Silver lining to drama as Holly Archer makes medal-winning debut for Great Britain at the European Athletics Indoor Championships
Holly Archer went through a drama-filled evening as part of a dream silver medal-winning debut for Great Britain at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Poland.
The 27 year-old Honington-based Cambridge & Coleridge AC member was competing in the 1,500m in Torun, making her bow at a major international championships.
Archer, who grew up in Kedington near Haverhill, had been impressive when winning her heat on Friday and was looking for more of the same in the final.
It was shaping up to be an extremely tactical affair as none of the athletes wanted to take on the pace, and that made it scrappy and untidy as the athletes jostled with each other for position in a slow race.
With 300m to go, Belgium’s Elise Vanderelst and Spain’s Esther Guerrero kicked for home and Archer was in sixth, but at the bell got on the heels of Marta Perez in pursuit in fourth place.
The former West Suffolk AC member – who ran for the club from juniors up to 2018 – went past Perez on the back straight, and kicked for home off the final corner, passing Guerrero to win the silver medal in 4min 19.91sec. Vanderelst took gold in 4.18.44, and Germany’s Hanna Klein was third in 4.20.07.
But the drama was to continue after the race.
Archer and Spain’s Agueda Munoz were both disqualified for allegedly pushing, with Klein taking the silver and Perez the bronze, but the British team lodged an appeal.
Archer was reinstated, but there was then a 30-minute window for countries to lodge a counter-appeal.
However, it was eventually confirmed that former Samuel Ward Academy pupil Archer had clinched a deserved silver medal to complete what was a memorable first major championships.
* See this week's Haverhill Echo and Bury Free Press print or digital editions to read our interview with Holly Archer first.
Read more: All the latest Suffolk sport