Cal Alum Nabs Silver Medal in Women's 1,500 at European Track

Georgia Bell, 30, began her comeback in sport last year after a hiatus from competition
Georgia Bell
Georgia Bell / Instagram

One-time Cal runner Georgia Bell’s comeback to the sport of track and field is definitely working out.

The 30-year-old from Great Britain finished second in the 1,500-meter run at the European Championships at Rome Italy on Sunday.

Bell clocked 4 minutes, 5.33 seconds to secure the silver medal behind winner Ciara Mageean of Ireland, who crossed in 4:04.66.

Bell led at the 1,100-meter mark, dropped to second behind countrywoman Jemma Reekie at at 1,200 meters. She was back in the lead with just 100 meters left but could not hold off Mageean in the stretch run.

Bell, whose collegiate best of 4:18.89 in 2016 ranks eighth on Cal’s all-time leaders list, ran a personal best of 4:00.41 recently while finishing eighth at the Prefontaine Classic. 

She was out of the sport for four years after 2017, returning in 2021 to clock 4:48.18 in the 1,500.  Her comeback grew more serious a year ago and last month she ran 4:03.72 at a Diamond League meet at Doha before delivering her personal-best mark at Pre two weeks later, vaulting her to No. 21 in the world this year.

She is the second Cal athlete to secure a medal at Rome, joining current Golden Bear and discus world-recordholder Mykolas Alekna, who won bronze on Friday.

On Saturday, Cal rising senior Caisa-Marie Lindfors of Sweden finished 10th in the finals of the women’s discus with a throw of 197-9 (60.28 meters). 

The youngest in the field at 23, Lindfors qualified for the final with a throw of 200-10 (61.22m), off her school-record toss of 203-5 (62.00).

In other Sunday prelims, former Cal hammer throw standout Anna Purchase, 24, of Great Britain qualified into the Monday finals of the women’s hammer throw. She threw 226-1 (68.91) to finish fifth in her flight, 10th overall in the prelims.

Incoming freshmam Valentina Savva of Cyprus failed to advance through qualifying in the hammer after a throw of 218-5 (66.58). The youngest athlete in the field at age 19, Savva has a personal best of 222-8 (67.87), which would place her third on Cal’s all-time list.

Tuomas Kaukolahti of Finland failed to advance out of qualifying in the men’s triple jump. The 30-year-old finished 12th in his flight with a best of 51 feet, 9 3/4 inches (15.79m).

He still hasn’t matched his personal-best jump of 54-1 3/4 (16.50m) while finishing eighth at the 2019 NCAA championships while at Cal.


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Jeff Faraudo

JEFF FARAUDO

Jeff Faraudo was a sports writer for Bay Area daily newspapers since he was 17 years old, and was the Oakland Tribune's Cal beat writer for 24 years. He covered eight Final Fours, four NBA Finals and four Summer Olympics.