Memorable moments: Triple threats Bol, Fraser, Garnbret and Hinze

Published on 26 August 2022

175 sets of medals were awarded at Munich 2022. Both, in our live blog and daily reviews we shared with you all of our medallists and winners. And each and every one of them is cut from the same piece of cloth we’d all like to be made of. To win a European championship title, especially at such a multi-sport event, is something special, something memorable and frankly a once in a lifetime experience - at least for most.

In this piece we want to share with you the accomplishments of four outstanding athletes who beat the odds in Bavaria’s capitol and delivered top-notch performances multiple times. Across four sports, four experts of their crafts won not just one, or two, but three titles. Yes, you have read that right! Four professionals ended up with three gold medals each as there was no stopping them. 

So, let’s talk about the one-lap wonder Femke Bol, gymnastics god Joe Fraser, climbing queen Janja Garnbret and cycling speedster Emma Hinze. By the way: We are presenting the top of the crop in alphabetical order, because how could one choose who is more elite as they all are unmatched in their field. 

Femke Bol

Femke Bol

The flying Dutchwoman Femke Bol chased after an unprecedented one-lap double at Munich 2022 and pulled it off in style. She crossed the finish line in the 400m final half a second clear in 49.44 seconds, a personal best and the fastest by any European this year. 

Little more than 12 hours later Bol showed little sign of the tiredness in her legs when she returned to Olympiastadion, cruising through the third semi-final of the 400m hurdles with consummate ease. The day after, the Dutch sprinter completed her quest to win the unique one-lap double when she added the 400m hurdles gold to the 400m flat title. The Dutch flyer didn’t just win again, however, she utterly dominated the race and took the title with a championship record of 52.67 seconds, eclipsing a mark that had stood unchallenged since 2010. 

But that’s not all, Bol produced yet another stunning one-lap run to take the Dutch women’s 4x400m relay quartet from fourth to first on the final leg and capture her third gold of the championships. 

Joe Fraser

Gymnast Joe Fraser won the men's all-around in Munich's historic Olympiahalle, and with it he made himself the first Briton to win European all-around gold ever! He finished with a total of 85.565 points, showing difficult and clean routines on the six apparatus. 

The next day Great Britain, spearheaded by the recently crowned European all-around champion, claimed gold in the team final - by a landslide. There was no chance of beating them, even before the end of the last rotation. 

Afterwards, Fraser still had apparatus finals to compete in: However, the best qualifier and European all-around champion, could not manage to show a mistake-free pommel horse routine, being forced to steady his handstand twice.

But the 2019 world champion put up the score to beat when he showed a flawless and difficult parallel bars routine, which was awarded with 15.333 points. Illia Kovtun also delivered a clean routine to try to take gold from Fraser. And the Ukrainian native did put up the same score, however with a lower execution score. Therefore, Kovtun had to settle for silver. And Fraser won his third gold medal of the week, earning him the right to be featured in this list of extraordinary athletes. 

Janja Garnbret

She came with no European sport climbing golds, but Janja Garnbret is leaving with three. In front of an electrified audience, the Slovenian delivered exactly what everyone expected of her: The Olympic champion secured the gold medal in lead climbing - her first medal of the event. The 23-year-old almost topped the route, making it the furthest on the difficult climb up the 15-metre-high wall at Königsplatz.

Others would collapse under the pressure, but the Slovenian pulled through crowning herself climbing queen with double gold as she also clinched the top spot in boulder. After she "only" managed one zone on the first boulder, she flashed the two following routes. On the last boulder, like most of the finalists, she only managed one zone. 

But that just wasn’t enough: Garnbret went on to also finish first in the new Olympic format of Boulder & Lead, showing once more she is the best European in both disciplines. The soon to be triple European champion had people cheering, stamping their feet and clapping their hands as she scored 199.9 points out of a possible 200 in lead and topped most the routes in boulder.

With three more medals for her collection, one might wonder how she'll fit them all in. “When I look at my cabinet and medals, I’m like ‘whoa when did this happen?’ because time flies as I’m competing so much and sometimes you have to stop and realise what you have achieved because it is incredible.” 

Emma Hinze

Emma Hinze

It was the second gold for the German women in track cycling in the first for Emma Hinze. Germany's women had never managed to secure this European title so far. But at Munich 2022 Hinze, Pauline Sophie Grabosch and Lea Sophie Friedrich claimed the title in the team sprint final

Messe München was packed, tickets sold out. Germany loved their track cyclists and were even more happy, that the host country's athletes delivered. Among them also Hinze, who snatched up a second gold in the women's 500m time trial.

Before setting herself up for a third gold medal at the European Championships, winning the best-of-three women’s sprint semi-final versus the Dutch cyclist Laurine van Riessen in two heats. Heat 1 of the women’s sprint finals was won by the German but heat 2 went to France’s Mathilde Gros. It was all-or-nothing in the third round, which brought the decision for an exhausted Hinze – her third gold medal at European Championships Munich 2022. 

Four triple threats - because three would have been cheesy, right? Four athletes to look at in awe, and four more years until we’ll know the results of the next multi-sport European Championships.

Tags

GymnasticsCyclingSport ClimbingMunich 2022European ChampionshipsAthletics