BY GEOFF JERWOOD
Balham’s Katie Snowden finished sixth in the women’s 1,500m at the European Athletics Indoor Championship.
The Herne Hill Harrier was representing GB at the event – screened on BBC2 – in Torun, Poland.
Snowden produced a superb front-running display in her qualifying heat on Friday.
Lining up in the third and last of the heats she knew the results of the two previous races and progressed as a fastest non-automatic qualifier.
Snowden came third in 4:10.70 – just outside her season’s best – to progress along with team-mate Holly Archer, who won the first heat.
The final on Saturday was a very different affair as the entire field of nine athletes bunched tightly together for the first kilometre of a very slow and tactical race.
Snowden had positioned herself to cover any breaks at the front.
But the race became very messy as one or two athletes who were boxed in on the kerb jostled to try to get a clear run as the pace accelerated dramatically.
A group of six charged ahead of Snowden during the mayhem and although now outside of the medals hunt she battled on to pass an athlete in the final 50m.
There was a long wait before the final result could be confirmed after appeals and counter appeals. Snowden had been temporarily promoted to fifth, but then a disqualification decision was reversed.
Her finishing time of 4:21.81, three seconds behind the race winner was largely irrelevant given the slow and scrappy nature of the race.
Snowden will now begin her intense preparation to get herself ready for the biggest events this year.
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