Lonah Chemtai Salpeter took an unconventional road to the gold medal at the European Championships.
The 29-year-old from Israel won the 10,000m on Wednesday, leading the final 4000m meters to outlast the field on a warm evening in Berlin.
It was Israel’s first women’s gold in the history of the European Championships.
Salpeter moved to Tel Aviv in 2009 from Kenya to work as a nanny for Kenya’s ambassador to Israel. In 2016, she married her coach, Dan Salpeter, and gained Israeli citizenship. Internationally, she’s competed in the marathon and half marathon for Israel, but the biggest victory of her career came tonight in the 10,000m.
“My plan was to win, nothing else,” Salpeter said.
Early in the race, Salpeter broke away with a group of three but her challengers changed throughout the race. Turkey’s Yasemin Can looked to be her chief rival until Can faded away in the second half of the race. With five laps remaining Salpeter had a three-second lead ahead of Susan Krumins of the Netherlands.
The lead grew before the bell lap and Salpeter ran uncontested in the final 400 meters. Krumins, who tied up dramatically in the last 800 meters, held on to second place in 31:52.55. Sweden’s Meraf Bahta took third. Can faded to fifth, one place ahead of Great Britain’s Alice Wright. Wright competed collegiately for New Mexico.
Arthur Abele racked up 8,431 points to take gold in the decathlon—a signature moment in an injury-plagued career for the German. Ilya Shkurenyov took silver with 8321 points, and Vitali Zhuk was third.
Turn the sound on and have the tissues at the ready!— European Athletics (@EuroAthletics) August 8, 2018
Arthur Abele claims an emotional gold medal in the decathlon at the European Championships in front of 50,000 cheering spectators in Berlin.#EC2018 #TheMoment pic.twitter.com/ujnwJteD2w
In the non-finals, all three Ingebrigtsen’s qualified for Norway. Filip, the middle brother, had the most trouble after falling to the track in a mid-race pile up. He rebounded to comfortably advance.
Can't be stopped pic.twitter.com/UwHRsjkAZt— FloTrack (@FloTrack) August 8, 2018
Great Britain went three-for-three in the rounds as well, moving Chris O’Hare, Jake Wightman and Charlie Grice to the final.
Jonathan Borlee, Kevin Borlee, Oscar Husillos, Matthew Hudson-Smith and Karsten Warholm all advanced into the final of the men’s 400m.
Renelle Lamote was the top qualifier in the women’s 800, running 1:59.44.