Vernon completes Euro double

Andy Vernon, right, with Mo Farah after picking up their 5,000m medals
Andy Vernon, right, with Mo Farah after picking up their 5,000m medals
The start of the Gosport Half Marathon race as James Baker, wearing 85, hits the front early on. Picture: Neil Marshall

Baker’s perfect timing with Gosport triumph

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Andy Vernon completed a European Championships double but admitted: I wanted more.

The former Stubbington Green Runners ace added 5,000m bronze to his 10,000m silver medal on the final day of competition in Zurich yesterday.

He finished third in a time of 14min 05.32sec behind double Olympic and European champion Mo Farah (14.05.32) and Azerbaijan’s Hayle Ibrahimov (14.08.32).

Vernon admitted he had a game plan in mind as he sought to break Farah’s dominance of the event.

But with the 28-year-old still feeling the effects of Wednesday’s second place in his legs, he confessed an upset proved harder than he imagined.

‘I feel as if I almost missed out on Wednesday,’ admitted the 2013 News Sports Awards sportsman of the year.

‘So I kind of came into yesterday’s race thinking I won’t let that happen again.

‘I had a game plan to try to win the gold.

‘I was kind of thinking, I’d rather get the gold or nothing – that was my kind of game plan.

‘But it got to the last 700-800m and the wheels were slowly starting to come off. I wasn’t able to put it into place.

‘Having to do a 10k only a few days ago, it really does take it out of your legs, so I was actually surprised I hung on to bronze in the end.’

Vernon, who was sixth in the 5,000m at the Commonwealth Games, added: ‘About eight weeks ago I wasn’t even sure if I was going to get onto the start line, so to come here and get two medals is brilliant.

‘I wish one of them could have been gold but, when you are racing against the world’s best, sometimes you’ve got to accept a silver and a bronze.

‘It still feels good.’