Thomas Keen earns gold at the European Athletics Under-18 Championships
C&C star savours success in Hungary
Thomas Keen is celebrating another chapter in a golden year after victory at the European Athletics Under-18 Championships in Hungary.
The 17-year-old Cambridge & Coleridge Athletic Club member was part of the Great Britain squad in Gyor, and in the 3,000m claimed the country’s first gold of the competition.
With an injection of pace from the two Turkish athletes with 1km to go, Keen proved to be up to the challenge as others in the field fell away.
Keen made his move with one lap remaining, to produce a sub 60-second last lap to hold off the challenge of Turkey’s Omer Amactan and the Netherlands’ Ryan Oosting to win the European gold in style.
Keen told British Athletics: “My coach Mark (Vile) has done a great job to make sure I was in the perfect condition for this race and it feels so good to win.
“The Turkish athletes kicked with a kilometre to go and it was very quick. But I stuck with my plan until one lap to go.
“Then I thought, ‘if I die, I die’. I knew I was going to go for it as this opportunity wouldn’t come around again. So, I gave everything and it worked. I had planned to make the first move but they did that before me so I just stayed with them and stayed patient. I had another kick and just held on.
“I was starting to swim down the home straight; I mean, I had nothing left. I kept looking behind me, something my coach always tells me not to do. But I couldn’t resist, I wanted to see where they were. When I crossed the line, it was all a relief.
“Winning Europeans is amazing but I’ll be competing at English Schools next week – I’ll have to get straight back on it.”