Warning: This article contains a reference to suicide
Great Britain’s Matt Hudson-Smith successfully defended his men’s 400m title at the European Championships as team-mate Alex Haydock-Wilson claimed the bronze in Munich.
Hudson-Smith moved away from the field in the final 100m to ensure he completed his set of three major medals this summer with gold in 44.53 seconds.
The 27-year-old won world bronze in Eugene in July and claimed Commonwealth Games silver in Birmingham 10 days ago.
Haydock-Wilson, 23, clocked 45.17.
Switzerland’s Ricky Petrucciani posted a season-best performance of 45.03 to take silver at the Olympiastadion.
In the women’s event, Victoria Ohuruogu fell short of collecting another medal in her excellent season.
The 29-year-old Commonwealth silver medallist had set a new personal best of 50.50 seconds in qualifying – and though she clocked 50.51 in the final it was not enough to make the podium.
The Netherland’s Femke Bol, bidding to win a 400m and 400m hurdles double in Munich, claimed victory in 49.44, with Poland’s Natalia Kaczmarek (49.94) and Anna Kielbasinska (50.29) taking silver and bronze respectively.
Ireland’s Rhasidat Adeleke set a new national record in 50.53 as she placed fifth.
Hudson-Smith completes treble in style
Having earned his first individual world medal in Eugene, where he finished behind the United States’ Michael Norman and Kirani James of Grenada, Hudson-Smith was denied Commonwealth gold by Zambian Muzala Samukonga’s strong finish in Birmingham.
But the British record holder displayed his class as he capped a superb hat-trick of medals with a brilliant gold in Munich, pulling away on the final bend to secure a dominant victory – and his nation’s first athletics gold at the championships.
Hudson-Smith admitted following his podium at the worlds that he had struggled with his mental health and even attempted suicide after enduring three years of “absolute hell”, in which he battled with injury, debt and the Covid-19 pandemic.
Based in Florida, he accrued significant debt as he had to overcome Achilles, hamstring and hip injuries since 2019, also missing last year’s Olympics during a tough period which he has described as an “emotional rollercoaster”.
“You fight a lot of struggles and I’m pretty sure everyone in the world has been fighting their own demons,” he told the Telegraph.
“I’m testimony that there is always light at the end of the tunnel. You just have to stick through it and the results will show.
“Everyone who is going through struggles, just fight through it and you will come through.”
Team-mate Haydock-Wilson, who set a personal best of 45.08 as he narrowly missed out on the world final in Eugene, was able to hold on after a fast start to clinch bronze by 0.008 seconds from the Netherlands’ Liemarvin Bonevacia.
“For a change I have very few words. It’s a combination of so much hard work,” Haydock-Wilson told BBC Sport.
“This represents a lot and it’s a great checkpoint in my journey. I just can’t wait to keep going.
“Honestly, the goals I have are terrifying but I keep dreaming them anyway. I know with the guidance of people like Matt and my team around me that I can achieve anything.”
Also in Wednesday’s evening session, Ben Williams finished sixth in the men’s triple jump as Portugal’s reigning world and Olympic champion Pedro Pichardo clinched the European title with a leap of 17.50m.
Commonwealth Games silver medallist Molly Caudery and team-mate Sophie Cook finished seventh and ninth respectively in the women’s pole vault, which was won by Finland’s Wilma Murto.
World indoor 60m hurdles champion Andrew Pozzi finished sixth in the men’s 110m hurdles final, as France’s defending champion Pascal Martinot-Lagarde was pipped to gold in a photo finish by Spain’s Asier Martinez, who won by 0.001 seconds.
In the women’s heptathlon, Commonwealth bronze medallist Jade O’Dowda will go into Thursday’s final three events in 11th place while fellow Briton Holly Mills is 19th.
A personal-best high jump performance had propelled O’Dowda to fourth overall after the morning session’s two events, but she slipped down the standings after finishing seventh in the shot put and fifth in her 200m heat.
Belgium’s world and Olympic champion Nafi Thiam leads the way by 214 points from compatriot Noor Vidts with the long jump, javelin and 800m to come on Friday.