Child and Sharp ease through European heats

Eilidh Child and Lynsey Sharp, below, were both impressive in their heats at the Letzigrund stadium in Zurich (Getty Images)
Eilidh Child and Lynsey Sharp, below, were both impressive in their heats at the Letzigrund stadium in Zurich (Getty Images)
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Eilidh Child and Lynsey Sharp, impressed as they got their European Championships under way today.

Two weeks on from shining at Hampden Park, the Scottish duo donned the British vest as they in went in search of more medal success.

Child, a passionate Hearts fan, just missed out on the Commonwealth crown in the 400 metres hurdles but showed no sign of a hangover as she blew away the field in the heats.

The world finalist eased through as the fastest qualifier in 55.32 seconds, but clearly had a lot more in the tank.

“I felt more nervous for Glasgow as I had that attention on me but here I’m the favourite,” Child said.

“It’s a bit different but I have the exact same attitude as Glasgow.

“I just need to go in there and execute my race and if I do that I’ll be happy whatever the outcome. I said the same with Glasgow.”

Child went in the first track heat of the day, with fellow Commonwealth silver medallist Sharp involved in the last of the session.

The 24-year-old became the pride of Scotland just two weeks ago after overcoming the odds to finish runner-up in the 800m.

Sharp, from Edinburgh, was on a drip in the athletes’ village clinic until 5.30am on the morning of the Hampden final yet managed to secure silver, which she hopes to add to by retaining the European crown she won after Yelena Arzhakova of Russia received a two-year doping ban.

She had to wait a year to get her hands on the gold medal and underlined her desire to top the podium outright in Zurich by impressively winning her heat.

“I’m fresh off the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow so this was fun,” Sharp said.

“It’s just another race, I was excited to compete - I’m loving it this year. It wasn’t the plan to control the race from the front, now it’s onwards and upwards.”

Sharp is joined in tomorrow’s semi-finals by British team-mates Jessica Judd and Alison Leonard, who won her heat in the quickest qualifying time of two minutes 01.47secs.

The full complement of 110m hurdlers also made it through their heats on a grey, drizzly morning in Zurich, with Andrew Clarke automatically qualifying and 2010 European champion Andy Turner making it through as a fastest loser.

Commonwealth silver medallist Will Sharman led the British charge, with his time of 13.29s the joint quickest in the heats alongside favourites Pascal Martinot-Lagarde and Sergey Shubenkov.

“I’m pleased with that,” the 29-year-old said. “I wanted to execute exactly what I needed to.

“You’ve got to be competitive even in the first round - there’s lots of good guys who’ll be in the final, I can’t wait to scrap it out with them.

“It’s about delivering when it matters, I’ve been consistent this year.”

Elsewhere, Chris Baker avoided any major hiccups in reaching Friday’s high jump final with a leap of 2.23m, ranking him joint ninth, while in the city centre Tom Bosworth finished the 20km race walk final in 12th.