Laura Muir digs deep to win 1500m gold at European Championships – ‘the toughest race I think I’ve ever run’

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Muir took the title ahead of Ireland’s Ciara Mageean.

The Scottish middle-distance star left plenty of work to do before stepping on the gas at the pivotal moment to step out of the field and retain the title she won in Berlin four years ago.

Muir, 29, clocked a blistering time of 4:01.08 to finish 1.48 seconds behind Ireland’s Ciara Mageean – who rode a daring race to clinch silver – and Poland’s Sofia Ennaoui in front of an exceptional crowd at the city’s 1972 Olympic Stadium.

The Inverness ace picked up a brilliant bronze medal at last month’s World Championships in Eugene before following it up with a long-awaited Commonwealth title in Birmingham.

Organizing three major championships in the space of five weeks was never going to be easy and Muir, who also won Commonwealth 800m bronze, admits it almost got the better of her after a grueling summer in sport.

She said: “It looked tough on paper but actually I’m doing it in person, never again.

“It was an incredible and unique opportunity that we got three championships in one year, not to mention five weeks in the summer.

“It’s just crazy but I said you know what, I’m going to try.

“I got a medal in all three events and winning the Commonwealths and winning here, I’m so happy.

“It was the toughest – on paper it was the easiest event, only two runs, but it’s the easiest of the three physically.

“But it was so tough mentally – the toughest race I’ve ever run.

“It was so difficult – thank you to all the other athletes who participated in all three events, because it is so difficult.”

Muir seemed to get off to a slow start under the Friday night lights before shifting into high gear before the final lap to leave the rest of the field in the rearview mirror.

Mageean bravely tried to live with Muir’s breakneck pace but didn’t have enough in the locker as the Scotsman, who also won silver at the Tokyo Olympics last year, crossed the line in a splendid isolation to provoke emotional scenes.

Muir added: “My coach looked at all the gaps and said no one can match you in the 400m, so if you kick it good and keep it going then I think you have a good chance.

“Credit goes to him for the tactics – he made a good call there and I had to stick to it as best I could.

“Sometimes the 1500m is unpredictable and you never know, but it went as planned.”

Away from the Olympic Stadium, Eilish McColgan’s emotional sporting summer is now fueling Deborah Kerr’s quest for more British medals. Canoe sprint star Kerr, 24, enjoyed a brilliant morning on Bavarian waters after competing in the final of his two events.

The Motherwell speedster teamed up with Emma Russell, Emily Lewis and Rebeka Simon in the kayak four 500m before combining with Russell in the doubles to similarly qualify for the weekend’s medal showdown.

Canoe sprint is one of nine sports holding their European Championships in Germany this week and Kerr loved watching her compatriot McColgan, who soared spectacularly in athletics in the 10,000m and 5,000m gold and silver at the Commonwealth Games, emulating his exploits at the Olympic Stadium in Munich. The Dundee star won the 10,000m silver and 5,000m bronze this week and Kerr is now determined to follow in her footsteps on the decorated podium. She said: “I really enjoyed watching Eilish McColgan this year.” of his races. “It makes you really proud to be part of a team like this, which is doing so well.” I only see it online, but you can see the support from all the UK teams across sports. another. “It’s nice to go online and on social media and see that another British athlete has made it to the final – it lets you know you’re part of that cohort.” is like we’re one big family – and you can really feed off of that.”The European Multisport Championships Munich 2022, including athletics, beach volleyball, canoe sprint, cycling, gymnastics, table tennis, triathlon, rowing and sport climbing, will take place from 11 to August 21 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Olympic Games in the German city. . Watch daily live coverage on BBC One, Two, Red Button, BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport website

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