Christophe Lemaitre overcomes slow start to win men’s 100 final at European ChampionshipsBy Paul Logothetis, AP
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Lemaitre wins men’s 100 final at Europeans
BARCELONA, Spain — Christophe Lemaitre surged through the field to win the men’s 100-meter final at the European Championships on Wednesday, the Frenchman’s first triumph in a major competition.
The 20-year-old Lemaitre was slow out of the blocks but recovered to finish in 10.11 seconds at Barcelona’s Olympic stadium. He entered the event having set the fastest time by a European this season earlier this month.
“After a brilliant year, my objective was gold,” Lemaitre said. “I didn’t have a brilliant start but picked up very well on my speed. It was a brilliant final.”
The next four sprinters crossed the line in 10.18. The finish was so close, the order was decided by thousandths of a second.
Mark-Lewis Francis of Britain took the silver and Martial Mbandjock of France got bronze ahead of defending champion Francis Obikwelu of Portugal and Dwain Chambers of Britain.
“Don’t get me wrong, it is disappointing, but what can I do?” Chambers said. “I’ll take it with a smile and be grateful for the opportunity to have been here.”
Olympic silver medalist Elvan Abeylegesse of Turkey comfortably won the women’s 10,000 meters in 31 minutes, 10.23 seconds. Defending champ Inga Abitova’s late surge brought silver for Russia. Jessica Augusto of Portugal held on for bronze.
Russia leads the standings with seven medals, including two gold, after winning five Wednesday. Britain, Portugal and Italy all have three medals each.
Ineta Radevica beat Naide Gomes of Portugal in a tiebreaker to win the women’s long jump. They both leaped 22 feet, 8½ inches, but the Latvian won her first major gold because of a longer second jump. Olga Kucherenko jumped 22-5¼ to take bronze.
“I was not surprised by my performance,” Radevica said.
Former Olympic heptathlon champion Carolina Kluft finished 11th of 12 competitors with a best leap of 20-9¼.
A final throw of 212-2 by Sandra Perkovic of Croatia got her victory in the women’s discus. Nicoleta Grasu of Romania won the silver ahead of Poland’s Joanna Wisniewska.
In the men’s hammer throw, Ibor Charfreitag of Slovakia hurled 262-6 to win gold. Nicola Vizzoni of Italy was second, with Krisztian Pars of Hungary third.
Olympic champion Olga Kaniskina led a top-three sweep for Russia in the women’s 20-kilometer walk across the streets of the Catalan capital in 1 hour, 27 minutes, 44 seconds. Anisya Kirdyapkina took silver ahead of Vera Sokolova.
“I was a little afraid in the beginning of the race but then everything worked out fine,” said Kaniskina, who took silver at the 2006 Europeans. “I’m also very happy for the girls.”
Tags: Barcelona, Eastern Europe, Europe, Men's Track And Field, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Track And Field, Western Europe, Women's Sports, Women's Track And Field