Farah leaves it late as GB sit third at European Team Champs

22 June 2013 / 19:41

Double Olympic champion Mo Farah and captain Perri Shakes Drayton were the star performers as hosts Great Britain sit third overnight at the European Team Athletics Championships in Gateshead.

Hurdles specialist Shakes Drayton clocked a 50.50 second personal best on route to victory over 400m while Farah ran a storming 50.89 sec final lap as he clocked 14:10.00 to win the 5,000m.

Elsewhere, Eilidh Child won the 400m hurdles in a 54.42 sec personal best, A-Level student Jessica Judd continued her breakthrough season with scintillating victory over 800m and the home team's men's 4x100m relay quartet stormed to victory.

Favourites Russia lead the overall standings followed by Germany with Great Britain 15 points ahead of Poland, with France and Ukraine also within striking distance of the top three.

“The finish was good. That’s what I’ve been working on, we planned that," said Farah, who win defend his world 5,000m title in Moscow later this summer. 

"I had a text from my coach telling me to wait as late as possible.

"I wasn't allowed to do anything, I wasn't even allowed to go to the front, but I was tripping over as the race was so slow.

"I felt alright and I’m back to normal training which is great. The aim is just to keep training, keep doing what I’m doing – Moscow is the big one.”

Shakes Drayton was delighted to 'set an example' with her captain's performance while 18-year old Judd struggled to take in scoring maximum points on senior British debut.

“It was quite painful," she admitted, after holding off the challenge of experienced Russian Ekaterina Sharmina.

"I was so nervous going into it and I was knackered with 250m to go but who couldn’t win with that crowd behind them? 

"They were amazing and I want to say thank you to them. Moscow is well within my capabilities and now I just want to keep up my winning streak.”

However, there were some high-profile disappointments, which cost the home team valuable points in their top three bid - having finished fourth two years ago in Stockholm.

Holly Bleasdale blamed a niggling Achilles injury after failing to record a height - and consequently any points - in the women's pole vault.

Olympic champion Greg Rutherford was some way short of his best, recording a best leap of 8.02 metres to place third as Russia’s European indoor champion Aleksandr Menkov took the victory with 8.36m.

And world champion Dai Greene - a three-time winner at the event - settled for second in the 400m hurdles behind German Silvio Schirrmeister.

"I made too many mistakes technically and I'm not fit enough to get away with the mistakes I made," admitted Greene.

"I'm just disappointed I didn't put together a good race. I didn't expect them to be as fast as they were. I was a bit surprised how I didn't run a bit faster."

© Sportsbeat 2013