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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 June 2006, 19:16 GMT 20:16 UK
Malcolm victory lifts British men
Malcolm (left) gets the better of 100m champion Ronald Pognon
Malcolm (left) gets the better of 100m champion Ronald Pognon
Christian Malcolm's victory in the 200m on day two in Malaga ensured Britain's men retained their European Cup status.

The former world junior champion, 27, clocked the fastest time by a European this year to win in 20.29 seconds.

The Welshman's impressive win helped the men claim third position in the competition with 109 points, behind winners France (118) and Russia (116).

But there was bad news for the British women, who were relegated on the first appearance back in the top flight.

They finished in seventh with 85 points, Russia claiming their 10th successive title ahead of Poland and Ukraine.

"Some plucky performances but too many athletes not realising their bests," said UK Athletics performance director Dave Collins.

I felt really well during the race, the wind didn't bother me

Christian Malcolm

British hopes were hit on Wednesday by Becky Lyne's fall in the 800m and the failure of the 4x100m relay squad to finish the race.

"Two big disappointments on the first day cost us," added Collins. "You can get away with one but not two."

Malcolm's career seems to be getting back on track after being disrupted by injuries and illnesses.

He hit a low when he suffered a kidney problem prior to the 2004 Olympics, although he recovered to make the semi-finals in Athens.

"I felt really well during my the race, the wind didn't bother me," said Malcolm, who powered off the final bend to see off Frenchman Ronald Pognon, the 100m champion.

"I'm happy having achieved my season's best today, I can say I really had fast legs in the first part of the race, so the home straight turned into a very easy thing for me."

After a disappointing summer in 2005 and a pulled hamstring in his heat at the Commonwealth Games in March, Malcolm is now looking towards the European Championships in August.

As for the Europeans in Gothenburg, I'll compete for gold

Christian Malcolm

"I didn't have the background last year as I had been ill, but I have the background now and feel I can go on from here," he said.

"As for the Europeans in Gothenburg, I'll compete for gold."

Mo Farah followed Malcolm's lead by claiming a gutsy second place in the 3000m behind Spaniard Sergio Gallardo.

The Somalia-born 23-year-old hit the front with a lap remaining and almost held on to win.

Andy Turner was the only other Briton to make the podium.

His time of 13.47secs gave him second in the 110m hurdles behind world champion Ladji Doucoure of France.



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28 Jun 06 |  Athletics


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