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Page last updated at 19:49 GMT, Sunday, 13 December 2009

Hayley Yelling clinches shock win as Mo Farah collapses

Mo Farah

Farah collapses as he crosses line

Hayley Yelling caused a major upset to win the women's European Cross Country Championships, but Mo Farah collapsed after coming second in the men's race.

Former champion Yelling, 35, came out of a near year-long retirement last month and led from start to finish.

Farah was carried off on a stretcher after collapsing with exhaustion following a neck-and-neck duel with Spanish winner Alemayehu Bezabeh.

He missed the medal ceremony to receive treatment at the medical centre.

The result was out of the blue for Yelling, who quit a year ago after finishing 19th in the same event in Brussels but returned to win the UK Cross Challenge in Liverpool.

And on Sunday, the 2004 champion led from the gun to beat Rosa Morato by seven seconds in a shock win.

European champion Hayley Yelling
Yelling said she did not want to just make up the numbers when she retired

The Dorchester-born runner, who competes for Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow, completed the 8,018m course in 27 minutes and 49 seconds in the Santry Park mud.

She said: "I can't believe it, I feel great. I'm in shock, but I said that after Liverpool as well.

"I just wanted to go out hard, because I know that's how I race better, to just go out and hang on for as long as possible.

"I expected them to all come, but luckily they didn't. I was running scared. I didn't know where they were or how far behind. I thought they might have a quick last lap."

Farah, the 2006 champion, fell behind in the final circuit of the 9,997m course but battled back to get level with Bezabeh, who was born in Ethiopia, before losing ground again and coming in 17 seconds behind the winner.

However, the 26-year-old Londoner finished clear of Ukraine's defending champion Sergiy Lebid for his second silver medal in two years.

Both the Great Britain men's and women's teams finished second in the team event.

Steph Twell, tipped to win the women's Under-23 title, struggled and came home in 11th, but Jessica Sparke's unexpected third helped Britain take the team gold medal for the fourth successive year.


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