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Page last updated at 15:44 GMT, Saturday, 19 February 2011

Aikines-Aryeetey & Lewis-Francis injured in Birmingham

Mark Lewis-Francis

Lewis Francis pulls up with groin injury (UK only)

Britain's Harry Aikines-Aryeetey could miss the European Indoor Championships after suffering an injury in the 60m final at the Birmingham Grand Prix.

The 22-year-old looked to have torn a hamstring when placed sixth in a race won by American Mike Rodgers.

Fellow Briton Mark Lewis-Francis pulled a groin muscle in the earlier heats.

Other GB hopefuls Joel Fearon and Craig Pickering were disappointing in seventh and eighth in the final but may now be required at the event in France.

The British team for the European Indoor Championships in Paris on 4 March will be announced on Tuesday.

It is a potentially huge blow for Aikines-Aryeetey, who had looked to have regained his form after a miserable, injury-ravaged 2010.

He had already achieved the qualifying time for the European Indoor Championships, which take place in Paris from 4 March.

"I felt something in my hamstring. I tried to pick it up at about 40m but it didn't feel right," said Aikines-Aryeetey, who finished behind Dwain Chambers on 12 February at the UK Championships in Sheffield.

While Rodgers stormed through to win the 60m in 6.50s ahead of former world champion Kim Collins, 34, a despondent Aikines-Aryeetey limped off the track to join Lewis-Francis in the treatment room.

Lewis-Francis, silver medallist in the European Championships and Commonwealth Games last year, picked up a groin injury 10m from the line in the opening heat.

The 27-year-old, competing in front of his home crowd at the National Indoor Arena, hobbled off the track after crossing the line to be assessed by the UK Athletics medical staff to determine the extent of the injury.

Last year's season-best 10.15s for Lewis-Francis came in qualifying for the Commonwealth Games final in Delhi in October, signalling a return to the times he was posting before the Achilles tendon injury that wrecked his 2008 season, saw his lottery funding cut and made him question his future in the sport.

Pole vaulter Steve Lewis was another Briton to need treatment.

The 24-year-old from Stoke fell awkwardly after failing with his second attempt at 5.50m and was taken to hospital for X-rays on a suspected fracture to the thumb on his left hand.

There was further British disappointment when Kelly Sotherton, 34, failed to make the sub 53-second time needed in the 400m to secure a spot in Paris.

After being crowned British champion in Sheffield last weekend with her first performance in two years, the former heptathlete struggled on Saturday in a fast race won by Jamaican Novlene Williams Mills in 51.87s.

Clocking 53.70s in last place, Sotherton told BBC Sport: "I couldn't do anything. That's rubbish. If I had run a second quicker that would have been a dream but I have to learn from that and move on.

"I won't go home and cry about it. It's very different running the 400m outdoors and I know there's plenty of things to work on."



London 2012 - begin your journey here

see also
Farah & Idowu shine in Birmingham
19 Feb 11 |  Athletics
Idowu out to make up for Beijing
18 Feb 11 |  London 2012
Lewis-Francis eyes healthy 2011
11 Jan 11 |  Athletics
Farah changes coach for Olympics
18 Feb 11 |  Athletics
Sotherton wanted Ennis challenge
17 Feb 11 |  Athletics
Ennis out of Birmingham meeting
16 Feb 11 |  Athletics
Williams' coach defends decision
14 Feb 11 |  Athletics
Chambers wins fourth indoor title
12 Feb 11 |  Athletics
2012 Olympics schedule revealed
15 Feb 11 |  London 2012


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