Sharp into Euro final but still sweating on 2012 place

HELSINKI, FINLAND - JUNE 28: Lynsey Sharp of Great Britain competes in the Women's 800m semi final1 during day two of the 21st European Athletics Championships at the Olympic Stadium on June 28, 2012 in Helsinki, Finland (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)

HELSINKI, FINLAND - JUNE 28: Lynsey Sharp of Great Britain competes in the Women's 800m semi final1 during day two of the 21st European Athletics Championships at the Olympic Stadium on June 28, 2012 in Helsinki, Finland (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)

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Capital star Lynsey Sharp has excelled by reaching the 800 metres final of the European Championships in Helsinki later today.

A bronze medallist in the European Under-23 Championships last year, the 21-year-old Edinburgh AC member has shown remarkable maturity in moving up to senior level and putting herself in the frame for further honours.

Though her primary aim in Finland, after winning the UK title in Birmingham last weekend, was to bid for an Olympic A qualifying standard of 1:59.90, the weather for yesterday’s semi-final (the heats were cancelled) was wet, windy and cool: “I knew there was no point pushing for a time but job done, I’m in the final,” said Sharp, who finished second behind the Russian Yelena Arzhakova (best this season 1:58.28) in 2:01.88 with two to progress automatically.

Behind her were three runners with superior times.

She will be joined in the final by fellow Briton Gemma Simpson, who was runner-up to her for the UK title and who went through as a fastest loser in 2:01.64 from the next semi-final.

The battle between these two could be as interesting as for the medals with a London 2012 place at stake, especially as Jenny Meadows, the one person with an A standard so far, though from last year, was injured and unable to run in the heats and has still to prove her fitness.

Another Scot Steph Twell was unable to take part in the 5000m even though it was a straight final yesterday and her London place must be in doubt, though she has the A standard.

Scottish hammer champion Mark Dry may have lost his chance of an Olympic place after throwing poorly in yesterday’s qualifying round, however. He could reach only 70.27m compared to his best of 74.82m, a B qualifying standard.

UK champion Alex Smith, who also has the B standard, will compete in a British League match tomorrow and could upstage him.