From Wednesday, July 6 to Sunday the 10th, 1,469 athletes from 50 countries engaged in a total of 44 events within the European Athletics Championships, hosted by the Netherlands for the very first time.
Adrenalin levels soared in Amsterdam as competitors ran the final lap to Rio: Human Tecar could not fail to be there. Two of “our” athletes – sprinters we’ve been consistently supporting – scored gold and silver in the 200 meters: Dina Asher-Smith from the UK and Ivet Lalova-Collio from Bulgaria (who is married to a famous Italian runner).
While the Italian public is well acquainted with Ivet, the 20-year-old Londoner is a delightful surprise for many, albeit already famous at home as the fastest British woman in history.
The Amsterdam gold is her first senior title, after five gold medals in the junior categories; the Dutch event also awarded her two season’s bests and “a big, big smile” as Dina declared herself “absolutely over the moon” in a BBC interview.
At the same time, she determined to put in some “hard work” to rectify her self-alleged imperfections (“I kind of lost form in my last 30”) in time for the London Anniversary Games and the Olympics in August. Fast and humble. The kind of athlete we’re especially proud of.