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Page last updated at 18:05 GMT, Friday, 6 March 2009

Claxton slumps after record mark

EUROPEAN INDOOR ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIPS
Venue: Oval Lingotto, Turin Date: 6-8 March
Coverage: All live on BBC Red Button and BBC Sport website; live on Saturday and Sunday 1400-1710 GMT on BBC Two


Sarah Claxton
Claxton was the fastest qualifier for the 60m hurdles final

Sarah Claxton equalled her own British 60m hurdles record but could not continue that form in the final at the European Indoor Championships in Turin.

Claxton, the only European to reach the Olympic 100m hurdles final, won her semi-final in 7.96 seconds.

But she was eighth in her third race of the day, won by Belgium's Eline Berings with Ireland's Derval O'Rourke third.

Earlier, Mo Farah eased through his heat to become one of three Brits to reach Saturday's 3,000m final.

Both Jenny Meadows and Marilyn Okoro face a tough three days, having qualified easily from the 800m heats on Friday, facing semi-finals on Saturday and the final the following day.

Veteran Donna Fraser, 36, moved through to the final of the 400m, in what she has hinted could be her final event before retirement. "I think the legs are retired now but the brain's still in it!" she said.

And fellow Brit Richard Buck also made it through to a 400m final, although it came at the expense of the reigning champion, Ireland's David Gillick, who fell on the final bend amid some pushing. Nick Leavey missed out in fourth.

KATHARINE MERRY'S BLOG

New British indoor record-holder Kate Dennison qualified for Saturday's pole vault final after clearing 4.40m.

But there was disappointment for Andy Turner and Allan Scott, who both finished out of the medals in the men's 60m hurdles final.

Turner, who admitted he is "running angry" after losing his lottery funding, missed out on a bronze by 0.01s and said: "It's just a horrible place to finish, I can't even describe how I feel right now. I'm gutted."

Other British failures involved Samson Oni and Martyn Bernard, who struggled in the high jump. With neither leaping above 2.22m they will not be appearing in the final.

Earlier on Friday's opening day, Farah led the field in his heat with a lap left but eased off to finish third.

The 25-year-old, who has twice broken the British record this year, said: "It was good to get a run out, I quite enjoyed it. Expectations are definitely high but I just have to go out and see what happens and hopefully put in a good performance."

Nick McCormick and Mark Draper made it through the other qualifying heat, Draper with a personal best time.

Londoner Farah has already broken the British record for the event twice this year after a winter training in Africa.

After failing to make the Olympic 5,000m final in Beijing he embarked on regime that included a month in Ethopia and two in Kenya.

"Last year was really disappointing. I know I trained hard, perhaps a little bit too hard. Sometimes you have to learn the hard way," he told BBC Sport.

Africa training helps Farah's form

"I understand my body a lot better than last year. Kenya was really good for me - it was just eat, sleep and train."

Elsewhere for the British team, neither of GB's 1500m runners, Susan Scott and Hannah England, made it through their heats.

Head coach Charles van Commenee has set his sights on six medals at the event but chances of success in Italy have been hit by several withdrawals in the build-up.

Kelly Sotherton (pentathlon), Phillips Idowu (triple jump) Chris Tomlinson, Jade Johnson (both long jump) and Chris Warburton (1500m) are all out of contention with injuries.

And Olympic 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu has opted to miss the event in order to prepare for the outdoor season, training in the USA.

In Sotherton's absence, Russia's Anna Bogdanova dominated the pentathlon to take gold in the single-day event.

In the only other final on Friday, Germany took gold and silver in the shot put thanks to Petra Lammert and Denise Hinrichs.

Sprinter Dwain Chambers, whose revelations in his autobiography, serialised in a national newspaper, have overshadowed the build-up to this event, begins his campaign in the 60m on Saturday.



see also
European Indoor athletics pics
06 Mar 09 |  Athletics
This weekend on BBC Sport
02 Mar 09 |  TV/Radio Schedule
Tomlinson added to GB injury list
03 Mar 09 |  Athletics
Chambers included in GB Euro team
24 Feb 09 |  Athletics
Farah breaks record in Birmingham
21 Feb 09 |  Athletics
Which athletes will star in 2009?
20 Feb 09 |  Athletics
Athletics on the BBC
28 Oct 08 |  Athletics


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