Mari Smith makes thrilling run to European Indoors final

Mari has enjoyed a sensational indoor season EMN-190220-132728002
Mari has enjoyed a sensational indoor season EMN-190220-132728002
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Mari Smith’s rise in senior athletics hit another milestone last weekend with a thrilling run to the women’s 800m final at the European Indoor Athletics Championships.

The Frisby runner is in the form of her life, having won silver at the British Indoor Championships last month before securing a qualifying time for the Europeans a week later.

Her first action came in Friday morning’s heats where she finished third and claimed one of the fastest loser spots for Saturday’s semi-finals.

But anyone thinking her duties in Glasgow would come to an end early on Saturday evening were soon dismissed.

Digging in and calling on her ever-developing race craft on the big stage, the 22-year-old hung on and produced a surge down the home straight to secure third place with a time of 2min 02.93secs and a place in the final.

“It played out like I dreamed it would play out,” she said.

“I just stayed with them long enough to show my strength in the last 200m.”

Appearing in her first senior international championships for Great Britain, Smith did not look overawed in Sunday’s final.

Another strong kick down the finishing straight brought her within two-tenths-of-a-second of a bronze medal, before settling for fifth place in 2.03.45.