Percy admits coronavirus derailed season after early Euro exit

·3-min read
Nick Percy failed to qualify for the discus final at the European Championships in Munich (Marc Mueller / Munich2022)

Nick Percy admits a badly-timed bout of coronavirus threw his plans for the season into disarray after suffering an early multi-sport European Championship exit in Munich writes Will Jennings.

The Glaswegian discus thrower was unable to progress to the final on Wednesday afternoon as his effort of 61.26m fell just short of the required qualification distance at the Olympic Stadium.

Percy, 27, encountered the same fate at last month’s World Championships in Oregon before claiming a fifth-place finish for Scotland at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

The Scot tested positive for Covid between those two major events and believes the detrimental impact on his training hampered his hopes of a medal across the campaign.

Percy, who threw a personal best of 65.00m at the British Championships in Manchester in June, said: “It's been a struggle because it's very, a very quick turnaround and not much training to get in, but I'm feeling better.

“I'm still feeling it, but you just got to handle it. Other people have injuries and other people have had Covid as well.

“My season has been incredible – I’ve thrown four personal bests after not throwing one for six years, and made three championships.”

Matt Hudson-Smith believes he has finally banished his Commonwealth Games demons after brilliantly defending his European 400m title in the main race of the evening.

The West Midlands speedster clocked 44.53s to beat Swiss star Ricky Petrucciani as British teammate Alex Haydock-Wilson bagged a surprise bronze.

Hudson-Smith, 27, won World Championship bronze in Oregon before being denied a hometown Commonwealth title in Birmingham by Zambian underdog Muzala Samukonga.

But he emphatically turned the tables last night as a lightning turn of pace off the final bend proved too hot for Petrucciani to handle and capped a searing season.

Hudson-Smith said: "The Commonwealths were a big low but this feels good.

"It was a controlled run, I knew the mistakes I made at the Commonwealths but I came away with the gold."

Victoria Ohuruogu missed out on a medal by 0.22s in the women’s 400m final as she finished fourth behind Pole Anna Kielbasinska.

Andrew Pozzi could only muster a sixth-place finish in the men’s 110m hurdles after battling through to the final as one of the two fastest third-place semi-finalists.

Earlier in the day, Jacob Fincham-Dukes insisted his long jump heartbreak had intensified his hunger for success after having his silver medal controversially ripped away.

The Leeds star produced a leap of 8.06m before a protest lodged by the rival French team – based on footage captured on a mobile phone – accusing him of fouling was upheld and Fincham-Davies was demoted to fifth.

The retrospective application of the ruling – that was unsuccessfully appealed by British Athletics – divided opinion and Fincham-Dukes, said: “I know how good of a competitor I am and this will only motivate me further into next season.”

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