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Latest from Euro Champs

Dai Greene


31 July 2010

For results visit the Sportsresult website

The Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland team had another amazing evening at the Olympic stadium in Barcelona tonight with a five-medal haul that included three stunning gold medals.

The precious metalware brought the GB medal-count to sixteen for the championships with one more day to go, and featured European Championship titles for Dai Green in the 400m hurdles, Jessica Ennis in the heptathlon and the completion of a memorable endurance double for Mo Farah with 5000m victory.


Dai Greene and Rhys Williams - both coached by Malcolm Arnold based at the University of Bath -achieved a brilliant hurdles victory to take the gold and silver for the Aviva GB & NI team.

The training partners – one a world championship finalist and fastest in Europe this season, the other a former junior and under 23 European champion and bronze medallist at this event four years ago did not disappoint. In perhaps one of the more reliable expectations of the championship, reflecting their progression from the semi finals, it was a wonderful 1-2 for the GB team again.

Greene with his technical excellence and Williams with his never say die attitude, dominated the race from start to finish and both produced their lifetime bests in front of a thrilled British Athletics Supporters Club  contingent - crossing the line in 48.12 and 48.96 respectively.

Yet whilst Greene looked pumped up and proceeded on his lap of honour, Williams chose to let his training partner go it alone in his moment of celebration, and calmly walked the media interview area alone.

“I have to enjoy this but I wanted to win. I'm not going to be too hard on myself - I got a PB but there is disappointment there,” he admitted.

“The moment (lap of honour) didn't belong to me. I'm a great believer in that Dave Greene won and it's his moment. Hats off to him he did well today.

“I've finally broke 49 seconds - I'm now in the 48 club and I've got to keep progressing as I am.”

Greene meanwhile was delighted with his effort:

“I was always going to run to the line. If you can't do it in a European final when can you do it,” he laughed.

“I felt it (the pressure of being favourite) a little bit more today than other days, all I could do was meet expectation really and that sounds horrible: 'meets expectation' by becoming European Champion! But I'm very pleased to have put it together on the day.”

For Malcolm Arnold, the success with the hurdlers is yet more evidence of the expertise he continues to bring to the sport. With athletes such as John Akii Bua, Colin Jackson, Jason Gardener all benefiting from his expertise over the years, his current crop of one-lap hurdlers are starting to take the shape of world class technicians.

Another athlete- coach pairing achieving superb success is that of Jessica Ennis and Toni Minichiello, who put together an awesome second day of heptathlon prowess to not only take the European Gold, but to further improve her personal best to 6823 points, just 8 points off the UK record held by Denise Lewis.

But not only did she take the  lifetime best and championship record, but she proved that when questions were asked of her by other competitors, she could overcome them, she could still raise her game and she could have a startlingly strong second day.

“I am so happy and so relieved it has been a really tough couple of days – I’ve been pushed all the way and it’s a brilliant relief to have crossed that line and have won the gold medal,” she said.

“The girls pushed me all the way and it has been so hard every step of the way!

“On the start line for the 800 I was so nervous – it was pure nerves knowing had Dobrynska got ahead of me it would have cost the gold medal – I just wanted to make sure I didn’t let myself down.”

Earlier in the evening she had opened her final two events perfectly, throwing a javelin personal best of 46.71m and keeping up the pressure on the field, whose only real chance had been if she’d had performed dismally in the second throws event.

In a consistent series including a 45.28m and 45.71m throw, she maintained a slender lead against the field that had also been in personal best form and went into the 800m needing to keep second placed Ukranian Natalya Dobrynska – who had also PB’d in the javelin - behind her to take the victory.

In the 800m, knowing she needed to finish ahead of Dobrynska was one thing,  but that the UK record was achievable with an 800m PB of less than half a second meant the temptation was there to run the race in various ways.

Kicking off the final 200m it looked like she may well do it but when she crossed the line in first just outside that in 2:10.18, it was clear the record would have to wait for another day. Her overall points score of 6823, outclassing that of Natalya Dobrynska’s PB 6778 for silver and Germany’s Jennifer Oeser on 6683 for bronze.


Jessica Ennis


The night’s third and final gold came courtesy of the men’s 10,000m, where hopes were high that  Mo Farah (Ricky Simms) and Chris Thompson (John Nuttall) could take inspiration from their Tuesday night 10,000m glory and once again make inroads into the podium places. For Farah indeed, it was a target of his week to attempt a double gold and he did not disappoint.

In a race where he took the lead with 1200m to go, the pace increased until the final lap burn up and he took victory in 13:31.18 against his victor and rival of four years ago- Spain’s Jesus Espana, who finished second in 13:33.12:

“In the home straight I just had to dig and dig. Four years ago, it was at that point where he came past me, I just didn’t want to look behind, I just wanted to dig and dig and push and push,” he said.

“At that point I was just thinking that I didn't know how much ground I had. I was so happy. To do that in the 5km....

“Obviously my mind is on the Olympics now but I'm already looking forward to the world championships next year. I'm just training hard and want to keep injury free.”

Thompson – looking strong but not running his strongest event, finished a creditable eighth in 13:44.42 and he should be pleased with his week’s work where he played a major part of a resurgence in GB’s distance running fortunes.

In perhaps a sign of the week’s success so far , Michael Rimmer (Norman Poole) looked devastated to ‘only’ take home the silver medal from the men’s 800m final.

The Liverpool, Pembroke and Sefton man, who finished plumb last in the same race at Gothenburg four years ago,  won what was GB’s twelfth medal of the championship, but having led the semi final qualifiers and been in world class form all year, was left rueing what he saw as a missed opportunity.

Sitting well placed in second through a moderate first lap of 53.80, he then moved to take on the pace with 250m to go and looked to have the legs to survive the heady madness of the home straight sprint.

But early leader  - Poland’s Marcin Lewandowski – took advantage of the work Rimmer had done in the closing stages and managed to overtake him over the final 40m and cross the line in 1:47.07, Rimmer recording a 1:47.17.

“I'm gutted - if I'm honest I'm going to hate standing on that podium hearing someone else's national anthem, it'll be gut wrenching,” he said.

“Hopefully next time I'll be on top of it. I just wanted to win it for Britain - it's been 20 years since we did and I want to apologise to everyone who is watching. I really did my best.”

Finally, earlier in the evening session Carl Myerscough – the Blackpool Tower – finished 12th in the men’s shot put final, with a best effort of 18.19m on the card.

“It just didn’t seem to be there today, in warm up or any of the throws nothing was going very far,” he said.

“I tried to put it together as best I could but the last one felt good and it still didn’t go anyway. I don’t know why that was. “

Tomorrow’s final day starts with the men’s marathon final at 10am local time, with GB interest in the evening session starting at 20:10 local time as Chris Tomlinson goes in the men’s long jump final.