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Page last updated at 12:32 GMT, Saturday, 18 June 2011 13:32 UK

European Team Championships - as it happened


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By Mike Henson

1725: Great Britain's big hopes will be over the barriers tomorrow with Andy Turner and Tiffany Ofili-Porter taking on the trickiest of work corridors. I'll be kicking us off here at about 1330 BST so hope that you will do me the honour once again. Have a good evening.

1715: How does that head-spinning little lot leave us at the end of the first day then? The team standing go a little something like this: 1. Russia 213 points 2. Germany 183.5 points 3. Ukraine 160 points 4. Great Britain 157 points. The Russian team look over the hill in their defence of the title they won in Bergen last year but still plenty to scrap over in tomorrow's action.

1709: There has been something of a Ukrainian charge with a series of good results in the day's late action, but it is their turn to make a mess of their final changeover. Their men's team are eliminated from the results to check the yellow-and-blue surge in the overall standings.

1705: The stocky figure of Akines-Aryeetey blasts through the finish line and, crucially, it is a clear round on the baton changes. A French team which included Christophe Lemaitre was second.


1702: Great Britain's men's quartet is Christian Malcolm, Craig Pickering, James Ellington and Harry Akines-Aryeetey and they will hope to make amends for that result in the women's race.

It's bad news for a Briton
1658: The replays are not showing why, but the women's 4x100m team have been disqualified. The final changeover was tight but within the all-important yellow line. An appeal is likely to be stinging the ears of the event organisers as I type.

1654: An interesting chat with Carolina Kluft as BBC's Jonathan Edwards tries to tempt the Swede into a heptathlon comeback in time for a 2012 showdown with Great Britain's Jessica Ennis. Kluft isn't having any of it. She says she was left "mentally and physically empty" by multi-eventing and is looking for a new challenge.

1651: A tentative final baton change between Laura Turner and Abi Oyepitan takes the shine off Britain's performance. They came in fourth and Oyepitan chucks down the baton after she crosses the line. Final result still to come in as they merge the two heats and check the changeovers.


1645: Great Britain to go in lane four in the second women's 4x100m relay heat.

1644: More results as the field events come to an end. Yasmine Regis is ninth in the women's triple jump with 13.27. Samson Oni only managed a disappointing 2.20m in the men's high jump.

1640: It is the relays to finish with Belarus winning the first of two 4x100m women's relay heats. That quartet set a winning time of 43.67 for the second set of teams to aim for. Carolina Kluft, former world and Olympic hepathlon champion, took the second leg for the third place Swedish team and looked swift.

1635: A couple of British results from the field. Holly Bleasdale finished fifth in the pole vault while James Campbell finished ninth in the javelin.

It's good news for a Briton
1632: Vernon is stumbling back and forth after crossing the line third behind the Spaniard and Ukraine's Serhiy Lebid. He looked really determined as he passed Rybakov over the closing stages. "It is my first senior track race and I'm pleased it went relatively well. It is so hot that I wasn't really doing as much damage as I hoped and it came down to a sprint finish still," he said.


1625: The patriotically-named Spaniard Jesus Espana, a former European champion, is starting to string the field out. Russia's Yevgeniy Rybakov leads the chase on the bell....

1623: Britain's Andy Vernon has pushed the early pace in the men's 5000m, the final individual event on track, and has allowed Portugal's Youssef El Kalai to front up and take up the strain with four and a half laps to go.

1615:Antonina Yefremova came into the race as the fourth fastest women in the world this year and Cox, in lane seven, stays strong through the final 50m could not reel her in. A decent bow in a British vest though. "51.49 is about where I have been so I am fit, I am healthy and it was a productive day," she said. "You can't help the lane draw and you just have to go with it." And on all those doubting athletes who have recently adopted the British cause with an Olympics in sight? "Whenever you are a public figure, people are going to have an opinion on you and you just have to tough it out."


1607: Shana Cox is about to make her British debut in the 400m. A former American indoor high school record holder, the 26-year old was born in the United States to British parents and is still ineligible for Britain in Daegu having only received her new passport last year. Other controversial convertees hurdler Tiffany Offil Porter and Shara Proctor in the long jump go tomorrow.

1606: The latest team standings are as follows: 1. Russia 137 points 2. Germany 117 points 3. Great Britain 104 points 4. Ukraine 84 points. The BBC athletics statistician Mark Butler has warned that Saturday was always going to be Great Britain's stronger day...

1601: "I have never ran at that sort of level and I am obviously not at the level of those girls, but I have plenty of years on them. I have loved every minute of this weekend and it has confirmed that it is what I want to do," said McColgan. It was apparently only her third steeplechase ever, perhaps less surprisingly considering that, it was new personal best for the youngster at 9.55. The winner was Gulnara Galkina of Russia in 9.31.

1557: McColgan takes a solid ninth and unsurprisingly winces in pain as she gulps in the air after being stretched beyond her usual middle distance. A creditable performance for the team.

1550: Eilish McColgan is competing in the 3000m steeplechase. I expect that name rings a last-lap bell. The 20-year-old is the daughter of former 10,000m world champion Liz McColgan. "I don't feel that pressure about how my mum is because she is my coach and I have grown up around it," she tells Steve Cram in a pre-recorded interview. She was the travelling reserve here and has been thrust into action late on, so this will be one for experience rather than a bumper number of team points.

1543: Shane is by no means trampled in the rush and hangs in there gamely to take an above-expectation third. The time of 3.39.21 is just outside his lifetime best. "I couldn't have asked much more. It was the biggest race of my career last Friday and I'm really pleased with my performance in the quality field, if I can mix it here, I can mix it anywhere," he says.


1536: Youngster James Shane leads the men's 1500m heading into the final lap, but the favourites are massing...

It's good news for a Briton
1526: From the centre of the arena, a cracking result from Great Britain's Goldie Sayers in the javelin who lands out at 64.46m, the third best throw of her career and good enough for second place.

Perri Shakes-Drayton: "It wasn't the best. I stuttered into a few hurdles which cost me the time I ran. I tried to go hard off and hold on but that never worked! Hanna Titmets wasn't beating me though, I thought 'I am not coming fourth!'"

1526: The Czech takes it up a gear from her previous efforts this season. Shakes-Drayton is third in 55.06 behind the Russian Natalya Antyukh and well off Hejnova's fearsome pace.


1526: Shakes-Drayton is a really bubbly personality, expect to see the 23-year-old Londoner on your screens plenty ahead of 2012. "I started the season faster than ever at Eugene and as I'm stepping up I'm taking every race as a final and just thinking don't hold back," she tells Steve Cram.

1521: A high class field in the 400m hurdles next on track. The fifth and sixth fastest women in the world this year, Czech Zuzana Hejnova and Hanna Titmets of the Ukraine, taking on the seventh - Great Britain's Perri Shakes-Drayton. Hejnova has been in consistently good form and beat European bronze medallist Perri Shakes-Drayton at the Diamond League meeting in Oslo.

It's good news for a Briton
1513: Wales' Stevie Stockton, 21, has put in a tremendous performance in the women's 3000m. She was never going to trouble Russian victor Olesya Syreva, but comes home seventh in 9.00.06, which is a new PB by over eight seconds. She also reveals that she predicted to the fearsome Van Commenee that she would deliver that result, so she will be in his good books - an infinitely preferable place to be.

Chris Tomlinson: I wasn't quite connecting, but to jump those sort of distances when you are not feeling great is a good sign.

1508: Great Britain's Chris Tomlinson finishes third in the long jump with a leap of 8.12m, which is a decent improvement on his season's best.


1506: A pretty accurate observation that from Chambers. Lemaitre has retained that raking stride that he had last season, but is looking a bit more compact and strong in addition. But still a fair bit to go before either he or Chambers can mix it with even the second rank of Jamaicans and Americans.

Dwain Chambers: Lemaitre is a great asset for European sprinting, he just has these long legs, like an antelope, that keep getting ahead of me. My focus is on the world championship and each race it is a chance to go out and represent myself.

1459: A new personal best and French record for the 21-year-old and Chambers never looked like getting in front of him.


1455: A false start has them strolling back to the blocks. Nobody pinned with the blame for that one. Lemaitre the last to settle....

1455: Chambers is locked and loaded in lane five. He will be hoping to repeat his victory over Lemaitre in this event last year.

1452: The big dogs of the men's 100m are about to be unleashed. French European champion Christophe Lemaitre clocked a 9.96 earlier this month. That made him the fastest man in Europe. Previously that title had belonged to Great Britain's Dwain Chambers. Excluded from top European meetings after serving a two-year drugs ban, Chambers has had a nomadic season and registered a 10.01 seconds with a fair wind behind him in Sao Paulo in May.

Jenny Meadows: I was thinking about going for home further out, but I don't think it would have made a difference to the result, maybe just made it a quicker time for me.

1446: Meadows overhauls Belarus's Arzamasava but Savinova's superior kick takes her sailing past for victory. Meadows does well to hold off Lobanova though to tie up second.


1441: Meadows second with 300m to go and looking strong...

1439: European bronze medallist Jenny Meadows will be up against the impressive Russian Mariya Savinova in the 800m next. Savinova beat her in Barcelona and was second and well clear of Meadows in the recent Diamond league meeting in Oslo. Savinova may be more concerned with a threat nearer to her homeland with Ukraine's Liliya Lobanova, third fastest time in the world this year, and improvement of almost four seconds on her 2010 best.

A shock result
It's bad news for a Briton
1434: Williams looked good on leader Venel's inside after 300m, but the pair seem to have gone off far too quick to establish that advantage and are only going backwards over the home straight. Dyldin comes through to take an impressive win.


1432: Williams has Teddy Venel of France and Schneider in his sights outside him which will please him tactically. The starter has just called for the field to reset in their blocks after Venel was slow rising into the set position. They are back down now...

1427: No Michael Bingham in the men's 400m for Britain. Instead it is Conrad Williams, 6th at the Commonwealth Games, to chase German favourite Thomas Schneider in heat two. He is tip-toeing round his lane four blocks waiting for the off.

Rachel on Twitter: "Idowu is UKA funded, so should be answerable to them. If he wants to do his own thing, he shouldn't take their money. Simple."

Anyika Onuora: "The coach is going to kill me! I have been working on my start, but on my [season's best] 11.18, I nailed the start and didn't do that here. But onto the next..."

A shock result
1418: Olesya Povh takes the heat in 11.28 as Onuora fails to recover from a sluggish start. The overall win actually goes to Veronique Mang of France in the first heat, which supposedly contains the event's weaker runners, so a bit of an upset there.

1415: With Nataliya Pohrebnyak and Mariya Ryemyen absent, Olesya Povh, Ukraine's third-best sprinter of the year, will be GB's Anyika Onuora's main rival in the women's 100m.

1412: Great Britain's world junior champion Sophie Hitchon has finished ninth in the hammer on her senior debut. The 19-year-old sounded gutted in her post-event interview, which is a great sign at that age. Those sort of high expectations will help her make the most of her potential.

1407: Don't allow head coach Charles van Commenee's disapproval of modern social media put you off today. The Dutchman has said that Twitter is for "clowns" and "attention-seekers", after triple-jumper Phillips Idowu used the site to announce his withdrawal. Hit me on #bbcathletics or if UK users want to keep it mobile, 81111 with ATHLETICS before your message will do the trick.

The victorious Dai Greene: I felt more pressure in the speech last night to be honest and I knew I could win comfortably. I haven't really tapered off for this one with bigger things to do.

BBC analyst Colin Jackson: You have to remember Dai is an established world athlete, a Commonwealth and European champion, he could have clobbered a hurdles and gone back with all eyes on him. But he was meticulous today.

It's good news for a Briton
1359: It wasn't the most flowing of runs from Greene, he was a full second off what he has previously managed this year, but it was enough to see off Georg Fleischhauer who was on the Welshman's shoulder until the last 50m.


1356: Dai Greene is ready to go for GB in the 400m hurdles and he should, should mind, secure an early win for his team.

1352: I would say Great Britain's finest, but a bit like the European Song Contest, some of our best talent is saving itself for bigger international domination. With the World Championships in August, the likes of Mo Farah, Phillips Idowu, Jessica Ennis, Christine Ohuruogu are absent ahead of Daegu. But there are still some cracking bits of action with particularly competitive races for Jenny Meadows and Perri Shakes-Drayton today.

1349: A manual refresh should put BBC One's television coverage front and centre for all UK users.

It's good news for a Briton
1345: Allow me to mark your card for some other British highlights: Chris Tomlinson - long jump - 1353 BST Skipper Dai Greene - 400m hurdles - 1355 BST, Jenny Meadows - 800m - 1433 BST, Perri Shakes-Drayton - 400m hurdles - 1516 BST, Shana Cox - 400m - 1559 BST. But of course as a team event there will be British interest in every event so, UK users, you can keep it partisan throughout .

1337: Of course, there will be plenty of sociable sprinting action alongside those solitary distance runners. The face-off between Europe's two fastest men, Christophe Lemaitre and Dwain Chambers gets going around 1440 BST and should be a tasty little duel.

1330: Good afternoon. For one weekend only, the loneliness of the long distance runner is replaced by a bit of national camaraderie as Great Britain's athletes team together to try and put one over our continental cousins.

see also
Lemaitre leaves Chambers trailing
18 Jun 11 |  Athletics
Greene puts in captain's performance
18 Jun 11 |  Athletics
Greene leads GB team at Euro meet
10 Jun 11 |  Athletics
European Team Championships
18 Jun 11 |  Athletics
European Team Championships preview
17 Jun 11 |  Athletics
GB finish second at Team Champs
20 Jun 10 |  Athletics
Gateshead to host 2013 Euro event
06 Jun 11 |  Athletics

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