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Page last updated at 16:00 GMT, Friday, 30 July 2010 17:00 UK

European Athletics Championships day four as it happened


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By Mark Ashenden

2133: I'm out of here. I need to dip my finger tips into an ice bath so they can recover for more medal mayhem tomorrow. Or am I getting ahead of myself? Magical comments all round. I can only doff my cap and say thank you. Back tomorrow. Tar-tar for now.

2130: So what's up on Saturday? Michael Rimmer goes in the 800m final. Potential to fly the Welsh flag again with Dai Greene a hot favourite in the 400m hurdles with Rhys Williams and Nathan Woodward also in with slight sniff. And of course, it's the final day of the heptathlon. Another golden day for Ennis?

Coach_Toni on Twitter: "23.21 in the 200m gives her a 1st day of 4080 44pts down on Berlin while Dob is only 26 down on her best so Dob has the edge roll on day 2"
Jess Ennis' coach seems satisfied with his girl's day at the office.

2124: Half a dozen necklaces overall on day four and a fab night for all those in the GB vests. Night started off with a stinker for Will Sharman and ended with a super-triple stinker for Britain's trio of 1500m runners but a cracking effort. One gold, two silvers and three bronze. Who said GB would win six? Considering I was a Welsh hair width away from chomping on a teabag for dinner, I'll settle for that.

helipad1019 on Twitter: "Martin Rooney - a slimmer, stubblier Frank Lampard?"

2115: It's a return for the French national anthem as the mighty quiff steps back on to the podium. Christophe Lemaitre (his surname means 'the Master') adds the 200m gold necklace to his dog lead.

Get involved on 606
Isabre on 606: "Baddeley and Lancashire should have never let the pace be so slow, that was what the Spaniards wanted from the beginning. I'm pretty sure that if the final was run in some 3:37-38 things would have been substantially different among the medals..."

2110: Strange finish. Baddeley was known for his 'kick' but he went backwards at the end there. He kept looking round like he knew he didn't have anything in his legs.....Badders finishes in sixth. "I'm devastated" he says. McCourt in ninth. Lancashire in 10th. All three being interviewed and all look shell-shocked. Casado wins in 3:42.74 with Schlangen in second and Olmedo getting bronze.

It's bad news for GB
2106: They're off.....very slow pace and Steve Cram says "nerves are beginning to jangle". Tom Lancashire opts to move up on the outside. All the Brits are in a good position. One lap to go...ding ding dong. Andy Baddeley bumping with the Spaniards. Oh dear. Baddeley was favourite right? He faded badly...And it's the Spanish flags waving wildly at the end of day four. Barni's back in the thick of the action. Great to see...Arturo Casado takes gold...

2059: Poor old Jenny Meadows. No sooner does she come through with bronze, the girls are shuffled off the track and it's time for the men's 1500m. Three Brits in this one. More medals?

Get involved on 606
ShuBob on 606: "Bronze for Meadows. I think she kicked too early though."
Yvonne Hak gets silver with Jemma Simpson fading at the end to finish in fifth.

Bronze medal boost for Britain
2056: Here we go....women's two-lapper. Meadows leads at the bell....she's looking strong. More gold for Russian Mariya Savinova. She crushes Meadows on the final straight and the battling Brit takes BRONZE.

2051: It's been a crazy night for GB athletes no? Five medals. And there could/should be more....Jenny Meadows and Jemma Simpson up in the women's 800m final right now....then it's the men's 1500m final.

Gold medal
Bronze medal boost for Britain
2043: Set...go.....Russian Natalya Antyukh takes gold in 52.92. Shakes-Drayton takes BRONZE. Amazing. Where did that come from? A lifetime best in 54.18. Third fastest British 400m female after Gunnell and Danvers.

2040: It's the women's 400m hurdles. The gut-busting of all gut-busting events. GB have only ever won one medal in this event at the Euros - any guesses? Sally Gunnell in 1994 in Helsinki. Perri Shakes-Drayton is the youngest in this race. Eilidh Child also running in a GB goes.....

2037: Big smiles all round. America-born Bingham says: "It was hard to run in lane eight but I got it." Rooney: "It was a terrible semi but I'm happy to take a bronze medal. I'm proud of Bingham. We both ran well." GB third in the medal timetable with nine medals - three gold, four silver, two bronze.

2036: "That was a fun race to watch" says Michael Johnson. Can't argue with the big MJ on that one.

AlwaysALawyer on Twitter: "One for the fun, two for the show! Seems Belgium and Britain had to write history tonight"

British silver medal boost
Bronze medal boost for Britain
2029: "An incredible race" says Michael Johnson. Rooney tired at the end. He had a big chance with 10m to go. A massive finish from Kevin Borlee. Twin Jonathan Borlee in seventh. Kevin B wins in 45.08. Bingham gets silver in 45.23. Rooney in third with 45.23. It's the difference of another hair quiff again. Ireland's David Gillick in fifth with 45.28s. Gillick says he "tensed up" too much. "A missed opportunity" he adds.

2028:Bingham starts brilliantly. A mental men's 400m race. KEVIN BORLEE wins GOLD in 45.08 with a stunning finish and lean at the end. Bingham gets silver. Rooney gets bronze. Unbelievable race.

2024: Two Borlees in this final. More talented than the Neville family I wonder? Bingham, sporting some very dark we go..........

2021: Men's 400m final at 2025. Women's 400m hurdles at 2040. Women's 800m at 2050. Men's 1500m at 2100.

Text in your views on 81111
B from London, via text: "Clutching at straws with the lookalikes but does Martyn Bernard have a hint of Chris Rock about him"
Clutch those straws baby. I'm giving that a 6/10. Seeing as it's tonight's only lookalike entry I can only applaud your efforts. Any others?

2016: Men's 400m final coming up....Michael Bingham and Martyn Rooney.

2014:Ennis tops the leaderboard after day one with 4080 points. Dobrynska is second on 3970 (110 points behind). Oeser is third 239 points behind Ennis). Day two will get going with the long jump. "Ennis will need to be solid tomorrow," says Denise Lewis.

2009:Jess Ennis is flying and clocks 23.22 - her fastest run in 2010. That means she'll be top of the heptathlon leaderboard. "Majestic run" says Denise Lewis. Ennis on day one: "I'm really pleased with that. A good time. Shot put - I put myself under too much pressure. My heart can't take it! I came here knowing it wouldn't be easy and they are pushing me all the way - particularly Dobrynska - I'll just keep my fingers crossed."

advaldo on Twitter: "why do the polevaulters hold the pole up to show the judges after they've jumped? what are they checking?"
Any ideas? I have none....

Text in your views on 81111
Lee from Birmingham, via text: "Well done to all the british athletes and good luck to all the remaining competitors,its down to hard work and commitment(cold and wet training sessions) to do well at major championships, keep it up"

2004: Heptathlon 200m - first heat. Dobrynska clocks 24.23 with a new lifetime best. She is panting after that effort - Ennis has it all to do. "I've just picked my jaw up off the floor", says Denise Lewis from the BBC studios. "A super run". Ennis in the third heat in about 5 minutes.

2001: Pole vaulter Kate Dennison finishes sixth in a competition won by Feofanova. Spiegelburg takes silver. (I love that girl's name.) And Ryzih in third. Heptathlon 200m coming up........

1953: So with an hour and a few minutes to go, why not chuck me your thoughts and opinions. I haven't had any lookalikes yet tonight? DiCaprio is Lemaitre - agree? Tweet me @bbcsport_mark, text me on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide) with ATHLETICS before your message, or join the banter on 606.

1951: Ennis' coach Toni Minichiello on his athlete: "She's capable of a quick time in the 200m. She's moving towards the performance she's capable of and we'll have to wait and see if that will be enough tomorrow. Dobrynska's not out of it."
Final three events on Saturday.

1947: Heptathlete legend Carolina Kluft on the heptathlon competition and Ennis' chances: "It's very tight. I thought it would be a one-girl show at the beginning. She has a big chance and she's strong mentally and it will be a battle until the end."

Text in your views on 81111
Mike Delap in Sheffield, via text: "Are we ever happy in this country? We constantly mock and belittle the England footballers, Andy Murray and the golf lads when they don't perform when it really matters... But when the athletes do they are fortunate. You make your own luck sometimes. Sit back and enjoy it Great Britain!!! Well done the athletes!"

Get involved on 606
djlovesyou on 606: "Aw, so close for Hattie. That would have been one of our biggest shock medals ever, but a good 8 seconds off her best."

1942: Jess Ennis back in action at 1955 in the heptathlon 200m. Can she end day one with another sucker-punch to Dobrynska? She'll be looking for something similar to her 23.25s she ran in Berlin last summer. Men's 400m at 2025, women's 400m hurdles at 2040, women's 800m at 2050, and the men's 1500m at 2100.

1936: A fab finish in the steeplechase. Hatti Dean finishes fourth. She looked as though she had a bit more in the tank. What might have been..the Spaniards in the crowd are gutted as their girl Marta Dominguez is pipped to gold by Russian Yuliya Zaruddneva. My advice for the Spaniard? Don't wear peach-coloured headbands. A massive fashion no-no.

1934: The evening is over for Kate Dennison. She's done well though, failing at 4.65. Her body cleared the bar and only her arms brought it crashing down. Tough. But she's done brilliantly. Russian Svetlana Feofanova looking good for gold. Bar at 4.65m and the competition continues. One lap to go in the steeplechase.

Text in your views on 81111
Victor Flynn, via text: "The people saying Andy Turner was lucky as Svoboda would have been faster had he not clipped the hurdle are just as silly as those belittling Mo Farah's win for being in a slow time relative to the world-leading Kenyans. Championships are decided by the results in the final, not by seasons best times or might-have-beens. Congratulations to all our athletes for performing well when it matters"

Text in your views on 81111
Ian Anderson in Ramsgate, via text: "False starts: what about allowing each individual 1 or 2 false starts in the whole competition (heats, semis and final) rather than per race?"
This follows Will Sharman's disqualification earlier. This is a fair suggestion.

1923:Hatti Dean coming up in the 3,000m steeplechase final at 1925. Time for a quick breath....keep your comments coming in. Was Andy Turner lucky? Is Jess Ennis nailed on for heptathlon gold tomorrow? Rooney and Bingham got a chance in the 400m at 2025? Meadows or Simpson in the 800m at 2050? GB's men's trio run in the 1500m final at 2100. More GB medals?

It's good news for GB
1917: Second women's 1500m semi and it's a little slower. Lisa Dobriskey tucking in nicely and keeping out of trouble and comes through in second spot. That means Twell and England are also in the final as fastest losers. Three Brits in Sunday's 1500m final. Great work.

1914: Andy Turner: "It's a dream come true. I had a dream of winning gold and I knew I was capable of doing it. Doing it when you need to is a different thing. I can't believe it. I knew if I had a clean race it was mine. I felt good in the semis. It feels really good."

Get involved on 606
Greg on 606: "Andy Turner was very lucky. Svoboda would have won that easily."
mmmm bit harsh i reckon. You get what you deserve. Svoboda hit the barrier. Fact. Turner did not. Fact.

1907: First heat in the 1500m. Top four go through. A super-speedy pace which is tough on British duo Steph Twell and Hannah England. Alminova takes the heat in 4:04.14. Felix in second. Rodriguez in third. Twell in sixth and England in eighth. Turner pokes his head in line with the TV cameras - he's gagging for the interview me thinks. "It's a dream come true" the new 110m hurdles European champion says.

BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce in Barcelona on Twitter:
"Now this is proper athletics - Andy Turner snatches hurdles gold. Very, very popular medal - he was off funding last year"

1901: Women's 1500m semis coming up....Brit interest in the barrel load - Twell, England, Dobriskey.

Get involved on 606
Tiger Rose on 606: "Great night so far. Wasn't that surprised by Malcolm winning silver but certainly didn't expect him to be so close to lemaitre & slightly unfortunate not to win gold but fair play to the French lad for getting the dip spot on. Another great 3rd round throw from Jess - she really does have the mental toughness of a true champion."

1856: No hitting the barriers in the final. Svoboda looked set for gold but he clatters the top of the barrier and Turner comes through. Brilliant. He's had major injury problems. Funding problems. "A very special moment" says former champion Colin Jackson. Arms aloft on the line and it's gold. Svoboda looks a broken man after knocking the third hurdle from the end. You can be the best hurdler in the world - or Europe - but if you don't produce the goods when it matters.....that's seven medals in total for GB. Charles Van Commenee will be grinning in the stadium. Assuming he's there. Turner wins in 13.28 ahead of Darien and Kiss.

Gold medal
Andy Turner wins GOLD

1850: No time for taking it easy tonight. My finger tips are on fire. 110m hurdles final right now...Andy Turner? I predict a silver. Let's try to avoid those barriers though eh Andy?

Christian Malcolm: "It means a lot. It's been a very tough year. I've come through with a medal. I can't believe he caught me on the line. It's hard being so close to winning it. To take a medal - I can't argue with that. I have mixed emotions. Later on I'll be so happy to have a medal."

1846: Lemaitre gives Phil Jones some words. His hair is straight from the 1986 scrap book of barnets. He says a lot but not a lot. He's happy though. Sprint double. Brilliant from the 20-year-old.

1843: Christian Malcolm is delighted, draped in the Welsh flag, and sounds a little shocked. Quotes on the way. Massive smiles though. What a race.

Gold medal
1840: It's the women's 400m final. It's a Russian one-two-three. That looked like a Tour de France team peloton effort. Barni gets involved. Firova gets the nod in 49.89s. Ustalova gets silver ahead of Krivoshapka.

It's good news for GB
1838: Jess Ennis pumps those arms and chucks the shot put 14.05 and is back in the lead. The bounce is back in the Sheffield star's legs. She's on 3022 points and leads Nataliya Dobrynska by 11 points. Jennifer Oeser third on 2867. The 200m to go tonight in the heptathlon.

1834: Well praise be to Lemaitre's quiff. It saved me from eating that teabag. Although, would it have been that bad?

British silver medal boost
1832: What a blooomin race. So much for me chomping on the tea bag. It's the Frenchman Lemaitre. Critics suggested he was a bit dodgy on the bend. He was nowhere and Malcolm was all set for gold with inches to go. Amazing. Devonish was also in with a shout. Malcolm is in for gold from 140-195m....Lemaitre screams and throws his French quiff over the line and nabs it. Lemaitre in 20.37s. Malcolm in 20.38s. "A picture of poise" says Michael Johnson. And Mbandjock gets third. Devonish in fourth in 20.62. I'm still gasping. Hession in sixth. So it's SILVER for Malcolm. Brilliant.

1828: Dwain Chambers watching in the crowd. Silence around the stadium. Lemaitre has got a touch of the Leonardo DiCaprio about him. Oh my lordy.....Christian Malcolm and Christophe Lemaitre on the line.....this is SUPER CLOSE....

1825: The 200m boys being introduced. Lemaitre sporting what looks like a dog lead round his neck. That might slow him down. Ireland's Paul Hession in action. Devonish looks in the mood. I predict a fifth for the veteran. Lemaitre also sporting some pretty poor whispy facial we go....

1821: Men's 200m final coming up. Can anybody stop French flier Christophe Lemaitre grabbing the sprint double? Christian Malcolm or Marlon Devonish? I will eat a whole tea bag if either of the Brits gets gold. Malcolm possible bronze. But better hopes for British medals a little bit later me thinks. But what do I know? Do you know?

It's good news for GB
1819: Yelizaveta Bryzhina looking good in the women's 200m. Chermoshanskaya in second. Soumare in third. A very competitive race. And good news for Chris Tomlinson. Who lets one rip in the sandpit and leaps 8.20 in the long jump qualifying. Longest jump in the event today. Fab effort.

1815: Dobrynska winds up again and throws 15.01. Way short of her first throw. Ennis pops up - and she's shaking her head. We're not used to that. It's a 13.11. You can't dominate for the full seven events though can you? Not even our Jess. It's not her favourite event so don't worry too much peeps. One more throw to come.

It's good news for GB
1812: Pole vault update. GB's Kate Dennison clears 4.35m. A steady start. She failed at 4.40m in the qualifying so plenty of work to do to even sniff at a medal. I'll give her a graphic for the time being because I'm generous like that.

BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce in Barcelona on Twitter:
"Debate raging in BBC comm box over name for the evening. My 'Fiesta Friday' not getting the props I hoped for. All suggestions welcomed"

jameswelham on Twitter: "AnotherM for you; Marta Dominguez to get Spain's first gold. From Delayed James at Madrid airport"

It's bad news for GB
1807: Freeman comes home in fifth with a 23.21s in the first semi. "I'm disappointed. It's been a tough year", she says. She reveals she's heading straight for rehab and 2012 is next on the timetable. Michael Johnson says she's got a great chance of doing well if she can rid herself of injuries. Praise indeed.

1804: When I say no Brits in action, what I meant was "No Brits in action apart from Emily Freeman". Had my eyes on the wrong heat. Apologies.

1800: As the clock bells dong 1800 hours, Jess Ennis is prowling around the shot put arena. With the Barcelona sun beaming down, Dobrynska winds up those muscles and dyed blonde locks and the Ukraine champ does OK with a 15.88. Then a steady opener from Ennis with 13.49m - that's worth 760 points. She threw 14.14 in Berlin at the World Champs. Women's 200m semis coming Brits in action

1757: I've been accused of being a little selective regarding the earlier timetable. See 1714. But yes - I know most PCs or mobiles are widescreen these days but you'd have needed to build an apparatus extension to read about all the Brits in action tonight. So yeh - Kate Dennison in the pole vault now. Hannah England and Steph Twell in the 1500m at 1900. Hatti Dean in the women's 3,000m steeplechase final at 1925. Sorry Hatti.

Text in your views on 81111
Stormsy stuck on the A303, via text: "I only see four medals tonight.... Turner, Meadows, Bingham and Baddley. The rest are reaches."

TimPotter on Twitter: " I think 7 - Turner, Meadows, Simpson, Rooney, Baddeley and Lancashire. Optimistic?"

1750: Andy Turner up next....Turner strides out and he's looking comfie. Hold on. He's banging his head and looks a little flustered at the finish. He whacked the eighth hurdle and almost fell - he came through a little wobbly but wobble or no wobble - he stayed on his feet. Just. Good recovery though. "It's all about qualifying" says Colin Jackson. Boy oh boy. If he had gone down that would have been a devastating opening for GB. He's through though. Relief and his puffed out cheeks say it all. Petr Svoboda easily through and looked good. Turner fourth fastest in 13.50s.

1745: A gutted Will Sharman apologises but he aint a happy boy. "It was like a nightmare, I think this new rule is horrible, I didn't try and predict the gun. Ultimately it's a lack of discipline. I felt like it was a very long hold. I was looking forward to running in the final, I felt as though the athlete to the left of me reacted and I went off him. It's immensely frustrating. I was in the shape of my life. I'd like to apologise to everyone who's been supporting me. I was prioritising these championships over the Commonwealth Games. I wonder what will happen in the Diamond League if Usain Bolt false starts."

1741: Sharman false-starts. He looks a little perplexed to say the least....he's trying to argue his case but he's shepherded away from the track. A minute ago he looked cool and set for his second consecutive major final. No more though. Hungarian Daniel Kiss and Darien ease through. "Very disappointing for Will" says Colin Jackson. Andy Turner up next. Pressure on.

It's bad news for GB
1737: Gun goes off and Sharman has been disqualified.

1736: GB's Will Sharman - he's a classical pianist don't you know. He's up in the first semi. The boys are being introduced to the Barcelona crowd. The Sharman-ator raises his we go.

1732: With the women's pole vault final just starting, a quick look at Jess Ennis this morning. Two events at the start of the heptathlon. Ennis clocked the fastest time in the first event - the 100m hurdles with a 12.95s. A 45-minute rest before she cleared 1.89m in the high jump. Poimts total = 2,225, 134 ahead of Olympic champion Nataliya Dobrynska (2091) and 140 clear of Germany's Jennifer Oeser (2085). Ennis said: "I'm quite pleased. I would have liked to have squeezed a bit more out of both events but I'm not going to complain too much, I'm leading and happy with the start." Two more events tonight - shot put from 1745 and 200m at 1955. Dobrynska could pile the pressure on with the shot put.

Get involved on 606
Isabre on 606: "This is definitely going to be a huge night for the British team with so many medals at stake, as well as a pivotal virtual semi phase in the women's 1500m. I feel that Andy Baddeley has got a great chance to become the first Brit to win the European title over the men's 1500m since Steve Cram back in 1986. Jenny Meadows looked over her injury worries and back in full swing so she is going to fancy her own chances"

1727: As the British national anthem rings around the Olympic stadium in Barcelona with Idowu looking emotional (no tears this time though - he used them all up last night), check out Tom Fordyce's blog on his conquering of Teddy Tamgho . Plus here's a behind-the-scenes in the world of Phillips.

1722: I shall hereby produce my usual plea for your input. Because without you, NONE of us would be here. So don't let me down. I want your thoughts, predictions (I think six British medals tonight) and keep your lookalikes coming in. Tweet me @bbcsport_mark, text me on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide) with ATHLETICS before your message, or join the banter on 606.

1717: I can't mess around. The action is coming thick and fast. Necklaces of all colours (only three actually) are up for grabs. Coverage details. Watch live on BBC HD/ BBC Two and the BBC Sport website (UK users only) from about now. There's live coverage on BBC Radio 5 live from around 1800 BST and watch out for highlights of the big events on demand online (UK only). Read about full coverage details.

It's good news for GB
1714: A quick breakdown of when the Brits are in action to help you plan your evening - because you're not going to leave me right?

Women's pole vault final - Kate Dennison from 1730 BST
Men's long jump - Chris Tomlinson in qualifying from 1735
Men's 110m hurdles - Will Sharman and Andy Turner in the semis and hopefully final at 1850
Heptathlon - Jess Ennis gets her hands on the shot put from 1745 (with 200m at 1955)
Men's 200m final - Malcolm and Devonish at 1825 with Christophe Lemaitre eyeing a sprint double
Women's 1500m semis - Lisa Dobriskey from 1900
Men's 400m final - Rooney and Bingham at 2025
Women's 400m hurdles final - Perri Shakes-Drayton and Eilidh Child at 2040
Women's 800m final - Meadows and Simpson at 2050
Men's 1500m final - Andy Baddeley, Tom Lancashire and Colin McCourt at 2100

1710: Just to get you in the mood. Idowu has revealed two soft toys belonging to his five-month-old son Prince were the inspiration behind his success. "I had my little son's teddy bear strapped to my bag last night. I had his little lion strapped to my bag as well. It makes a noise, it growls like a lion growls, so any time I move my bag you hear it, just 'grrrrr'." Everybody go ARHHHHHH. Sweet. He's the new modern modern man you know. Soft toys is the new tattoo.

1706: A day after Phillips Idowu leapt almost 18 metres in the sandpit to become European triple jump champion, it's time for the GB vests to waggle and swagger on the track. For all those that missed it or fancy another look at Idowu take gold then check out the video.

1701: Tonight could be a whole bag of Ms folks. Medals. Mayhem. Madness. Marlon (Devonish). Malcolm (Christian). Martyn (Rooney). Michael (Bingham). Meadows (Jenny). Have I missed any?

see also
Turner leads GB Euro medal haul
30 Jul 10 |  Athletics
European Athletics day four photos
30 Jul 10 |  Athletics
Ennis extends lead in heptathlon
30 Jul 10 |  Athletics
Dobriskey spurred by drug cheats
30 Jul 10 |  Athletics
Idowu wins Euro triple jump gold
29 Jul 10 |  Athletics
Euro Champs day-by-day guide
26 Jul 10 |  Athletics
Athletics on the BBC
21 Apr 11 |  Athletics

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