Sesemann excels in melting Munich marathon

Philip Sesemann finished 17th in the European Championships marathon in Munich.
Philip Sesemann finished 17th in the European Championships marathon in Munich.

By Will Jennings in Munich

Philip Sesemann ploughed through the heat to complete a memorable multi-sport European marathon in a melting Munich.

The Leeds athlete, 29, crossed the line in 17th on the opening day of the European Athletics Championships after leading home the British team with a time of 2:15:17.

The 26-mile contest represented both a team and individual event and alongside Mohamud Aadan, Andrew Davies and fellow Yorkshire star Andrew Heyes, British runners finished seventh as Israel beat hosts Germany to gold.

The temperatures in the city were soaring and Leeds City star Sesemann admits those conditions significantly scuppered his progress.

Sesemann, who finished seventh in last year’s London Marathon, said: “That was really, really hard.

“My preparations were good – I dreamed it was an opportunity to take a risk and see whether I got to the second half feeling good.

“I got to the second half and felt awful.

“It was really, really tough and the last 20km was absolutely horrible.

“It was worse than I thought – I don’t know if it was the heat. In the second half I got more water and ice but it was tough.

“I didn’t think I was having a good day but I still came 17th in Europe.

“It’s not a terrible day – my head dropped a bit and the body wasn’t quite there in the second half, but to still come 16th is a positive and I’m proud of that.

Sesemann finished around four minutes behind individual champion Richard Ringer, who stopped the clock in a season’s best 2:10:21 to romp to an impressive victory.

Israeli stars Maru Teferi and Gashau Ayale completed the podium at Munich’s iconic Odeonsplatz square.

Athletics is one of nine sports hosting their European Championships at this innovative multi-sport event, with cycling, gymnastics, rowing, triathlon, table tennis, canoe sprint, sport climbing and beach volleyball also featuring.

That expanded offering meant fans flocked to the Monday marathon and teammate Davies admits she loved getting a slice of the action.

“The crowd were incredible,” the Welsh star said.

“There was loads of Great Britain fans on the course, so it was great to have that support.”

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 Germany city. Watch daily live coverage across BBC One, Two, Red Button, BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport website