.