• European Athletics Indoor Championships

Farah defends indoor crown in Paris

ESPN staff
March 5, 2011
Mo Farah added another gold medal to his collection © PA Photos

Mo Farah claimed Britain's first gold medal of the European Athletics Indoor Championships after defending his 3000m title in Paris.

The double European outdoor champion took the lead with nine laps remaining, but was forced to hold off a determined challenge from Azerbaijan's Hayle Ibrahimov, but never looked concerned as he crossed the line in 7 minutes and 53 seconds.

Farah's team-mate Andy Baddely narrowly missed out on bronze, finishing 0.3 seconds behind Turkey's Hail Akkas.

But with another medal to add to his collection, Farah was already looking ahead to the rest of the season, with his first half-marathon in New York at the end of March, and the World Championships in Korea in the summer.

"There are bigger challenges ahead," Farah said. "As an athlete you always want better things. I would like to have as many medals as I can in my career. Hopefully my new coach Alberto Salazar can take me to the next level, if I stay injury-free and keep focused.

"I want to do well in Daegu and hopefully Alberto can give me that second or half second because that is what it is all about - getting a medal in the world championships."

Richard Buck produced a late charge to claim bronze in the men's 400m. Victory went to Leslie Djhone, but Buck snatched bronze, while after a bright start Richard Strachan faded and could only manage fifth.

Dwain Chambers put himself firmly in the running to defend his 60m title after qualifying for Sunday's final. France's Christophe Lemaitre will be the man to beat in Paris after qualifying fastest, but British pair Joel Fearon and Harry Aikines-Aryeetey missed out.

Teenage star Jodie Williams set a new personal best to reach the 60m final. The 17-year-old, making her senior international debut in Paris, clocked 7.21s to qualify sixth-fastest for the final as team-mate Bernice Wilson missed out.

"It was really daunting this morning, it was all a bit too much," Williams said. "But I am a lot stronger than I thought I was and I am really happy with how I've done. These girls are running 7.1s, there is no way I am going to challenge them in the final but I'm just going to run and see what I can do."

Jenny Meadows staked her claim for gold in the women's 800m after winning her semi-final to qualify for the final, where she will be joined by Marilyn Okoro who took the final qualifying spot.

Helen Clitheroe eased into the 3000m final, but there was disappointment for Colin McCourt and Nick McCormick who missed out on the 1500m final.

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