Small victories in Stockholm, but Team GB misses podium

Andy Turner and Charlene Thomas were the notable success stories as Great Britain just missed out on a podium place at the European Team Championships in Stockholm.

Nottingham athlete Turner has been in excellent form in the 110 metres hurdles this season, setting five of the best six times in Europe, and he was a comfortable winner as he overcame a sluggish start to triumph in 13.64 seconds in wet and windy conditions.

Thomas' win in the 1500 metres proved to be a more complicated affair after she found herself boxed in as the field came to the bell.

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The Wakefield runner dropped back before launching a strong attack in the home straight to pick off her rivals and claim victory in four minutes 6.85 seconds.

A delighted Thomas said: "I knew I could win the race, I'm so confident at the moment and my finish is so strong after the work I have put in.

"I have run 4:06 today and I have been boxed in and been clipped and things. I really believe I can run fast."

Turner, meanwhile, was just pleased to have put a smile on the face of coach Charles van Commenee.

Van Commenee has been involved in an unedifying spat with triple jumper Phillips Idowu over the latter's withdrawal from this competition, and Turner said: "I came into the race confident, I felt good, the conditions were tough but I'm just happy to win the race and keep Charles van Commenee happy."

Despite those victories, Team GB lost the third place they had held after yesterday's first day of competition, with their hopes of overhauling Ukraine finally being ended during the men's 4x400m relay.

The women's team of Kelly Massey, Nicola Sanders, Lee McConnell and Perri Shakes-Drayton had produced a fine display to finish second in their race.

The men's quartet appeared to be on for a good finish until Michael Bingham's attempt to hand over to Richard Buck for the final lap ended with the baton on the floor. Bingham then threw the baton to Buck, leading to a disqualification.

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Van Commenee said: "A total anti-climax. Richard Buck went too soon, but that comes with relay running, there is just no excuse."

It also proved to be a disappointing day for Tiffany Ofili-Porter in the women's 100m hurdles.

Ofili-Porter, who has switched her allegiance from America, was some way below her best as she finished third behind Belarus' Alina Talay in her heat, dropping to fourth overall due to the first heat proving to be quicker.

"I just wasn't sharp, I don't enjoy the rain but if it rains on me, it rains on everyone else, so that is not an excuse. I'm going to get some good training in, put it behind me and look to the future," she said.Abi Oyepitan was sixth overall in the women's 200m, while Daniel Talbot was a creditable third in his heat and fifth overall in the men's race, France's Christophe Lemaitre following up his impressive win over Dwain Chambers in the 100m yesterday to cross the line first in 20.29 seconds.

Helen Clitheroe, the European Indoor champion over 3,000m, produced her lifetime best in the 5,000m as she came in third behind Spain's Delores Checa, while Gareth Warburton clocked a season's best in the 800m.

Andy Baddeley left his finishing kick too late in the 3,000m. He allowed the leading group to open up a slight gap on him down the back straight and he left himself too much to do in the final 100m as he ended up fourth.

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