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GB's Euro medal haul

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European Championships - the best bits

Great Britain secured their best-ever medal return at a European Championships in Barcelona, with six golds, seven silvers and six bronze making a haul of 19, well ahead of their target of 15.

Here is a day-by-day guide to who won what, when and how, and what they said afterwards.

Results in full from European Athletics | Medal table

TUESDAY, 27 JULY

Thompson and Farah
MO FARAH (Gold) and CHRIS THOMPSON (Silver)

Men's 10,000m

How they did it - Farah battled with Spain's Ayad Lamdassem throughout but with two laps to go he took control of the race and sprinted to victory. Lamdassem faded badly in the final lap and was caught by Thompson with 100m to go.

What they said - "This means so much to me. I had doubts in the winter when I thought it wasn't right, and I had collapsed after a race." - Farah

"With 10 laps to go I hit my first sticky patch of the year, but when this man [Mo] - who's the best long-distance runner we've ever had - went to the front I thought 'I have to get through it'." - Thompson

"These medals make such a statement for British distance running." - Steve Cram, BBC commentator and European champion over 1500m in 1982 and 1986

WEDNESDAY, 28 JULY

Mark Lewis-Francis
MARK LEWIS-FRANCIS (Silver)

Men's 100m

How he did it - Lewis-Francis won his first individual major championship medal at 27, finishing 0.07 seconds behind Christophe Lemaitre and getting the nod in a photo-finish ahead of another Frenchman, Martial Mbandjock. Favourite Dwain Chambers was fifth, a mere six-thousandths of a second behind his compatriot.

What they said - "Wow - underdog is understated. I came here on a lucky star. I was told I wouldn't make the final. I'm so happy now. It is the biggest comeback, the biggest confidence boost."- Lewis-Francis

"I knew something special would happen, it was just a matter of getting him out there." - Linford Christie, Lewis-Francis's coach and three times European 100m champion

"Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose but I'm happy for Mark, he has had to fight hard to get here." - Chambers

THURSDAY, 29 JULY

Phillips Idowu
PHILLIPS IDOWU (Gold)

Men's Triple Jump

How he did it - Idowu's initial leap of 17.46 metres saw him take an early lead but his fourth was the clincher - a lifetime best 17.81m by 8cm that neither Romanian Marian Oprea nor French favourite Teddy Tamgho, who wound up third, could get close to.

What they said - "I've worked hard for this. People think I'm a lucky athlete, but I'm not lucky, I've been doing this for 10 years now. I win gold medals. That's what I do. Hopefully now people will stop doubting me." - Idowu

"It is about producing your best when it matters the most and Phillips has done that. On the back of a tricky season, when he hasn't looked 100%, I honestly didn't think he was going to win but Phillips really dominated from the start." - Jonathan Edwards, BBC pundit, world triple jump record holder and multiple medal winner

Martyn Bernard
MARTYN BERNARD (Bronze)

Men's High Jump

How he did it - After clearing 2.23m on his third try, Yorkshireman Bernard went for broke, turning down a 2.26m attempt and clearing 2.29m. Russian duo Ivan Ukhov (2.33m) and Aleksander Shustov (2.31m) overtook him, though.

What he said - "I wish I'd got 2.31m. I think maybe at the training camp I had one ice cream too many, but it's a great thing to get a medal."

FRIDAY, 30 JULY

Andy Turner
ANDY TURNER (Gold)

Men's 110m hurdles

How he did it - Turner stumbled in the semi-finals but he made no mistake when it really mattered, storming through for gold, taking full advantage after Czech favourite Petr Svoboda clattered the seventh barrier. Fellow Brit Will Sharman false-started in his semi-final and was disqualified.

What they said - "It's a dream come true. I came here with the dream of gold. I knew I was capable, but being capable and doing it when you need to are two different things. I knew if I had a clean race it was mine for the taking." - Turner

"It was like a nightmare, I think this new rule is horrible. I was looking forward to running in the final, it's immensely frustrating. I'd like to apologise to everyone who's been supporting me." - Sharman

"This is a very special moment," - Colin Jackson, BBC pundit and four-time European sprint hurdles champion

Bingham and Rooney
MICHAEL BINGHAM (Silver) and MARTYN ROONEY (Bronze)

Men's 400m

How they did it - Despite poor lane draws the British pair battled round the bends and looked set for a one-two as Rooney led with 30 metres to go. But as Rooney's legs tired, Belgian Kevin Borlee produced a late burst to take gold in 45.08 with Bingham finishing strongly to snatch silver.

What they said - "It was hard to run in lane eight but I got it. I got the medal although I couldn't see anybody until it was too late." - Bingham

"I came here to win it but I ran a terrible semi. I thought I was going to win, then the lactic acid hit me." - Rooney

"That was an incredible race." - Michael Johnson, BBC pundit, Bingham's coach and four-time Olympic champion

Christian Malcolm
CHRISTIAN MALCOLM (Silver)

Men's 200m

How he did it - The 31-year-old Malcolm looked in full control around the bend and was sniffing gold with just five metres to the line before Frenchman Christophe Lemaitre stormed through to dip late and pip the Welshman by one hundredth of a second to secure a sprint double.

What they said - "I can't believe he caught me on the line. It's hard being so close to winning it but to take a medal - I can't argue with that. I have mixed emotions. Later on I'll be so happy to have a medal." - Malcolm

"He definitely showed heroic exploits." - Colin Jackson, BBC pundit, fellow Welshman and four-time European sprint hurdles champion

Perri Shakes-Drayton
PERRI SHAKES-DRAYTON (Bronze)

Women's 400m hurdles

How she did it - Shakes-Drayton had an unfavourable draw in lane seven but produced a storming finish to add senior bronze to the European Under-23 title she won last year with a lifetime best 54.18. Russian Natalya Antyukh and Bulgarian Vania Stambolova took the first two spots.

What she said - "That is wicked. I said fifth would be great and I got bronze. I'm so happy and hopefully there's more to come."

Jenny Meadows
JENNY MEADOWS (Bronze)

Women's 800m

How she did it - Meadows led for much of the race before being overtaken with 100 metres to go by favourite Mariya Savinova who strolled through to take gold ahead of Dutchwoman Yvonne Hak. Meadows was third clocking one minute 59.39 seconds, while compatriot Jemma Simpson was fifth.

What she said - "Even three days ago before the heats it wasn't something I was expecting. I've got two world medals and now a European medal, maybe I have to take myself seriously."

SATURDAY, 31 JULY

Ennis
JESSICA ENNIS (Gold)

Women's heptathlon

How she did it - Unlike 2009, when she had a large overnight lead at the World Championships, Ennis was 110 points ahead of Ukrainian Nataliya Dobrynska after day one. Needing to be no more than 1.2 seconds behind Dobrynska in the 800m, she was passed at one point by the Ukrainian but regained her lead to win.

What they said - "It's been nerve-wracking having all the athletes on my heels. It feels so good to win again. I had to raise my game, and I'm so proud to come out on top again." - Ennis

"It will be a phenomenal opportunity for her to participate in an Olympic Games on home soil, when it's all coming right, when she's at the peak of her career. She's doing everything right at this point." - Michael Johnson, BBC analyst and double Olympic sprint champion in 1996

Jessica Ennis

How Ennis won European heptathlon gold

Farah
MO FARAH (Gold)

Men's 5,000m

How he did it - Farah took the lead earlier than expected and produced a superb burst of speed in the final lap to burn off the challenge of Spain's Jesus Espana, who beat him in the European final four years ago by just half a second.

What they said - "I can't believe I'm a double champion - if you'd said to me three months ago that I could have one gold, I'd have settled for that." - Farah

"I'm so proud of him. It's the first time I've ever cried watching a race because I thought he was gone at 200m but he fought back and just seemed to float away." - Paula Radcliffe, British distance star who watched from the BBC commentary position

"He's never going to win the double again; he probably won't even go for the double again. He's the first British distance runner to win two gold medals in a major championships and before everyone starts talking about 2012 and what comes next, I think Mo should dwell on what he's done today." - Brendan Foster, BBC commentator and 5,000m European gold medallist in 1974

Williams and Greene
DAI GREENE (Gold) and RHYS WILLIAMS (Silver)

Men's 400m hurdles

How they did it - Greene powered to a commanding victory in 48.12 seconds, lowering his own leading time in Europe this year with a new personal best, while his Welsh compatriot and Williams survived misjudging the final hurdle to claim silver in 48.96 sec, also a personal best.

What they said - "It felt pressurised being the favourite tonight but the pressure helped me to focus and go faster. I didn't have any other objective than to win the gold medal." - Greene

"I'm happy with a personal best but I wanted to win. Today belongs to Dai - my next target is the Commonwealth Games, where I'll try to go one better." - Williams

Michael Rimmer
MICHAEL RIMMER (Silver)

Men's 800m

How he did it - The Southport runner looked on course to win Great Britain's first gold in the men's 800m since Tom McKean in 1990 but Poland's Marcin Lewandowski beat him with a furious final charge, winning by just one-tenth of a second.

What he said - "I'm disappointed. He put me under pressure. I still thought I had enough. Maybe I tightened up. He was just a bit stronger than me on the day."

SUNDAY, 1 AUGUST

Martyn Rooney, Robert Tobin, Conrad Williams and Michael Bingham
CONRAD WILLIAMS, MICHAEL BINGHAM, ROB TOBIN, MARTYN ROONEY (Silver)

Men's 4x400m relay

How they did it - After Williams gave the GB quartet a solid start, Bingham and Tobin were put under pressure in a physical race and Rooney was unable to fight all the way back from fourth place, finishing behind Russia's Vladimir Krasnov.

What they said - "It was a scrappy race, there was loads of bumping and shoving but we managed to bring it round." - Conran

"I ran into a lot of big fellas. I had to make do with running in lane two for a while. We just couldn't pull it out." - Bingham

"I don't think I ran in lane one the whole race. I kept getting bumped and unfortunately we were just too far behind." - Tobin

"I was hoping to take advantage of the quick track. They put me in a good position. I was trying to get those pesky Russians but I'm really happy." - Rooney

"The GB team, one of the favourites coming into this, should not have been in fourth place going into the anchor leg. They should have got much more of Bingham on the second leg but it was a great effort by Rooney." - Michael Johnson, BBC analyst and 400m legend

Marilyn Okoro, Lee McConnell, Perri Shakes-Drayton and Nicola Sanders
NICOLA SANDERS, MARILYN OKORO, LEE McCONNELL, PERRI SHAKES-DRAYTON (Bronze)

Women's 4x400m relay

How they did it - Russia were expected winners, by three seconds, after their clean sweep in the individual events but GB missed silver as anchor Shakes-Drayton could not quite do enough to overhaul Germany.

What they said - "I just wanted to get on that podium - I'm so excited. I wanted to get as good a start as possible and put them in with a shout." - Sanders

"They're fantastic girls to run with, Nicola got us off to a great start and I tried to get us in contention and leave us fighting for a medal." - Okoro

"Everyone's aware we've had our problems but we managed to pull it together on the night." - McConnell

"I've had a very good championships. I'm happy with the time and everyone loves to go home with a medal." - Shakes-Drayton

"I was saying all the way around on the back stretch if [Perry Shakes-Drayton] would just calm down, she could catch the German. All the work she had to do on the back stretch took too much out of her but she ran under 50 seconds on the anchor leg." - Michael Johnson

Chris Tomlinson
CHRIS TOMLINSON (Bronze)

Men's long jump

How he did it - Tomlinson's jump of 8.23m in the fourth round looked good enough to secure silver behind Germany's Christian Reif (whose 8.47m is a new championship record), before France's Kafetien Gomis followed four straight fouls with a leap of 8.24m on his last attempt.

What he said - "It's a European medal to go with a world indoor medal so I'm pretty happy with that. I know there's a monster [jump] in there - unfortunately it didn't come out today but I'm sure the big 8.50 will come soon. I've got to look at this as a springboard to 2012."



see also
Van Commenee encouraged by GB progress
01 Aug 10 |  Athletics
Britain celebrate Euro medal haul
02 Aug 10 |  Athletics
Ennis crowned European champion
31 Jul 10 |  Athletics
Farah wins second European gold
31 Jul 10 |  Athletics
GB pair win hurdles gold & silver
31 Jul 10 |  Athletics
Turner leads GB Euro medal haul
30 Jul 10 |  Athletics
Idowu wins Euro triple jump gold
29 Jul 10 |  Athletics
Farah storms to Euro 10,000m gold
27 Jul 10 |  Athletics


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