Finland ended the final day of the Helsinki European Athletics Championships on a low note as medal hopeful Niclas Sandells tripped and fell in the finals of the men's 1500 metre event.
Sandells fell just 500 metres before the finish line after being tripped by Turkish runner Ilhamin Tanui Özbilen, who was disqualified as a result.
In spite of the tumble, Sandells gamely finished the race to come in last. Henrik Ingebrigsten of Norway took gold, followed by Florian Carvalho of France. David Bustos of Spain won the bronze.
Sandells had a stellar performance in the qualifying rounds, winning his heat handsomely on Saturday.
“It was a big disappointment,” he said after the race, adding, “The expectations were great.”
Respectable result for long jumper Ollikainen
Meanwhile long jumper Tommi Evilä dropped out of the men's long jump competition after the third round. His best jump was a disappointing 7.79 metres, prompting his coach and father to comment: “It was as if he’d been hit by a sledgehammer.”
Meanwhile Evilä’s compatriot Roni Ollikainen accomplished a respectable sixth place finish in the event with a jump of 8.05 metres.
Germany's Sebastian Bayer won the event with a season best effort of 8.33 metres, while Luis Felipe Melíz of Spain took the silver medal.
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