• European Athletics Championships

Farah and Thompson claim British one-two

ESPN staff
July 27, 2010

European Championships: Day One in pictures

Mo Farah became Britain's first medallist at the European Athletics Championships in Barcelona as he produced a stunning sprint-finish to destroy his rivals in Barcelona.

Farah became the first British runner to win the European 10,000 metre crown, as his team-mate Chris Thompson produced a late charge to snatch silver.

The fastest European in the world this year was content to sit at the back of the field in the opening stages, but with two kilometres remaining, Farah stepped up the pace and only Spain's Ayad Lamdassem followed.

Farah allowed the Spaniard to take the lead, happy to sit on his shoulder and allow his opponent to do the hard work. Then with 300m to go, Farah kicked once more, and this time Lamdassem had no answer. Thompson had been in the chasing pack, but produced an impressive sprint to snatch silver from Italy's Daniele Meucci as Lamdassem was forced to settle for fourth.

Dwain Chambers fired a statement of intent to his rivals as he cruised into the semi-finals of the men's 100 metres at the European Athletics Championships in Barcelona.

Chambers clocked the second fastest time of the heats, crossing the line in 10.21 seconds, more than two tenths of a second ahead of nearest rival Ronald Pognon of France as he comfortably won the opening heat.

"I'm just glad to have got this first round out of the way," Chambers said. "As an athlete we always want to get the first round out of the way comfortably and not get hurt, and it felt good."

Fellow Britons James Dasaolu and Mark Lewis-Francis both sealed their place in Wednesday's semi-finals. Dasaolu finished third in his heat with a time of 10.40, while Lewis-Francis clocked an impressive 10.23s as he finished second in the final heat.

A time of 10.26 was enough for defending champion Francis Obikwelu to win his heat.

Christophe Lemaitre, who became the first white man to break the ten-second barrier last month, was the fastest qualifier in a time of 10.19. However, Chambers refused to acknowledge the threat of the 20-year-old Frenchman.

"Everyone on that start line is a potential rival. I can't just concentrate on Christophe Lemaitre," Chambers said."There's Mbandjok, there's some Britons as well. I don't want to run my race thinking about him, I have to concentrate on myself, and hopefully if I do that I should do really well."

Jemma Simpson won her 800m heat to qualify for the final © Getty Images

Jenny Meadows produced a strong sprint finish to qualify for the women's 800m final. Meadows has struggled with an Achilles injury this season, but showed no signs of discomfort as she clocked 1:58.90, finishing one hundredth of a second behind heat winner Svetlana Klyuka.

Meadows' time was the second fastest, but after the semi-finals were scrapped on Tuesday, the world bronze medallist could afford to push herself as she now has until Friday's final to recover.

It was a bit of a bloodbath out there," Meadows said. "They definitely threw us in at the deep end, but luckily we've got three days off now and I'll need every hour."

Britain's Jemma Simpson ran an impressive race to win the final heat to seal her place in the final. Simpson led for the much of the race, and kicked with 200m to go before striding over the line in a time of 1:59.20.

However, a season's best time of 2:01.33 was not enough for Marilyn Okoro. Okoro led with 300 metres to go, but was overtaken by Mariya Savinova before being outsprinted by Holland's Yvonne Hak on the final straight.

In the men's triple jump, Phillips Idowu qualified for Thursday's final with a jump of 17.10 metres, which was fourth best behind France's Teddy Tamgho. Britain's Nathan Douglas also made it through with a leap of 16.80m.

Meanwhile in the high jump, British duo Tom Parsons and Martyn Bernard made it through to Thursday's final.

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