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Last Updated: Sunday, 13 August 2006, 12:29 GMT 13:29 UK
Baldini captures marathon crown
Italian Stefano Baldini celebrates his win in Gothenburg
Baldini won his first European title in 1998
Italian Stefano Baldini added the European crown to his Olympic title with a measured run in Gothenburg.

Baldini kicked inside the last mile to win in two hours 11 minutes and 32 seconds with Swiss Victor Rothlin second and Spain's Julio Rey third.

Spain's Jesus Espana finished strongly to take 5,000m gold ahead of Briton Mo Farah and Spaniard Juan Carlos Higuero.

Dutchman Bram Som won 800m gold in a tight finish as Russian Tatyana Tomashova claimed the women's 1500m.

Espana reeled in the battling Farah in the home straight, winning gold by just 0.09 seconds in 13 minutes 44.70s.

"I have been dreaming of winning a major championship for a long time," said Espana.

"I did not want to take the lead and was glad when Mo took up the pace because I have a great finish."

Som, 26, who appeared to step onto the grass for a few steps, crossed the line in one minute 46.56 seconds ahead of Luxembourg's David Fiegen.

"My final stretch was just crazy but there is always a little bit of fighting and pushing," said Som.

"I'm just so happy as in past championships I've always had difficulty in even qualifying."

Tomashova added a first 1500m European title to her two World crowns with a clever piece of tactical running.

Tomashova bided her time behind Russian compatriot Yuliya Chizhenko before sprinting past her on the home straight to win in a championship record three minutes 56.91 seconds.

Tatyana Tomashova celebrates gold ahead of Yuliya Chizhenko
Tomashova wins her 1500m gold ahead of team-mate Chizhenko

Chizhenko took silver with Bulgaria's Daniela Yordanova completing the podium places.

Israel's Alex Averbukh defended his pole vault title as the only man to clear 5.70m.

German Tim Lobinger settled for silver with 5.65m and France's Romain Mesnil took bronze with the same height.

Steffi Nerius gave German fans more to cheer about as she bettered the silver she won four years ago with javelin gold.

Nerius threw a season's best 65.82m in the fourth round ahead of Czech Barbora Spotakova (65.64m) and Spain's Mercedes Chilla (61.98m).

As expected, Russia's women dominated the relays, winning the 4x100m with quartet Yuliya Gushchina, Natalya Rusakova, Irina Khabarova and Yekaterina Grigoryeva in 42.71.

Great Britain took a surprise silver medal as they edged out Belarus on the last leg.

The Russian women dominated the 4x400m, winning in three minutes 25.12.

It also went to form in the men's race as French favourites, anchored by 400m gold medallist Marc Raquil, raced home in three minutes 01.10 ahead of Britain and Poland.

Britain's men won the sprint relay ahead of Poland and France.

SEE ALSO
European Athletics day seven photos
13 Aug 06 |  Athletics
European Championships schedule
02 Aug 06 |  Athletics
The BBC at the European Athletics
13 Jul 06 |  Athletics


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