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Page last updated at 22:48 GMT, Saturday, 20 June 2009 23:48 UK

GB make strong start in Portugal

Venue: Leiria, Portugal Dates: 20-21 June Coverage: Live on BBC Two (1530-1930 BST both days), BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Sport website

Mo Farah

Highlights - Victory for Farah in 5000m (UK only)

Great Britain go into Sunday's second day of the inaugural European Team Championships in Portugal with a narrow one-point lead over Russia.

GB's lead might have been much greater had not Rikki Fifton suffered a hamstring injury in the 4x100m relay.

Dwain Chambers and Emily Freeman claimed a 100m double, while Mo Farah (5000m), David Greene (400m hurdles) and Tim Benjamin (400m) also won.

The victories of Wales' Greene and Benjamin were particularly impressive.

France are lying third after 21 events in the opening session in Leiria.

Chambers was never under any pressure when winning in 10.07 seconds but he admitted he expected to run quicker.

"It's not good as I'm putting everything into one race as I haven't had the opportunity to run rounds," said Chambers. "When you expect things too much, they don't happen."

Admitting he particularly misses competing at Golden League level, Chambers added: "The races I have aren't the calibre I want, but at least I've got races now."

Dwain Chambers

Chambers getting accustomed to winning

Freeman, an Olympic 200m semi-finalist last August, stepped down in distance to 100m and unexpectedly defeated Nataliya Pohrebnyak and Marika Popowicz in 11.42.

Farah won a controversial 5000m race where under competition rules the the last athlete had to drop out with seven, five and three laps remaining.

There was confusion when four athletes crossed the line together with five circuits remaining and not knowing who was the unlucky one, they slowed to a jog and lost contact well behind the rest of the field.

"The new rule is strange," said Farah of the confusion which existed not just in his contest but others where new innovative regulations are not fully supported by many athletes.


Farah, who drew clear with a winning spurt 300m from the line to win easily in 13:43.01, added: "Everybody has the right to finish the race, but rules are rules."

Welsh duo Greene and Benjamin both impressed with Greene, currently seventh in the world rankings, beating European champion Periklis Iakovakis to win in 49.26.

"I just wanted to win this one - the time wasn't important," said Greene, who knows the World Championships in two months time will be a much greater challenge.

"I knew that it would be a fast race, but not so fast as the one's I will have in the future. It wasn't my best time this season. But 12 points for the team is what matters."

Britain's Olympic pole vaulter Kate Dennison

Dennison breaks pole vault record (UK only)

Benjamin, who has seen his career hit by injuries since finishing fifth in the 2006 World Championships, powered clear late on to beat Sweden's Olympic finalist Johan Wissman in 45.57secs.

"The race was okay - not great and I know I can do better," said Benjamin, who was only 0.06secs shy of his season's best.

There was another UK pole vault record for Kate Dennison who finished fourth and raised her mark by four centimetres to 4.55m.

see also
Ohuruogu & Chambers win in Paris
11 Jun 09 |  Athletics
Injured Danvers misses Euro event
11 Jun 09 |  Athletics
Chambers storms to gold in Turin
08 Mar 09 |  Athletics
Olympic winner Ohuruogu gets MBE
28 May 09 |  London
Chambers invited to Dutch meeting
25 Mar 09 |  Athletics
Chambers may receive Paris invite
05 Jun 09 |  Athletics
In-depth interview - Christine Ohuruogu
03 Jun 09 |  Athletics
Athletics on the BBC
21 Apr 11 |  Athletics

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