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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 August 2006, 18:50 GMT 19:50 UK
European athletics: day four
Rhys Williams
Williams claimed his first senior medal in Gothenburg
Marlon Devonish brought home Britain's third bronze of the night in the 200m to add to 400m hurdler Rhys Williams and 800m runner Becky Lyne's medals.

Devonish held on to take European bronze as Portugal's Francis Obikwelu completed the sprint double in style.

Phillips Idowu and Nathan Douglas reached Saturday's triple jump final alongside Swede Christian Olsson.

Mo Farah impressively advanced to Sunday's 5,000m final while Michael Rimmer reached the 800m semi-finals.


DAY FOUR ACTION (all times BST)

MEN'S 200m

Britain's Marlon Devonish completed Britain's bronze medal haul in Gothenburg with a solid run over 200m in 20.54 seconds.

The Coventry runner got out of the blocks well but Swede Johan Wissman closed him down on the home straight to see Devonish slide to third, equalling his performance of four years ago in Munich.

Devonish said: "It's a shame that I didn't run as well in the final as I did in the first round.

"But I'm okay with that - that's an okay performance."

Portugal's Francis Obikwelu was never going to be caught and became the first man to win the sprint double since Italy's Pietro Mennea in 1978.

Obikwelu clocked 20.01 to move to eighth in the world rankings this season.

WOMEN'S 400m

Bulgarian Vanya Stambolova finished strongly to claim gold in 49.85 seconds. The 22-year-old has chosen to focus on the flat rather than the hurdles this season.

Russian Olga Zaytseva went all out over the first 200m but had to settle for bronze as she was overtaken by Stambolova and compatriot Tatyana Veshkurova.

Britain's Nicola Sanders came home sixth in 50.28 and plans to choose whether to focus on the flat or return to the hurdles over the winter.

"My aim was to go out harder and to be in the mix, but it was quite windy down the back straight," Sanders said.

"I tried to work it round the bend. It wasn't a fantastic race, but I did better than in the semi-final."

WOMEN'S 800m

Becky Lyne got her tactics spot on to snatch the second bronze of the night for Britain in the 800m.

The Hallamshire athlete was well-placed at the bell but got boxed-in coming off the final bend.

But Lyne never gave up and, despite being pushed on the home straight, she chased down Tetyana Petlyuk to take third in one minute 58.45 seconds.

"I should be happy - if you had said at the beginning of the season that I would win a bronze at the European Championships then they would have put you in a mental asylum," said Lyne.

"It's nice to have lifted British spirits a bit by getting a medal."

Russian Olga Kotlyarova overhauled compatriot Svetlana Klyuka to seize took gold in 1:57.38.

DECATHLON

Olympic champion Roman Sebrle set a seemingly insurmountable 161-point lead after five events of the gruelling decathlon.

The Czech world record holder rounded off his day's work with 49.11 seconds in the 400m, earning him 856 points to take his total to 4420 points.

Russian Aleksey Sysoyev ran a personal best of 48.89 in heat two to climb up to the silver medal position on 4259 while compatriot Aleksandr Pogorelov slid to third with 4249.

Sebrle reached 2.09m in the high jump and 15.53m in the shot put to consolidate his position.

In the opening event, the Czech clocked 10.98 seconds over 100m to finish tied seventh overall but nailed a leap of 7.72m in the long jump to nab himself 990 points and haul himself to the top of the leaderboard.

The decathlon is without the colourful Briton Dean Macey, who was forced out of the event at the last-minute because of a groin injury.

MEN'S 800m

Michael Rimmer dominated his heat to win in 1:47.1 and ended with the fastest time from the four heats in what is proving to be an open 800m.

"I was really pleased with that," said the 20-year-old Rimmer, running at his first senior championship. "The game plan went really well. I didn't expect it to be much different to junior level but it's so much more professional.

"They treat you like an adult. I was a bit starstruck to start with but now I've really settled in and I feel like I belong here."

Sam Ellis hit the front down the back straight in the final lap but was run down for third place just yards from the line. He went through as a fastest loser.

"I couldn't hear them coming," said Ellis, who ran 1:47.72. "I didn't think it would be that close."

Britain's Richard Hill (1:50.26) and Ireland's Dave Campbell (1:48.70) and Thomas Chamney (1:50.12) all missed out.

"It just didn't go well at all," said Hill. "As a front-runner you're there to be shot at and I was probably lacking a bit of pace at the end."

WOMEN'S 100m HURDLES

Home fans saw European number one Susanna Kallur progress comfortably to the final.

Kallur romped to victory in heat one of five in 12.7 secs, while Ireland's Derval O'Rouke, the world indoor champion, qualified in second in heat two in 13.03.

Britain's Sara McGreavy qualified as the sixth and final fastest finisher in 13.30 but compatriots Sarah Claxton (13.39) and Gemma Bennett (13.40) missed out. Susanna Kallur's sister Jenny also qualified in a season's best of 12.92.

MEN'S 50KM WALK

France's Yohan Diniz clinched gold in 3:41.39 ahead of Spain's Jesus Angel Garcia (3:42.48) and Russian Yuriy Andronov (3:43.26).

Olympic silver medallist and world ranked number one Denis Nizhegorodov of Russia was disqualified.

MEN'S TRIPLE JUMP

The automatic qualification mark was set at 17m for the triple jump and Sweden's Olympic champion Christian Olsson sailed through in 17.51m with his first jump.

Britain's Commonwealth champion Phillips Idowu qualified at the second time of asking in 17.01m.

Idowu said: "I took it a bit too easy in the first round but I feel comfortable that I'm in good shape."

Nathan Douglas also advanced to Sunday's final after landing 16.84m but Larry Achike went out after only managing 16.42m.

MEN'S 400m HURDLES

Welshman Rhys Williams came through strongly to win Britain's first medal on the track in Gothenburg.

Williams, who finished fourth at the Commonwealth Games, worked his way through the field to take bronze in 49.12 seconds, just sneaking ahead of Frenchman Naman Keita.

"That was tough," said Williams. "I was keeping my fingers crossed but that was too close for comfort at the end.

"This is the stage I want to run on. This is me giving something back."

World bronze medallist Periklis Isakovakis dominated the race and took Greece's first gold in 48.46 with Poland's Marek Plawgo second in a season's best 48.71m.

WOMEN'S DISCUS

Russian Darya Pishchalnikova was the shock winner in the discus with her fourth-round throw of 65.55m.

The 21-year-old pushed world champion Franka Dietzsch into the silver medal position with a best of 64.35m.

Romania's Nicoleta Grasu held onto bronze with her opening throw of 63.58m.

MEN'S DISCUS

Double Olympic champion Virgilijus Alekna had to wait until his last throw before coming up with 64.53m to qualify in second behind Estonia's Gerd Kanter (66.71m).

Alekna, of Lithuania, tops the European rankings with a throw of 71.08m - his secret is abnormally long arms, which have been measured at 2.22m.

Poland's Piotr Malachowski was third with 63.76m.

MEN'S POLE VAULT

Germany's Lars Borgeling topped qualifying with a vault of 5.60m at his first attempt. Five other jumpers also reached 5.60m.

German Tim Lobinger, who won silver in 1998 and bronze in 2002, also qualified with 5.55m, while defending champion Alexander Averbukh of Israel scraped through with 5.45m.

WOMEN'S 3,000M STEEPLECHASE

Russia claimed a one-two in the first semi-final with Tatyana Petrova winning in 9:42.08 and Lyubov Ivanova second in 9:42.32.

Poland's Katarzyna Kowalska was third in a personal best of 9:42.50. Spain's Zulema Fuentes-Pila also qualified with a PB, while Britain's Hattie Dean was eighth in 9:52.97.

Hungary's Livia Toth was in fourth just metres from the line before her legs buckled and she crashed onto the infield. She climbed back to her feet and limped over the line in sixth.

The second semi-final was faster with Belarus' Alesia Turava first in 9:37.01 ahead of Poland's Wioletta Janowska (9:37.39), Belgian Veerle Dejaeghere (9:37.64) and Russia's Yelena Sidorchenkova (9:38.53).

The four fastest losers came from the second heat, with Ida Nilsson (Swe), Elodie Olivares (Fra), Cristina Casandra (Rom) and Miranda Boonstra (Ned) all reaching the final.

MEN'S & WOMEN'S WHEELCHAIR RACES

Britain's Shelly Woods claimed a superb silver medal - though they do not count towards the overall total - behind Switzerland's Edith Hunkeler in the women's 800m race.

Woods pushed strongly in the home straight to get past the second Swiss athlete Sandra Graf and finish in one minute 59.61 seconds. Tanni Grey Thompson finished back in fifth.

Britain's David Weir clocked the fastest time in the semi-finals of the men's 1500m wheelchair race with a confident display.

The London Marathon winner won the first semi-final in three minutes 12.34 seconds, ahead of Switzerland's Heinz Frei.

Marcel Hug triumphed in the second semi-final in a time of 3:12.53 with French duo Alain Fuss and Eric Teurnier second and third.

Briton Tushar Patel advanced to Friday's final as a fastest loser with 3:13.71 but Brian Alldis missed out.

MEN'S 5,000m

Britain's Mo Farah qualified for the Sunday's final with a controlled race, finishing third in 13 minutes seconds in the second semi-final.

There are high hopes for the 23-year-old after he moved up to second on Britain's all-time rankings in July.

Farah told BBC Sport: "It won't be easy to get a medal but I will perform on the day and see what happens."

Team-mate Nick McCormick scraped through as a fastest loser.

Britain's Chris Thompson failed to advance from the first semi-final after falling from first to last with three laps to go.

BBC commentator Brendan Foster said "It was a poor performance and just isn't good enough."

Turkey's Halil Akkas won the first semi in 13.48:79 with Ireland's Alistair Cragg - the fastest man in Europe this season - third.

WOMEN'S 200m

New 100m champion Kim Gevaert stayed on course for the sprint double, advancing to the semi-finals in 22.83 seconds.

Russian Natalya Rusakova proved she will be one of the main title contenders as she came through strongly to win the second heat in 22.75.

Romania's Angela Morosanu won heat three in 23.14 and Poland's Monika Bejnar took the first heat in 23.07.

Frenchwoman Fabienne Beret-Martinel was controversially thrown out of heat three for rising late from the blocks.



SEE ALSO
Two bronze medals for gutsy Brits
10 Aug 06 |  Athletics
Stambolova strikes to take 400m
10 Aug 06 |  Athletics
Woods clinches silver in Sweden
10 Aug 06 |  Disability Sport
Stambolova strikes to take 400m
10 Aug 06 |  Athletics
Gatlin coach under investigation
10 Aug 06 |  Athletics
Golden Obikwelu takes 200m title
10 Aug 06 |  Athletics
Three bronzes for gutsy Britons
10 Aug 06 |  Athletics


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