Injury costs Williams in Munich

·2-min read
Ben Williams rued an injury that cost him a medal at the European Championships in Munich.
Ben Williams rued an injury that cost him a medal at the European Championships in Munich.

By Will Jennings in Munich

Ben Williams believes ill-timed injury woes hampered his hopes of a medal at the multi-sport European Championships.

But the Stoke star says being the continent’s sixth-best triple jumper ‘on one leg’ can be a platform for progression next season.

Williams, 30, finished 0.28m shy of a medal in Wednesday night’s final in Munich as Portuguese powerhouse Pedro Pichardo grabbed a brilliant gold medal.

Troubles with his run-up contributed to Williams’ ‘frustrating’ eighth-place finish at the Commonwealth Games before a knee issue struck at the worst possible time in Germany.

Williams believes he could have won a medal if everything had clicked and thinks the result was an unfair representation of where his form is at.

“It was an uphill battle,” he said.

“Round one, I hurt my knee and it was agony from then on.

“It’s frustrating because Commonwealth Games, I couldn’t get my run right and my knee was perfectly fine.

“Today, the run was fine but the knee wasn’t playing ball.

“16.66m, sixth in Europe, on one leg isn’t so bad, but 16.94m for a medal I’d snatch at that chance.

“I’m in much better shape than my distance suggests.

“It’s been super bad since the World Championships.

“There has been a lot of fluid in my patella tendon, a potential tear and it was agony walking downstairs.

“I just couldn’t work through that right knee, which is unfortunate.”

Williams finished 15th in qualifying at last month’s World Championships in Oregon before representing Team England at the Commonwealth Games.

He finished the highest of any European athlete in Birmingham as a jump of 16.03m earned him an eighth-place finish.

Williams cruised through European qualifying in fourth with a jump of 16.47m on Monday but was unable improve by enough for a medal 48 hours later.

Pichardo soared 17.50m to win gold ahead of Italian Andrea Dallavalle and French star Jean-Marc Pontvianne, who jumped 17.04m and 16.94m respectively.

Williams added: “I’ve to play my injury down but now the season’s over I wanted to get it off my chest.

“Physically, I felt great and my speed was fantastic, but it’s just this knee.

“We’ve got to sit down, evaluate and see what happens from here.”

The multi-sport European Championships Munich 2022, featuring Athletics, Beach Volleyball, Canoe Sprint, Cycling, Gymnastics, Table Tennis, Triathlon, Rowing, Sport Climbing, takes place 11th-21st August on the 50th anniversary of the Olympics Games in the German city. Watch daily live coverage across BBC One, Two, Red Button, BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport website