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Page last updated at 13:00 GMT, Sunday, 6 March 2011

Euro Indoor athletics in Paris as it happened

EUROPEAN INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
Venue: Palais Omnisports, Paris Date: 4-6 March Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, Red Button and BBC Sport website (UK only); listen live on BBC 5 live sports extra - Full coverage details

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By Mark Ashenden

1712: So that's pretty much it. Well it is it. A final few words from Denise Lewis and Colin Jackson. Lewis says: "The athletes have risen to the challenge - roll on Daegu [The Korean city hosts the World Champs in August]. We know we can reproduce this in London - I can't wait." While Jackson adds: "These championships have shown they have a place in the fixture list. it's a great opportunity for our athletes to develop into top stars. It's all a stepping stone for London 2012."
If ever there's an over-used phrase it's "stepping stones". But London Olympics is only 16 months away. It's coming! Opportunities to impress Van Commenee are running out. Some bright stars slowly emerging in the GB team though. Merci Paris. A lively three days.

1704: Charles van Commenee is especially happy with the golden efforts of Helen Clitheroe today: "She's the ultimate example of perseverance - because of the love of the sport, she's now getting her reward. She's a great example for younger athletes and shows you're never too old." Why not check out Helen's magnificent gold in the 3,000m from earlier on Sunday.

1659: Let's have some words from UK Athletics head coach Charles Van Commenee after GB end up with an impressive eight medals and in fourth place. "We've doubled our medals from two years ago." On silver medallist in the hurdles Tiffany Ofili, Van Commenee says: "It was an awesome performance in a new environment." On Mo Farah, he says: "He knew how to accelerate from the front which is very hard to do and not over-taking. It's a special quality which he has worked on and it's a good weapon to have in the future." Overall thoughts on the championships: "It was encouraging for the World Championships later this year [in Korea in August] and I'm happy with Tiffany and also Andrew Osagie, Jodie Williams was outstanding. There are lots of positives to take home from here."

1658: Sorry for slight delay. Loads of quotes to catch up on.

1647: As the GB women step up to get their silvers, Dwain Chambers reflects on his silver in the 60m: "I wasn't holding anything back. I knew I had to rely on my experience to get into the final. I knew Lemaitre would be a strong contender but when I saw Francis in the semi-final I knew my job would be even harder. I have been focusing on the 100m so I've been focusing on the outdoors and the long term. I lost to a better individual. I've been doing longer runs. Hopefully it will bode well for the World championships in August in Korea."

1646: And a fitting finale to the Champs as local boy Teddy Tamgho WINS THE TRIPLE JUMP after a world record mark of 17.92. He leapt it twice actually. The crowd are naturally loving it.

British silver medal boost
1645: Nick Leavey takes over from Levine and GB are struggling a little. Leavey drops back to fourth as the French are flying. Richard Strachan is third and he's got it all to do. This is a cracking race. Four all close together. Strachan moves to second as the Russian drops back. Richard Buck takes over for the anchor. France lead. Buck grits his teeth and battles to a brilliant silver.

1640: French will be strong. Russia should be in the medals. Levine looks bang up for this. The Dutch opening runner is dead ringer for Coldplay's Chris Martin. Here we go.

1636: Time for the men's relay teams. GB's Nigel Levine to kick it off.

1632: One leap left for the triple jumpers but Teddy Tamgho looks set for golden glory. Music switches from Jacko to Maradona.

1629: Jenny Meadows: "My 800m silver medal was a disappointment but this was a huge bonus."

1626: Sotherton says: "I'm pleased I gave the baton to Lee in a decent position. The French girl kept clipping me. But hey - Lee ran an amazing leg." The quotes stop as the sprinting men step on to the podium. Chambers is all smiles as he picks up his silver. It's Obikwelu's day though. He looks like the sort of guy who wouldn't be upset by anything. Coolness and happiness personified. Nice.

Text in your views on 81111
Tom in Haringey, via text: "Dwaine seemed to over-stride in the last twenty. He also stumbled on his last stride and that seemed to compromise his dip"
Yep - his last stride was a strange one. Still a great race though and gold for the 32-year-old Francis Obikwelu was a belter. A bit of a shock as well - although Colin Jackson called it.

1621: Teddy Tamgho equals his world record mark of 17.92 in the triple jump. A fair effort by the French lad. The men's 400m relay coming up.

British silver medal boost
1620: The Russians are blooming flying. Sotherton does OK in third. The French and German runners are moving up through the gears. Lee McConnell hands over to Marilyn Okoro (an hour after running the 800m final) and she's in third. Okoro breathing down the neck of the French vest. Meadows gets set for the anchor leg and she's off in silver spot. Russia way ahead but the scrap for silver is a corker. And Meadows keeps ahead of the French and WINS SILVER FOR BRITAIN. And it's a first international medal for Sotherton as a 400m runner.

1616: Sotherton clutches the baton and she starts out for the GB women. Jenny Meadows is running the fourth leg. Marilyn Okoro is third. Let's go girls.

1615: Women's 4x400m relay coming right up. Former heptathlon star Kelly Sotherton in action for GB.

Text in your views on 81111
Anon. via text: "Just realised I go to school with Jodie Williams. How can you not know you go to school with talent like that?"
Unbelievable revelation. You go around with your ears and eyes closed? Clearly too focused on your studies. Wake up!

1611: Maurice Greene on Christophe Lemaitre: "He rushes everything and he panics. And he panicked in that final and he didn't know how to manipulate the race. He's young and still learning. It was his race to lose and he lost it today. When you get in the finals, anything can happen."

1609: Former Olympic champ in 2000 Maurice Greene on BBC Two says: "It was a very good race. They came out and performed well."

1607: Now it's time for Dwain. After winning silver, the man who loses his indoors sprint title says: "I saw the green and I thought maybe my chest had done it but no....Once I was in the final I thought 'let's go for it'. To do this with all my preparation for the outdoors it bodes well."

1605: A big beaming Portuguese 60m gold medallist called Francis Obikwelu says: "Dwain's a fantastic guy and I knew he'd be dangerous. I was here in 1997 in the 200m and I won bronze and now I'm very happy and very honoured. I came here to enjoy myself and it came out out pretty good!" Nice.

Twitter
brianstapleton1 on Twitter: " Ballad of Helen Clitheroe. At the age of 37 she realised she would run in Paris with the warm wind in her hair"

1558: All about the dip. Talk about the narrowest of margins. Dwain should have been wearing a thicker vest. Francis Obikwelu wins in 6.53. Chambers 0.01s behind. OOOFFFF. Lemaitre wins bronze in 6.58. Quotes on the way.

Gold medal
1557: Oh lordy. The French are stunned. This is tight. Photo finish.....UNBELIEVABLE. Portugal's former Olympic 100m silver medallist Francis Obikwelu WINS GOLD IN THE 60M. CHAMBERS WINS SILVER. Amazing race.

1555: Massive noise for Lemaitre. The quiff still looks magnifique. Chambers gets polite applause as he looks to the end of the track. I reckon Lemaitre by two metres. Chambers bronze I reckon. A bit of pressure on his bulging shoulders. Shhhh. Eyes down....

1554: Chambers vs Lemaitre. The 32-year-old Brit is the reigning European indoor champion and faces the Frenchman for the first time since being beaten in Barcelona at the Europeans last July. Here we go.....they're in the blocks. More French joy or can the Brit break some Parisian hearts?

1553: A NEW WORLD RECORD in the triple jump as France's Teddy Tamgho sends the Paris crowd bonkers with a leap of 17.92. It's 22cm longer than Italian Fabrizio Donato who was leading the event a few minutes ago. Scripted for the locals? Great stuff.

1552: Men's 60m final coming up.

1550: Final standings in the women's 60m final. Olesya Povh wins in 7.13. Ukraine's Mariya Ryemyen in silver place with 7.15. Bronze goes to Ezinne Okparaebo in 7.20.

1546: Ukraine's Olesya Povh WINS 60m GOLD in 7.13. Jodie Williams gets out of the blocks brilliantly and gets fourth in 7.21. Equalling her lifetime best. Brilliant. Not bad for a 17-year-old eh? And the youngest athlete in Paris.

1542: The 60m women just doing their friendly waves as they get introduced to the noisy Parisian crowd. Let's see how Williams gets on.

1541: A few quotes from Jodie Williams ahead of the Euros: "I'm aiming to get to the final and then anything can happen. [JOB DONE!] I'm missing school to do this. But they've given me a ton of work to do while I'm out here including a load of maths papers." A big gold star for making the final Jodie. She ran a PB 7.21 in the semis and with times of 7.1 by the other girls then a medal is unrealistic but will be great experience for her. If you want to know more about Jodie then read this feature by BBC Sport's Jess Creighton. All top stuff.

1539: So seconds away from the women's 60m final and it's the men's sprint final with Dwain Chambers taking on France's Christophe Lemaitre at 1555.

1537: So Jodie Williams. What do we know about her? She's 17, is the reigning world youth and world junior champion over 100m, she had to request a week off school to make her senior GB debut here in Paris and now stands sixth on the GB all-time 60m list after her showing in the semis. She won the 100m at the world juniors in Canada last summer and then her defeat in the 200m final came after an amazing 151 successive victories. Good pedigree this one and she hasn't looked out of her depth this week in Paris. Oh - and the A-Levels she's studying are maths, psychology and PE. Brains as well as fast legs.

1534: Seven minutes away from Jodie Williams in the 60m final. More noise in Paris as Teddy Tamgho gets leaping in the triple jump final.

Gold medal
1532: Russia's Darya Klishina wins the women's long jump after a best effort of 6.80m, while two-time former champion Naide Gomes of Portugal (6.79m) takes silver and Russian Yuliya Pidluzhnaya (6.75m) gets bronze.

1531: The ding-donging is getting even more ding-dongy in the women's pole vault. Spiegelburg clears 4.75 in stunning fashion. Up steps Rogowska, clears the bar, hits the bar, more wobbles than a bowl of raspberry jelly but it stays on. Nerves of steel. Drama.

Gold medal
1528: A brilliant last stretch in the 1500m final. Turkey's Kemal Koyuncu almost causes a shock but Spain's Manuel Olmedo just comes through in 3:41.03.

1524: In the women's pole vault, Poland's Anna Rogowska having a right old ding dong with Germany's Silke (great name) Spiegelburg (great surname). Both at the top having failed at 4.75m. Men's 1500m final right NOW.

1518: With more medals up for grabs with Williams, Chambers and the relays, how about some predictions or anything else in your head. As you know, I'm Mark Ashenden, and if you want to tweet me, DO IT. If you use Twitter, please use the hashtag #BBCAthletics And if you have a phone then how about a text on 81111.

1513: The men's 1500m final coming up. And at 1540 it's time for Jodie. Jodie Williams that is in the 60m final. Some more details on Jodie in just a sec.

BBC Sport
1511: Colin Jackson offers hope for silver medallist Jenny Meadows on BBC Two: "She's still the same girl. One day it will all fall right for her I'm sure."

1509: If you want another look at Helen Clitheroe's golden efforts from half an hour ago then have a little tickle at this.

1508: Meadows led all the way and looked very relaxed but just gets pipped in the last 50 metres by Russian Yevgeniya Zinurova. Another silver medal for the Brit. Meadows says: "I felt good on Saturday and wanted to take the pace on again. It's difficult indoors. I didn't feel the best today. A fifth and fourth previously, so a silver is still great. Seeing Helen my room-mate on the podium was a nice way of starting my race. There was some stress in the last 100m - I was brave but I'm still very pleased with myself." Okoro was fifth by the way and says: "I did all I could do today."

British silver medal boost
1505: JENNY MEADOWS WINS SILVER IN THE 800M.

1504: Meadows leads from the word GO. A gap of three metres at the bell. Okoro in third.

1502: "Don't be surprised if Jenny attacks this from the front" says Steve Cram. Let's see. They're off.

1500: Ding dong. The clock chimes THREE and Meadows is ready. Okoro is ready. The 800m final is seconds away.

Gold medal
1458: After a silver at the World Indoors last year, Jenny Meadows gets ready for the 800m final as Helen Clitheroe steps on to the podium to wear her 3,000m gold. It's nine years since she last stepped on to the rostrum. Nice. A massive boost for the oldies. (With respect to the oldies). A very special moment. Denise Lewis is optimistic about Meadows' chances: "She's been fourth, fifth in previous years and today is the day she can get the gold medal." Big chat.

1452: We are eight minutes away from Jenny Meadows and Marilyn Okoro in the 800m final. Don't you go disappearing anywhere. I'm watching you.

1450: Osagie just gets edged out in the last 200m. It's a one-two for Poland. Adam Kszczot wins gold in 1:47.87 ahead of team-mate Marcin Lewandowski. Osagie punches the sidewall. Time for some chat with Phil Jones. "I'll look back and be happy to make the final. But I missed an opportunity to get a medal. There was some quality in that race so I cant be too disheartened. But I'm bitterly disappointed. It's the start of better things." Mixed emotions! Can't be easy to do an interview after getting fourth.

1446: One lap to go. DING DING. Osagie has a chance in third.

1446: The gun goes off. Osagie aiming to be the sixth Brit to win this event. Seb Coe was the first in 1977 - Tom McKean the last in 1990. C'mon Andrew.

1442: Men's 800m final coming up. Can Andrew Osagie win more metal for GB? He looked smooth in the semis. "He's got a great chance of a medal" says Steve Cram.

Twitter
TheJT on Twitter: "Hurrah for 37 year-olds! Well done Helen Clitheroe. Terrific 3000m race!"

BBC Sport
1436: Gushing words from an emotional Denise Lewis about Helen Clitheroe: "She had to be brave and that's the result of years of perseverance and believing in yourself. The last 12 months have been difficult [she had her funding cut]. It shows a strong mind and passion goes a long way."

It's good news for GB
1433: A delighted Clitheroe steps up towards the BBC's Phil Jones and says: "I can't believe it. It's what I've been dreaming of but not daring to say it aloud. Even when I crossed the line I thought 'it can't be me'. This is what I've been waiting for, for all these years. I still didn't know I'd won when I went over the line. My coach told me to believe in myself, whatever happens. I'd have been happy with any medal but a gold! I can't believe it." She ends up by declaring she may make a dress out of her Union Jack flag. Stunning stuff.

1430: "The girl from Preston has done it in Paris" says Steve Cram. Not bad for a 37-year-old. Clitheroe wins in 8:56.66 and she's all smiles. 0.03sec ahead of highly-fancied Russian Olesya Syreva and Poland's Lidia Chojecka. Brilliant. The Brit strolls round the track - now running actually - wrapped in the Union Jack flag and grinning like a teenager. She's 20 years older than Jodie Williams who's running at 1540 in the 60m. But let's enjoy this for Clitheroe right now. A magical moment.

Gold medal boost for GB
1428: HELEN CLITHEROE WINS 3,000m GOLD.

1427: The leading group drops down to four. "Surely not another fourth for Clitheroe" says Cram. One lap to go....and it's still four.

1425: It's 800m (four laps to go) and it's still Clitheroe and Checa. "They're all waiting" says Steve Cram.

1422: Clitheroe edges ahead with Spain's Checa but it's still a very steady pace with six laps to go. "All the dangers are there" says Steve Cram.

1419: It's 15 laps and commentator Steve Cram reveals the last time Clitheroe won a medal was in Manchester at the Commonwealths in 2002. She's come fourth on four occasions. She's sitting pretty in the front three with 12 laps to go.

1414: The 3,000m runners just waiting for the heptathlon boys to wind up their celebrations. Now we're ready. C'mon Helen - crank up those achy limbs.

1411: GB's Helen Clitheroe lined up for the 3,000 final. Can the 37-year-old get on the podium?

Gold medal
1405: France's Nadir El Fassi brings the house down by winning the 1,000m. A bit of a wait as the Parisian computers crank up the stats but HEPTATHLON goes to Belarus' Andrei Krauchanka El Fassi gets silver - Roman Sebrle wins bronze.

1359: Was going to throw you some details about Jodie Williams but let's go with the final event in the men's heptathlon. It's the 1,000m and points up for grabs. Can Czech veteran Roman Sebrle grab gold? The boys just being introduced to the Paris crowd.

Twitter
Alcamin on Twitter: "Watching some of the European Indoor Athletics Championships. Really grown to like these sports over the years. Really impressive."

BBC Sport
1355: Following the wonderful poloneck worn by Jonathan Edwards yesterday, it's time for Colin Jackson to steal the limelight. It's a shocking beauty. It's woollen. It's burgundy. It has buttons. It's a woolly vest. Big buttons. And it has big flappy collars. A cardigan with collars! Sensational effort Colin.

1351: The women's long jump final set to begin. The first sight of a GB vest will be the women's 3,000m final at 1415 with Helen Clitheroe looking good for a medal. Ssshhhh - could be the kiss of death - sorry Helen. Then at 1500 it'll be Jenny Meadows and Marilyn Okoro in the 800m final. Jodie Williams at 1540 in the 60m final. Then it's Chambers v Lemaitre at 1555.

1345: For more details on Mo Farah changing coach and the reasons behind moving to the USA then this story will be useful.

1343: Farah continues about his impending move to the States. "It hasn't been easy changing coach. You look at your career and I've been the best in Europe and I want to do that on the world stage. My new coach is not afraid of doing new things. I need to focus and keep training. I've been sixth or seventh in the world and I need to get closer to a medal and improve by a second and a half. I've become more more confident and now I'm not afraid." Top winning chat. Medal chances for Mo in London in 18 months?

1339: Farah is the perfect example of how winners can still be nice. He reflects on his race to BBC Sport: "I was nervous. I was lacking sharpness. It's all about working hard and grafting. It doesn't bother me if you're favourite. We just come out here and just see what we can do."

Twitter
BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce in Paris on Twitter:
"Palais Omnisports filing up for tasty final session of Euro Indoors. Can Dwain? Will Jenny? Could Clithers? So many questions, so few verbs"

1329: With one minute before the live coverage on the BBC, I need to tell you about my pathetic start to work today. I arrived at TVC. I strolled down the corridor. My head was filled with athletics - Chambers, Williams, medals, running, jumping, the podium, London 2012 even entered my noggin. I approached the lifts. 72% of my head was screaming 'take the stairs'. I wanted to take the stairs, I really did. I took the lift. Pathetic. I feel as though I've let my family down, the world of athletics down. I hang my head in shame. Anybody else been more lazy than that today? A 12-second drive to get the newspaper perhaps? Or better still - tell me your heroic stories of athleticism and over-exertion. Twitter or text. Let's be having you.

1321: A quick overview of what's coming up in Paris. And I don't mean a 12-inch baguette avec une cappuccino. It's all about the women for the first hour with the long jump final at 1350, followed by the pole vault, 3,000m and high jump. First GB interest at 1500 as Jenny Meadows and Marilyn Okoro run in the 800m final. Look out for the lively Teddy Tamgho in the triple jump from 1525. At 1540, it's the dazzling 17-year-old Jodie Williams in the 60m final. And then it's the battle of the two powerhouses at 1555 with defending champ Dwain Chambers taking on local boy Christophe Lemaitre in the 60m. And the day wraps up with the crazy relays from 1640. What else is there to do this afternoon hey?

1316: So how about chucking me some predictions or general athletics thoughts. Jodie Williams a future winner? Chambers vs Lemaitre in the 60m? More medals for Meadows today? First things first - I'm Mark Ashenden, and if you want to tweet me, don't be shy, just DO IT. I really don't bite. If you do use Twitter, please use the hashtag #BBCAthletics Nice. And if you have a phone in your paws then how about a text on 81111.

1311: Just so you know - time for those all-important coverage details. For live text then stay right here. The live website video and BBC One kicks off at 1330 and will take you through to 1730. You can also follow the action on 5 live sports extra 1400-1645. What more could you possibly want from me? You can have anything apart from a slice of my ham sandwich. Not a chance.

1307: So how's everybody doing on this 'sizzling Sunday'? (as everybody is now calling it) Everybody so far that includes me. Who's in?

1302: Afternoon. What a day. What a blooming day. In the cricket, England fight back to defeat South Africa at the World Cup. In the football, Liverpool take on Manchester United. And more importantly, arguably, I offer you a huge plate of Parisian athletics to chew on that will make you feel positively rotund. It's a feast. Details to follow. Une grand bonjour to everyone.






LATEST FROM:
UK Athletics
Updated: 21 August 2014 16:01


see also
Farah retains Euro indoor crown
05 Mar 11 |  Athletics
Ofili takes Euro hurdles silver
04 Mar 11 |  Athletics
Chambers may consider ban appeal
04 Mar 11 |  Athletics
UKA chief confident over GB hopes
21 Feb 11 |  Athletics
Farah & Idowu shine in Birmingham
19 Feb 11 |  Athletics
Athletics on the BBC
21 Apr 11 |  Athletics


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