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Page last updated at 16:44 GMT, Saturday, 7 March 2009

Farah cruises home to 3,000m gold

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

Farah pleased to fulfil the favourite's tag

Mo Farah sealed his first major track title after storming to 3,000m gold and win Britain's opening medal at the European Indoor Championships in Turin.

The 25-year-old Londoner has already broken the British record for the event twice this year as he beat off France's Bouabdellah Tahri in 7:40.17 minutes.

Farah, who failed to make the Olympic 5,000m final, said: "It feels awesome.

"I worked so hard for this after a disappointing year last year and it's not easy sometimes dealing with that."

Nick McCormick was sixth, while Mark Draper finished in 11th place.

Farah's winning time was also a championship record but well outside the British record he has set twice this year.

With winter training in Africa providing the foundations for his excellent form, Farah added: "I haven't seen much of my family being away so much in Ethiopia and Kenya over Christmas for training but it's definitely paying off.

606: DEBATE
Mark A - BBC Sport

"I felt extra pressure being favourite - it's all a learning experience for me. I've never been under that pressure. My best tactic was to go hard and it was awesome to have Nick and Mark in the final too."

"It was a team tactic, we see other people do it so why can't we."

On a dramatic day for Britain's athletes, new national indoor record-holder Kate Dennison jumped an impressive 4.35m in the pole vault final but needed to break another GB record to progress and had to settle for sixth position.

Veteran Donna Fraser revealed the 400m final had been "very tough" as she trailed in sixth place but has the Sunday's relay event to look forward to.

In the men's 400m, Sweden's Johan Wissman set a blistering pace to win gold with Britain's Richard Buck in fifth spot. Buck, 22, said: "At the moment I'm disappointed but I'm sure there's a lot I can learn from this experience."

Marilyn Okoro
Okoro (right) is looking good for a medal on Sunday in the 800m

Britain's two 800m women runners impressed with Marilyn Okoro and Jenny Meadows cruising into Sunday's final.

Okoro clocked a sluggish 2:02.63s in the first semi behind the defending champion Russian Oksana Zbrozhek, with Meadows involved in the second, more physical semi-final, battling to qualify in third.

Okoro said: "It was slow but there's one round left and it's the final where I can relax and just go for the medal."

Greg Rutherford qualified for the men's long jump final with a personal best leap of 7.99m, while Steve Lewis comfortably cleared 5.70m to make the pole vault final.

Katrina Wootton progressed in the 3,000m heats as one of the fastest losers, and Neil Speaight scraped into 1500m final as another fastest losers despite finishing sixth.

Carl Myerscough failed to reach the shot final after a poor opening attempt and two fouls. His best throw was 18.65m - over a metre behind the qualifying mark.

see also
Record-breaking Chambers in final
07 Mar 09 |  Athletics
Africa training helps Farah's form
06 Mar 09 |  Athletics
European Indoor athletics photos
07 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


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