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'Historic' Mekhissi wins fifth Euro gold as world champions shine

AFP  |  Berlin 

France's joined an elite band of athletes after he claimed his fifth European title on a scintillating night of track and field in that saw a trio of world champions shine.

Mekhissi, a three-time and two-time world medallist, was imperious as he eased to a fourth victory in the 3000m in 8min 31.66sec, having already won the discipline three times (2010, 2012, 2016) and the 1500m once (2014).

The 33-year-old Frenchman joined the trio of German and British pair and as the sole athletes to have won five outdoor golds on the continental stage.

Mekhissi, who was controversially stripped of the 2014 title for having stripped off his singlet before he crossed the finish line in first place, has the chance for an unprecedented sixth gold when he competes in Saturday's 5000m.

"It was tough today," he said. "To keep that level over 10 years is not easy.

"I really wanted to defend my title, but there was a lot of stress and there's no doubt it was my most emotional race.

"I'm extremely proud. To be a five-time European champion is historic."

Reigning world champions and had earlier lit up the track to win the 200m and 400m hurdles, while Greece's showed all her nous to defend her European pole vault title.

Turkey's Guliyev justified his decision to sit out the 100m by absolutely dominating the 200m.

The Azeri-born led from gun to tape, attacking the bend and powering his way through the line in a new championship record of 19.76sec, smashing the previous best of 19.85 set by Greek Konstadinos Kederis in in 2002.

The time also took Guliyev to second on the European all-time 200m list behind Italian Pietro Mennea's long-standing mark of 19.72, set at altitude in in 1979.

Spain's reigning champion could only finish fourth as Briton Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake claimed silver from Jamaican-born Swiss in a photo finish (20.04sec).

Norway's Warholm, a surprise world champion in the 400m hurdles in last year, survived a little blip coming off the final bend to add the European crown to his accolades, winning in 47.64sec.

The 22-year-old charged out of his blocks, the whip-like action of his lead left leg propelling him past Ludvy Vaillant of in the lane outside him within metres.

But defending champion Yasmani Copello, the Cuban-born Turk, two lanes inside Warholm, stuck with the Norwegian and came into the home straight neck and neck.

Faced with two hurdles to the line, Warholm kept his nerve as Copello faltered on the last in the strength-sapping event. It was just enough to hand the Norwegian the advantage, and also kept him on track for an ambitious bid for a double, having already qualified for Friday's 400m flat final.

"After my world title I am now European champion now! It sounds like where I should be," Warholm said. "I had just enough to give on the last 100m."

- Imperious Stefanidi -


Stefanidi, defending world, and European champion, claimed a second continental title by clearing a championship record of 4.85m. Teammate took silver with 4.80m to add to her bronze from 2012, with Briton claiming bronze (4.75).

The large partisan crowd at Stadium were also treated to a show in the men's javelin, Germany's Olympic champion claiming gold with 89.47m from compatriot

No sooner had Mekhissi wrapped up his victory than Roehler was diving into the pool of the steeple's water obstacle in celebration.

But did not follow her teammate in, the defending 100m hurdles champion only able to claim bronze behind Belarus' (12.67sec) and another German,

Belgian Nafissatou Thiam's bid to add European glory to her world and Olympic heptathlon titles will seemingly go to the wire thanks to Britain's

A new heptathlon championship best of 22.88sec by Johnson-Thompson in the 200m saw her take the overnight lead on 4,017 points, 87 ahead of Thiam with the long jump, and 800m to come on Friday.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, August 10 2018. 09:45 IST