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  Friday, 2 August, 2002, 15:42 GMT 16:42 UK
Team GB at the Euros
Colin Jackson en route to gold at Budapest in 1998
Colin Jackson is one of three Britons with three golds
Great Britian and Northern Ireland have a rich tradition of success at the European Championships.

Having missed the first ever meeting in Turin in 1934, the team have won a total of 189 medals in 16 outings.

That haul includes 76 gold medals and not a single championship has passed without a British athlete taking the top step of the podium.

And on two occasions - Brussels (1950) and Budapest (1998) - Great Britain have finishied as the leading nation.

  Best of Brtiain
Three golds
Steve Backley, Linford Christie & Colin Jackson
Two golds
Roger Black, Steve Cram & Daley Thompson
Since the 80s Great Britain have been one of the forces at the European Championships.

And in Munich the team will be chasing two attainable targets:

  • A record medal haul of 19, beating the 18 won in Split (1990)
  • Taking the number of gold medals into double figures, beating the previous best of nine won in Split (1990) and Budapest (1998)

    And the team will be buoyed by the return to Germany which proved a happy hunting ground in 1986.

    At Stuttgart Team GB matched the Brussels haul of eight golds to bring in their present era of success which has been helped by the break-up of the Soviet Union and the unification of East and West Germany.

    BBC Sport Online reflects on Great Britain's three best performances.


    Budapest 1998

    In the last European Championships Great Britain finished on top of the medal table for the first time in 48 years.

    The team won less medals in total than either Russia or Germany, but finished on top courtesy of winning more golds - nine in total.

    Eight of the golds were claimed by men who dominated the sprint events.

  •   Clean sweeps
    The 200m was Great Britain's third 1-2-3.
    Seb Coe, Tom McKean and Steve Cram swept the board at the 800m in 1986.
    They won six out of six golds in total and nine of the 12 medals on offer in the individual events - including a clean sweep in the 200m.

    The roll of honour read Darren Campbell (100m), Dougie Walker (200m) and Iwan Thomas (400m) and they also won both relays - the 100m for the very first time.

    Colin Jackson won his third gold in the 110m hurdles and Steve Backley also completed a hat-trick of titles in the javelin.

    Jonathan Edwards won the triple jump and Denise Lewis took gold in the women's heptahlon.


    Split 1990

    Split was Great Britain's most successful European Championships with a total of 18 medals and nine golds.

    The core of the team's success was founded on the track in the men's sprint disciplines.

    Linford Christie takes the plaudits after winning gold in 1990
    Every gold from the 100m to the 800m, including the hurdling events, ended up in British hands.

    Linford Christie won the second of his three 100m golds with John Regis coming home third. The pair swapped positions in the 200m.

    Roger Black took the 400m title, Kriss Akabusi the 400m hurdles, the pair, along with Regis, figured in the one-lap relay win and Tom McKean finished in front of David Sharp in the 800m.

    The team also enjoyed a 1-2 in the 110m hurdles with Colin Jackson winning his first European gold ahead of Tony Jarrett.

    Like Jackson, Steve Backley won the first of his three successive titles and Yvonne Murray broke the men's stranglehold with gold in the 3000m.


    Brussels 1950

    Great Britain topped the medal table for the first time in Brussels.

    The team won 17 medals, including eight golds. They were feats that would not be beaten for 40 years.

      Marathon man
    Jack Holden's win was Great Britain's first marathon win, breaking Finland's 16-year domination of the discipline.
    Great Britain now have a total of five marathon wins compared to Finland's four.
    Sheila Alexander won Great Britain's first woman's individual gold to complete a high jump double, with Alan Paterson taking the men's title.

    On the track the men took titles at 200m (Brian Shenton), 400m (Derek Pugh), 800m (John Parlet) and in the marathon (Jack Holden).

    The team also won the men's 4 x 400m and the women's 4 x 100m.

    However, despite the golds, the championships are best remembered for Roger Bannister's first international medal, a bronze, behind Parlet, in the 800m.

    Four years later, at the age of 25, Bannister won his last international medal, a gold in the 1500m, just months after running the first four-minute mile.


    GB at the European Championships
    Year G S B Total
    9 4 3 16
    Helsinki 1994 6 5 2 13
    9 5 4 18
    Stuttgart 1986 8 2 5 15
    Athens 1982 3 5 1 9
    Prague 1978 1 4 2 7
    Rome 1974 4 3 4 11
    Helsinki 1971 1 4 5 10
    Athens 1968 6 4 7 17
    Budapest 1966 2 0 0 2
    Belgrade 1962 5 3 6 14
    Stockholm 1958 7 5 5 17
    Berne 1954 3 4 7 14
    8 3 6 17
    Oslo 1946 2 5 3 10
    Paris/Vienna
    1938
    4 2 2 8
    Turin 1936 GB did not compete

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