Rising 1500m Ace Piers Copeland Marks GB Bow With Fine Fifth At Euro Indoors In Torun

Piers Copeland also reached 1500m final in Manchester, finishing 10th. Pic: Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images for European Athletics

Rising 1500m Ace Piers Copeland Marks GB Bow With Fine Fifth At Euro Indoors In Torun

By Owen Morgan

Rising Cardiff 1500m star Piers Copeland finished a hugely creditable fifth place in his first major final at the European Indoor Championships in Poland on Friday night.

The Welsh Indoor 1500m record holder produced a superb finish to move up through a large and high quality field in Torun to finish in a time of 3:39.99 – just outside the medals.

The dramatic race was won by Norwegian superstar and multiple European champion, Jakob Ingebrigtsen.

He was then disqualified following a coming together with three-time European Indoor Champion Marcin Lewandowski, of Poland, earlier in the race.

That bumped Copeland up to fourth but a couple of hours later Ingebrigtsen was reinstated to the gold after an appeal seeing Copeland back in with.


Copeland, winning his first senior Great Britain vest at these championships, managed to stay out of trouble despite a hugely congested start to the race and should be hugely proud of his performance against Europe’s elite.

“I’m pretty happy with the result I think, if you’d have said fifth before the champs I would have taken that with both hands,” said Copeland.

“But on the day I feel like maybe I could have got a bit higher up but the legs just weren’t quite there.

“I thought what happened was going to happen, Jakob was going to take it out and try and run the legs out of everyone in the last 400m, which he did in the end.

“But it built up from 200m in and I was just trying to go with the pace. The legs just weren’t quite there so I couldn’t quite go with it but overall I’m really happy.”


Verity Ockenden, left, and Amy-Eloise Markovc celebrate after winning bronze and gold respectively in the 3000m. Pic: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile via Getty Images

The 22-year-old former Cardiff Metropolitan University student, who has decided to compete for Wales added: “I’ve enjoyed putting on my first senior GB vest at the champs, it’s been a fantastic experience.

” It’s slightly weird with all the COVID restrictions and having no fans here but it’s been a really good experience and the support has been fantastic.”

In a dramatic women’s 3,000m former Swansea University student Verity Ockenden claimed bronze in a close finish behind fellow British athlete Amy-Eloise Markovc, who claimed gold and France’s Alice Finot.

The Swansea Harrier posted a new personal best time of 8:46.60 in a race which saw Dutch contender Maureen Koster fall in the closing stages.

Ockenden though ran an intelligent race to stay out of trouble and was challenging for gold in the final straight but eventually had to settle for third.

“It was a close race,” said Ockenden afterwards. “What an incredible feeling to be Brits storming down that straight.

“We were both just really going for it, but having talked to Amy just now, we both really enjoyed using each other.

“The way we pushed each other, actually helped us hold other people off, but unfortunately not [Alice] Finot for me, which was absolutely gutting.

“I knew she was there, but I just couldn’t lean quite enough, but that just makes me hungry to come back again. I’m going to go away, have a nice little break and get back to work.”



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