Paul Fletcher completes unique triple at European Masters
Britain’s 800m men’s gold rush at the European Masters Championships
Britain had another good day at the European Masters Championships in Italy, winning 10 gold medals with six coming at 800m and then a further three at 5000m.
The men had a glorious afternoon in the 800m, winning three races in a row with Paul Fletcher’s M60 win probably the highlight of the event, as he won his third gold on the track after the 1500m and 10,000m. His achievement was even more remarkable as he defeated both the 800m & 1500m World Champions, ** having never won a major title before.
The M60 race was a cracker. The defending World Champion Marque Pierre-jean blasted the first lap in 64.4 seconds with Keith McGhie ( World Champion 2014 ) following closely behind. The 1500m and 10,000m champion Fletcher was some 10m behind but began clawing back some distance as he took the chasing pack into the final straight. The Frenchman’s legs wobbled just 5m before the line and McGhie passed him but he was also struggling and fell across the line just as Fletcher, who made up five metres in the last 20, took his third gold.
The clash with the 800m meant Fletcher had to choose between two events though it did mean Britain won every event from 100m up to 10,000m in this age group, thanks mostly to John Wright and Fletcher.
**World Champion 800m Marque Pierre-jean, Malaga 2018. World Champion 1500m Alfredo Bonetti Poland 2019