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Page last updated at 16:39 GMT, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 17:39 UK

European Athletics Championships day one as it happened


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By Mark Ashenden

2107: Top effort with all your tweets, comments on 606 and texts. What a first day for the peeps in a GB vest. It's Red Button all the way for Wednesday's morning session and then BBC Two will be in overdrive from around 1800 BST. Pranav Soneji is in the hotseat tomorrow but I'll be back from Thursday. Happy days. Go have your beer Thommo.

Get involved on 606
confiseur on 606: "Brilliant run from Mo and Chris....What an antidote to pathetic British footballers and their whiny managers complaining about how tired they are lol"
Mmmm couldn't possibly comment. I bet you all can though

2103: A few extra little 2012 goodies before I shoot for the day. Cracking time lapse footage of of the Olympic stadium being built. Here are all the photos of today's celebrations. And if you fancy finding out about volunteering at the Games then check out this blog by my colleague Ollie Williams.

2102: Time to catch up and take a breath. A quick look at what's coming up tomorrow. The 100m semis and final. Chambers vs Lemaitre. It's also the women's discus final, women's long jump final, men's hammer, women's 10,000m with the day ending with the 100m final. BBC Sport's John Inverdale wraps the night up by saying "The gold rush has begun for Britain thanks to one man called Mo."

2058: Chris Thompson is sweaty, teary and declares that half an hour was the "greatest 30 minutes of his life". Brilliant. He adds: "I'm speechless. Before the race was a rollercoaster ride. This year everything has gone well. With 10 laps to go I hit my first sticky patch of the year and it got worse. I read Steve Redgrave's book before the race when he mentioned the time in a race it felt like he had gone. And I thought 'I was digging everything up here'. Its an honour. This is my gold medal."

2054: After a couple of laps soaking up the applause it's time to take to the mic. Farah: "I spent so much time away from my family. It's not easy - we were ranked one and two and it's not easy to follow that. It's awesome to have this. It means so much to me and my family. I had big doubts in the winter but to put that behind me. It's time for the ice bath and get ready for the 5,000m." Chris Thompson is close to tears and says: "Can we have a beer please?" Nice. He deserves a bloomin' crate that boy.

2052: BBC Sport's Jonathan Edwards might have called him a blob but Barni is never shy to miss his moment. He jumps in between Farah and Thompson and takes the evening is made. Is he a bear? I don't care.

2046:Denise Lewis on BBC Two: "Majestic. Magic." What else can you say?

Get involved on 606
HappyScotsman on 606: "Watching online going crazy, amazing by Farah & true grit from Thompson to snatch Silver from the home favourite. Awesome race."

2042: Steve Cram: "We've waited so long for a medal and now two come along at once. Farah is the European champion." Farah parades the Union Jack and the crowd are very appreciative. Day one and the Union jack flags are flapping like they don't care. That should put the smile on head coach Charles van Commenee.

2040: A stunning finish. And it's a one-two for Britain. GB have never had a champion in this event before. Magical Mo. You make up the headlines. And don't forget Thompson. Oh whatever - I'm calling him Thommo. Replays show a MASSIVE grin on Farah's face as he crosses the finish line. Winning time for Farah: 28:24.99. Italian Daniele Meucci gets same time as Thompson in 28:27.33. Farah won a silver four years ago and now he goes one better. Brilliant. I wonder if Mrs Farah is in town?

Gold medal
2037: Farah hears the bell and kicks like a man who had this in the bag all along. Farah wins GOLD. Thompson gets......bronze and maybe silver.....

2036: Last lap.....

2035: Farah looking pretty cool and sits in second but looks comfortable with two laps to go. Can he do it?

2033: Farah wags his finger as Lamdassem is allowed through. Farah looks confident and will be relying on his kick at the finish. Thompson looks good for bronze.

2031: Five laps to go and the runners are stretching out. Farah takes charge but Spaniard Ayad Lamdassem is still sniffing his shorts - as it were. It looks like a race between these two. The Barcelona crowd are loving the sight of the red shirt powering round the track behind the GB vest.

2027: Farah keeps looking up to see himself on the stadium TV screen. That must be weird seeing a gigantic version of yourself. Belz moves up and I am loving his hair. It's got a Jedward upward heavily-gelled feel to it. nice. 7 laps to go and it's still Thompson (or Thommo as Crams calls him) and Farah up front.

2024: 11 laps to go and Farah is not smiling so much. He's tucked in just behind Thompson. They're both in the leading group and the lap time gets down to 67 seconds. A gold-silver for GB would be nice no? I think the Spanish crowd may have something to say about that. Thompson and Farah now leading the race. Interesting. A long way to go though.

GB 400m star Martyn Rooney on Twitter: "One false start rule is leading to slow and safe races, borrriinnngggggg"

2020: Chris Thompson is sitting comfortably in about sixth. I've not seen such a bunch of sweaty men since my 21-year-old birthday trip to Quasar (That shoot-'em up game with laser beams). And Farah beams like a man who's celebrating his birthday and Christmas all on the same day as he tip-toes into the lead. You wouldn't see me smiling in a 25-lap race...

It's good news for GB
2016: Latest news on high jump. And it's good times for the GB boys. Martyn Bernard qualifies for the final with 2.26m while Tom Parsons did not look so good but still goes through with 2.23m.

2013: Chris Thompson and Mo Farah are the best prepared long-distance GB athletes for 10-15 years Steve Cram reckons. Brendan Foster agrees. Farah still sitting pretty and has opted to stick his slender legs amongst the pack. 21 laps to go. 69-second laps.

2008: Bang. That's the gun at the start of the 10,000m by the way. Farah out for a Sunday stroll at the back of the field....25 laps...and it's a balmy night in Barcelona so don't expect any records. Can a man in a GB vest win this event for the very first time? Keep your thoughts coming in....Tweet me, text, 606. It's all there for you.

2006: The triple jump head-to-head between Phillips Idowu and France's Teddy Tamgho is on. The Frenchman fouls his opening jump but then almost leaps outside of the sand with 17.37m. Sweet.

BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce in Barcelona on Twitter:
"Mo Farah waving to the British fans in the main stand as he warms up for 10,000m. Little touch of hands with Chris Thompson as they pass"

2000: Without further ado and six minutes before Farah hits the start line, you may have heard that an event is coming to London in 2012. Nope, not the Russian flying circus, the Olympics. Only the biggest event on the planet. It's two years to go before Boris Johnson and Sir Seb Coe fly out of Big Ben in a rocket shaped like a double decker bus (probably) but there have been big celebrations all day with 400m legend Michael Johnson in action and cycling superhero Chris Hoy doing a lap around the new velodrome. And here's something you CANNOT MISS. It's called a video wall and is rammed full of brilliant interviews with all of GB's stars across all the sports. Let us know what you think.

1958: Steve Cram reckons Mo Farah can win if everything goes his way. Chris Thompson is highly rated though. Recently married Farah leads the European rankings after setting a new personal best last month with a 27:28.86 at the European Cup.

Gold medal
Shot put GOLD goes to Nadzeya Ostapchuk of Belarus with a throw of 20.48m. Almost one metre more than silver medallist and compatriot Natallia Mikhnevich.

1949: 10,000m final coming up in 15 minutes.....Mo Farah eyeing gold. What do you reckon?

1947: If Phillips Idowu was any more laid back he'd be falling over. He's happy with final qualification after one jump. He tells Phil Jones: "That was the plan. On to the next stage. It was comfortable It feels like home. In the next couple of days the atmosphere may change a little bit."

1945: BARNI ALERT: Move over Berlino the Bear, Barni's time has come. He steps out of the Barcelona shadows and hugs the shot putters. Wallop. I've been waiting a while for a glimpse of the little fella. Is he an alien? Is he a tortoise? No idea. But I want more of him....

It's good news for GB
1939: Not a bad day at the office for Phillips Idowu. He leaps 17.10m with his first jump and makes Thursday's triple jump final. Good night Phillips. He's got red hair by the way. Nathan Douglas also makes it with 16.80m.

1935: Jemma Simpson tells BBC Sport: "I'm peaking at the right time. I'm very pleased with that. I just need to recover to make sure I can do that again. That has set up my confidence for the final. I wanted to get out hard and get in a good position to qualify without pushing hard. I like dominating from the front."

It's good news for GB
1933: A steady start from Simpson and she takes the lead with a lap to go. Blonde hair flowing, she's nice and upright and looks good. 300m to go and the other runners crank up the gears. Simpson holding her own though and storms through under two minutes. Brilliant effort. Plenty left in the tank as well. Brendan Foster and Steve Cram are full of compliments in the commentary box.

1930: Britain's Jemma Simpson up next in the 800m....did you know this gal starred in a Neighbours episode once when on holiday in Melbourne.

It's good news for GB
It's bad news for GB
1928: Meadows in fifth and taking it easy. Opposite tactics to Okoro. She's got some work to do. Donned in her usual sunglasses Meadows moves to the outside down the back straight and pushes into second place and qualifies comfortably. Top effort. I think she's smiling. Two laps though eh? A bloomin' gut buster make no mistake. Do you sprint, take it easy? I hated this event at school. That's why I'm sitting here and not on a track. Svetlana Klyuka wins in 1:58.89 and Meadows a hair width back. The Brit tells Phil Jones: "The word is relieved. I'm in quite good shape. I've had an injury that started as a niggle. It's been a rollercoaster ride." She reveals she's been doing rehab for 10 hours a day and adds: "I'm really pleased and three days rest is great for the Achilles." It ends up like an Oscars speech. She's thanking everyone. My mum will be disappointed not to get a mention in that one. Good run though. Okoro doesn't make it.

1920: Britain's Jenny Meadows up in heat two of the 800m. Ireland's Rose-Anne Galligan also up in this one...the gun goes off. Let's go....

1916: Okoro kicks back with 300m to go and she comes home in fourth. Head back and she's straining everything but doesn't make the crucial top three. She looks pooped. Good battle though. She was leading with a lap to go but then her arms went wobbly like a box of jelly biscuits. "It's a lack of training" says commentator Brendan Foster. Mariya Savinova wins easily in 1:59.71 ahead of Yvonne Hak and Egle Balciunaite. Okoro still laid out on the track breathing like me at 6am this morning after belting up the stairs to clean my teeth.

1911: Thoughts of the day so far? Tweet me, text on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide) with ATHLETICS before your message, or join the banter on 606?

1908: Tonight is not all about the 100m. Phillips Idowu is warming up for the triple jump qualifiers. Marilyn Okoro, Jenny Meadows and Jemma Simpson are in action in the 800m opening round. And don't forget at 2005 - Mo Farah and Chris Thompson go in the 10,000m. Still no sign of Barni the mascot. Anybody spotted him? Prize for the first person to hunt the alien type character down. Okoro up first....

Get involved on 606
IzzyMiyagh1 on 606: "A good run from MLF - 10.23 into a -1.4metre per second headwind...he's in better condition than I thought he'd be...Lemaitre looking very good...Interesting times ahead... "

1900: Christophe Lemaitre. He may be a stunning runner but he'll have to work on that English. "That's typical of the English having a pop at anybody who struggles with another language" I hear you cry. Fair enough. Totally fair play to the 20-year-old though because he has a chat with Phil Jones. Thoughts on the final Christophe? "It's me or Dwain I think. Physically, I am very good and tomorrow I will try to run under 10 seconds in the final."

1855: My heart goes out to Gibraltar's Dominic Carroll. He's a part-time draughtsman and has worked in a pet shop to save up money to run at these championships. He's up in heat three and what does he do? He doesn't even run because he stumbles out of the blocks and false-starts. The boy's had a shocker and he looks gutted. No second chances allowed with the new rules.

It's good news for GB
1850: Lemaitre lays a big whopping marker down with a 10.19. Fastest of the heats. Mark Lewis-Francis comes through in second in 10.23. No sign of injury for the Frenchman. MLF tells Phil Jones says: "I'm happy with that. It's all about raising the game. I got the third spot last week and I just wanted to be here. I'm over the moon and that's a good start. I'm a championship performer. To get it right shows my winter training has gone right. I can't complain." Ireland's Jason Smyth also through.

1847: Mark Lewis-Francis up next. And who's next to him? The man of the moment. France's Christophe Lemaitre. Steve Cram reckons he may be warming up an abductor problem. Let's see........

It's good news for GB
1845: Runners looking a little twitchy. Britain's James Dasaolu looks very comfortable and comes through in third in 10.40. Norway's Jaysuma Saidy Ndure wins in 10.31. Dasaolu eases through but he'll have to quicken up if he wants to make his first majors final. Pretty effortless though. Colin Jackson says he'll have "to pull his finger out". I thought he ran within himself though and did well. He tells Phil Jones: "I didn't get the best of starts but I got through which is the main thing. I wasn't as nervous as I thought I would be. I'm enjoying it." He looks like a man who's just run a marathon to be fair to him. Nice run though.

BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce in Barcelona on Twitter:
"Spotted Phillips Idowu strolling in with Coach Aston. Shades and headphones on, big beamer of smile on chops. Mais ou est Le Grand Ted?"

1839: This isn't just the Dwain Chambers show. Britain's James Dasaolu now up in heat four. Looks a little tense.

1837: Portugal's Francis Obikwelu comes through in 10.27. Also impressive. Unger, Collio and Hamalainen all qualify. Remember - semis and final on Wednesday. "I've got no stress. If I win, great, if not, no problem. I just want to have fun. I'm just relaxed," Obikwelu tells Phil Jones. One of the most relaxed and upbeat interviews I've ever heard.
Get involved on 606
Mad_for_Chelsea on 606: "That looked good from chambers, cruising through in 10.21 and looking very comfortable indeed."

longpablo on Twitter: "Chambers will have to run 9.92 to win it - Lemaitre will be quick"

1829: Heat two and France's Martial Mbandjock looks a major threat with a comfortable 10.26s. Italian Emanuele Di Gregorio, Matic Osovnikar and Alexander Kosenkow also go through.

1826: Behind Chambers was Ronald Pognon, Robert Kubaczyk and Ronalds Arajs.

1824: So what did you make of that then? Tweet me, text on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide) with ATHLETICS before your message, or join the banter on 606?

Dwain Chambers tells BBC Sport's Phil Jones: "I still get just as nervous as I did when I started at 14. You learn how to control the nerves. So far I have learned quickly. You have to keep your head cool and it's a case of not getting hurt. May the best man win. It's great to be competing and being part of the team."

It's good news for GB
1819: Chambers was second slowest out of the blocks but then got his head down and cruised down that Spanish track. Lemaitre in heat five. "I wonder if Lemaitre is frightened?" Cram ponders. Words from Dwain coming up....

1817: Dwain is sporting a digital watch the size of a clock and strolls in first spot in 10.21 into a strong headwind. Easy peezy. Steve Cram is impressed. "A good work out" Cram says. Colin Jackson says "brilliant".

1814: we go........Dwain Chambers patrols the starting lane two....this should be a stroll. First four go through.

BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce in Barcelona on Twitter:
"Quick round of Euro Champs GB medal predictions? I'll gamble on 7 golds & 14 medals overall. Or 5 & 13. Erm. Come on Fordyce - okay, 7 & 14"

Get involved on 606
Tiger Rose on 606: "I am going for 15 medals in total with 7 of them gold which i think will be a pretty decent return. Hopefully Mo will get the team off to a good start tonight."
All predictions please on a postcard. Golds, medals, best lookalikes, any tears. When Barni will first appear. Tell me.

1806: It's the 100m opening rounds and the man everybody seems to have an opinion about is in heat one. Say "ola" to Dwain Chambers who's running at 1815 BST. Semis and final on Wednesday. This boy's had a topsy-turvy decade. In 2002 he won European gold in Munich in 9.96s before his medal was stripped away for doping violations. Eight years on, his Olympic dreams are over but desperate to make amends for himself and his family in Spain. "I've made a lot of mistakes," he said this week. "Barcelona is an opportunity for me to get back. If I can get the win it will be a reward that will be really special to me." Can the 32-year-old do it at the same age Linford Christie was when he won 100m Olympic gold in the same city in 1992? There is a red-hot 20-year-old Christophe Lemaitre who could ruin the party. Read Tom Fordyce's blog on the rising French star.

1802: So what's happening tonight in Barcelona then? After Russian Stanislav Emelyanov won the first gold of the championships in the 20km walk this morning, there are two gold necklaces to be picked up tonight. The women's shot put from 1835 BST and then it's time for Mo Farah and Chris Thompson to grab Britain's first gold of the championships. Let's crank the pressure up on these guys shall we? GB have never won this event at a Euro Champs. First up though is 10 seconds of brutal beauty on the sprint track.

1758: I'd be absolutely gutted if you opt to watch the action instead of following my commentary (nahh only joking) but I understand the powers above allow you to do what the heck you want. Perhaps you could do both? Watch live on BBC HD/ BBC Two and the BBC Sport website (UK users only). There's live coverage on BBC Radio 5 live and watch out for highlights of the big events on demand online (UK only). Read about full coverage details.

1755: How do you offload your athletics feelings? In this beautiful multi-media world, there are a million ways. Almost. Tweet me @bbcsport_mark, text me on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide) with ATHLETICS before your message, or start/join the banter on 606? Couldn't be any more simple could it? Would love to know where you are by the way. Anybody in Barcelona? Tell me.

1753: Alright, alright, alright. I've got back in the tardis and rewound time and sorted out my time entry blunder. Massive apologies. Big page refresh required and all will be sweet. I thank you.

1749: With countdown to the London 2012 Olympics reading 'two years to go' (more on that in a minute), it is time for Europe's top athletes to strut their stuff at the European Championships. Martyn Rooney, Michael Bingham and Conrad Williams all reached the 400m semis on the morning of day one. So you will of course now demand from me the events at the Montjuic Stadium I'll be dishing up over the next few hours and just as importantly, details on how you can get involved in this feast of athletics. Patience, opinions, wit and your banter is all I ask from you….and maybe some lookalikes?

1740: Dig out your plimsolls, fill up that sangria jug, slip into your running vest and hold on to your sombreros. Barcelona is calling. Who needs Lionel Messi? Not me sir. This is all about Dwain Chambers, Jessica Ennis and Barni the mascot. Are you in or are you IN?

see also
European Athletics photos
27 Jul 10 |  Athletics
Farah storms to Euro 10,000m gold
27 Jul 10 |  Athletics
Chambers reaches 100m semi-finals
27 Jul 10 |  Athletics
Euro Athletics predictions
26 Jul 10 |  Athletics
Euro Champs day-by-day guide
26 Jul 10 |  Athletics
Ennis wants to lead GB gold rush
26 Jul 10 |  Athletics
Meadows 'pain free' after injury
26 Jul 10 |  Athletics
Athletics on the BBC
21 Apr 11 |  Athletics

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