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Athletics: Farah bounces back to take Zurich gold

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Athletics: Farah bounces back to take Zurich gold
Mo Farah poses with wax model of himself at Madame Tussauds museum in London earlier this year. Photo: Carl Court/AFP
09:51 CEST+02:00
Mo Farah resumed normal service as the world and Olympic 5,000-metre and 10,000-metre champion emerged from months of illness and disappointing form to win the 10,000-metre title at the European Athletics Championships in Zurich.

The 31-year-old Briton pulled clear of Ali Kaya, the naturalized Turkish runner formerly known as Stanley Kiprotich Mukche of Kenya in the final 100m to win the fourth European track title of his career in 28 minutes, 8.11 seconds.

"I really wanted to run the Commonwealth Games but couldn't, so this means a lot to me," said Farah, who was congratulated on his lap of honour by his good friend, Olympic 100m and 200m champion Usain Bolt.

Farah's Great Britain team-mate Andy Vernon snatched the silver medal from Kaya, clocking 28:08.66.

Farah was one of three British winners, making four golds in two days following Jo Pavey's victory in the women's 10,000 metres on Tuesday.

The withdrawal of French sprinter Jimmy Vicaut with a hamstring injury left the door open for James Dasaolu in the men's 100 metres and the 26-year-old Londoner – who lost the European indoor 60-metre title to Vicaut by the thickness of his vest last year - seized his opportunity.

He prevailed in 10.06 seconds, finishing 0.07seconds clear of two-time winner Christophe Lemaitre of France.

The battle for bronze was even closer, Harry Aikines-Aryeetey edging out veteran British team-mate Dwain Chambers by 0.02 seconds with a time of 10.22 seconds.

"It's a great feeling to be the European champion," said Dasaolu. "I'm still trying to take it all in."

The other British triumph came in the 100-metre hurdles, the US-born Tiffany Porter edging out Cindy Billaud of France by 0.03 seconds with a winning time of 12.76 seconds.

There was joy for France in the women's long jump, however. World indoor champion Eloyse Leseur retained the continental title she won in Helsinki two years ago, courtesy of a fourth round leap of 6.85 metres.

There was an historic moment in the women's 100-metre final, the heptathlete turned sprinter Dafne Schippers becoming the first Dutch winner since the great Fanny Blankers-Koen in 1950.

Schippers started the clear favourite but had to dig deep to resist the challenge of Myriam Soumaire, beating the Frenchwoman by 0.04 seconds in 11.12 seconds, with Britain's Ashleigh Nelson taking bronze in 11.22 seconds.

"It is a great honour," Schippers said. "I hope that my fans and my country are as happy as I am."

Swiss sprinter Mujinga Kambundji came fourth, setting a Swiss record of 11.32 seconds.

Robert Harting was so happy to retain his discus title he removed his German vest and kissed the badge, resisting the temptation to rip it in two – a trademark celebration that has drawn the threat of a lawsuit from one disgruntled fellow countryman on the grounds of "insulting the state and its symbols."

Harting's third round throw of 66.07 metres earned him victory ahead of Estonia's Gerd Kanter (64.75 metres) and Pole Robert Urbanek (63.81). Andrei Krauchanka of Belarus emerged from the ten events of the decathlon with a winning tally of 8,616 points.

The first medals on day two were claimed in the morning in the men's 20km walk, just two seconds separating the first four athletes at the finish.

Spain's Miguel Angel Lopez won by a solitary second in 1hr 19 minutes, 44 seconds, edging out Aleksandr Ivanov of Russia. Ivanov's team mate Denis Strelkov was just a second further back, snatching the bronze medal by an even tighter margin, clocking the same time as Ukraine's Rusian Dmytrenko.

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