• European Indoor Championships

Shakes-Drayton boosts Britain's gold tally

ESPN staff
March 3, 2013
Perri Shakes-Drayton has one eye on the outdoor season © AP

Great Britain claimed a second gold medal at the European Indoor Championships on Sunday, with Perri Shakes-Drayton winning the women's 400m.

Holly Bleasdale had delivered gold for GB on Saturday in the pole vault, and Shakes-Drayton quickly added to it with a time of 50.85 seconds in Gothenburg.

She later returned to help lead the women's 4x400m relay team to a third GB gold of the meet, with the men's equivalent emulating that feat to complete a successful day.

"A lot of people were tipping me for gold," Shakes-Drayton told BBC Sport. "I just hope it will benefit me when it comes to the outdoors."

Eilidh Child made it a British one-two by taking silver in 51.42, while Shana Cox crossed the line in sixth.

In the men's race, Nigel Levine claimed silver after turning in a season's best. Levine was able to watch the majority of the field from lane three and judged his race impressively.

"I can't believe it," he said. "It's the first time I've made the European final and to get silver, I'm speechless. They're all humans, they're all beatable. I just went out there, did my best and finished second with a season's best from lane three."

Another medal, this time bronze, arrived in the men's 800m, with Mukhtar Mohammed finishing in the top three. Adam Kszczot of Poland took gold.

There was no good news for team captain Jenny Meadows though, who came fourth in the 800m final - won by Nataliya Lupu of Ukraine. Meadows, who was the defending champion, failed to hold on in the latter stages of the race and clocked 2:01.52 minutes.

"It's a difficult situation - I've only been running for 12 weeks," she said. "I said in my team captain's speech not to leave any energy on the track.

"It is really a lack of preparation which costs me. It's very difficult. It dents my ego - I'm a better athlete than that."

There was a final flourish for the British athletes, as the women's relay quartet showed their burgeoning class with a comfortable win against the peers. The men then followed suit - although there was brief controversy after they were initially disqualified from the final standings.

Richard Buck had initially been adjudged to have left the track during his leg - however, after an appeal, the team was reinstated.

"I think it's the Polish guy coming in on me so I couldn't stay on," Buck told the BBC, when viewing the replay of the incident.

"He [Richard Buck] was in his right," GB head coach Peter Eriksson said. "He took one step inside."

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