Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith had to settle for silver after Switzerland’s Mujinga Kambundji proved too strong in the European Championships 200m final.
Kambundji edged into a slight lead with 80m to go and, although Asher-Smith seemed poised to counter, the defending champion could not reel in her rival.
The Swiss athlete finished in 22.32 seconds, 0.11secs ahead of Asher-Smith.
“I came here to win, so I am not super happy,” said Asher-Smith, whose 100m title defence was wrecked by cramp.
“This year has been up and down. I am happy to be here, but not so happy with a silver, but you have to take it.
“I am in a better shape than that but at the same time I came second and it is what it is.”
The defeat marks another twist in a season that has fluctuated between career high points and deflating lows.
A little over a month ago, Asher-Smith matched her 100m personal best and claimed bronze in one of the strongest 200m finals in history at the World Championships in Eugene.
However, she has also had to overcome a hamstring injury, which cost her any involvement in the Commonwealth Games, and the loss of her grandmother Sislyn earlier in the summer.
Cramping calves, brought on by her menstrual cycle, ruined her chances of a shot of defending her 100m crown on Tuesday.
Afterwards, Asher-Smith called for more research into the effect of periods on performance.
Of the three titles she arrived in Germany to defend, only the 4x100m relay remains a possibility.
“It has been a good year for me definitely,” insisted Asher-Smith.
“I am still running, I am still running PBs. My next target is to run 10.7, so I look forward to chasing that into September.”
Kambundji, who came eighth and a half a second behind Asher-Smith in Eugene, was also followed home by Ida Karstoft.
The Dane beat Britain’s Jodie Williams to bronze, who consoled herself with a season’s best 22.85 seconds.
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