Just One Bronze: Finns Flop At European Championships

This year is only the second time that Finland has failed to win an athletics medal at a European Championship - the last time was back in 1966

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Finnish swimmer Mimosa Jallow (R) poses with her bronze medal from the 50m backstroke event at the 2018 European Championships in Glasgow / Credit: Finnish Swimming Union, Jussi Salminen

Finnish athletes have come away from the European Championships with just one solitary bronze – putting them at the bottom of the medal table.

The multi-sport events was held over the last ten days at locations in Berlin and Scotland, and featured athletics, swimming, diving, cycling events, golf and triathlon.  Finland sent 83 athletes to the games, competing in ten sports, with more than half of the competitors taking part in athletics. This is only the second time that Finland has failed to win an athletics medal at European Championships, the last time was back in 1966.

It was left to swim star Mimosa Jallow to snatch the only Finnish medal of the Championships, winning bronze in the women’s 50m backstroke. The Jyväskyläs-based swimmer has previously competed at the 2014 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games, and the 2017 World Championships in Budapest where she smashed her own Finnish 50m backstroke record.

Athletics Close Call

Despite missing out on any medals, there are a few reasons for Finnish athletics to be optimistic.

On Sunday evening, the men’s 4×100 relay team set a new Finnish record of 39.09 to come ninth. The quartet of Eetu Rantala, Otto Ahlfors, Oskari Lehtonen and Samuel Purola missed out on a place in the finals by just two hundredths of a second.

“There is room for improvement” says Lehtonen.

“I ran well early, but at the end, the last 20 metres, I began to slow down. But then it always feels good when you set a new Finnish record” adds Purola.