Joe Fraser won Britain’s first all-around gymnastics gold at the European Championships in Munich.
Fraser had battled back to fitness following a ruptured appendix and fractured foot ahead of the Commonwealth Games, where he won the individual pommel horse and parallel bars titles as well as team gold in Birmingham, his home city.
The 23-year-old recovered from an average floor routine to top both the pommel horse and parallel bars events.
Fraser then produced a fine high bar routine on his final apparatus with a score of 13.700 to secure gold on a total of 85.565, with Turkey duo Ahmet Onder (85.131) and Adem Asil (84.465) also on the podium.
“This is incredible. We have had a real big journey to get here today, just even competing on six apparatus, not many people thought I could do it,” Fraser said to the British Gymnastics website.
“There’s no doubt the all-around medal is the big one. I’ve always loved the all-around whenever people ask I say I’m an all-arounder and now I feel like I can say that with true confidence and pride.”
EUROPEAN CHAMP 🥇
From the bottom of my heart today meant everything! Thank you @LeeWoolls for believing in me against all the odds! To the team, I love you all and to everyone involved behind the scenes thank you for supporting through the ups and the downs! Thank you everyone pic.twitter.com/34js51p8UL
— Joe Fraser (@Joefrasergb) August 18, 2022
Fraser also qualified for the final of the pommel and parallel bars, while Great Britain team-mates Giarnni Regini-Moran (floor, vault and parallel bars), Courtney Tulloch (vault and rings), James Hall (high bar) and Jake Jarman (floor) also made it through in the individual competitions.
Jake Heyward took silver in the men’s 1500m while Eilish McColgan earned women’s 5,000m bronze in the evening’s action at the Olympiastadion.
Heyward came through to finish behind Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen, who set a new championship record of three minutes and 32.76 seconds.
“Obviously winning a silver medal is an incredible achievement, but I am disappointed that I couldn’t go with him (Ingebrigtsen) and push him for the gold – he almost ran a separate race,” said Heyward, who had been ill earlier in the week.
McColgan, the double Commonwealth Games champion and European 10,000m silver medalist, ran 14min 59.34secs.
Konstanze Klosterhalfen took gold for Germany, beating Turkey’s Yasemin Can, the 10,000m champion.
— Munich2022 (@ECMunich2022) August 18, 2022
“Everyone thought I was mad wanting to do the double or three, but I’ve got four medals and four medals more than I did at the start of the year and I’m just so proud,” McColgan said.
Jazmin Sawyers secured bronze in the long jump after recording 6.80m in her final attempt.
In the 200m, Dina Asher-Smith returned to form to book her place in the final, winning her heat with a run of 22.53 seconds, while Jodie Williams also qualified for the final.
She's back 👊@dinaashersmith storms to victory in her race and progresses to the final✨@daryllneita did not start her semi-final after taking time out to fully recover.#WhereItStarts #Munich2022 pic.twitter.com/2Ik0V4tdaG
— British Athletics (@BritAthletics) August 18, 2022
Zharnel Hughes, Charlie Dobson and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake all qualified for the men’s 200m final.
Hughes, who won silver in the 100m, was the fastest qualifier in the 200m as he won his heat in 20.19 seconds, with Dobson (20.21) winning the next before Mitchell-Blake (20.34) finished second in the final heat behind Italy’s Filippo Tortu.
Earlier on Thursday, 1,500m world champion Jake Wightman cruised into the men’s 800m semi-finals, where he will be joined by team-mates Daniel Rowden and Ben Pattison.
In the women’s 800m, Olympic, world and Commonwealth silver medallist Keely Hodgkinson won her heat to qualify for the semi-finals along with team-mates Alex Bell and Jemma Reekie.
Jodie Williams ran a season’s best of 22.92 seconds to lead the qualifiers into the semi-finals of the 200m, but Beth Dobbin was disqualified for a false start.
Daryll Neita, who won bronze in the 100m on Tuesday, opted to withdraw from the 200m and 4x100m relay to prepare for the remainder of the season.