Lemaitre takes 100m title

28 June 2012 / 20:50

France's Christophe Lemaitre has retained his European 100 metres title as Britain's Harry Aikines-Aryeetey followed in fourth.

Lemaitre maintained his concentration during a bizarre race which featured a yellow card, one false start and only five finishers, clocking 10.09 seconds to edge out compatriot Jimmy Vicaut (10.12secs), with Norway's Jaysuma Saidy Ndure claiming bronze.

Aikines-Aryeetey finished fourth in 10.31s, but suffered a hamstring injury after 40m.

The final began with Lithuania's Rytis Sakalauskas receiving a yellow card, apparently claiming he could not hear the first start, before Italy's Simone Collio was disqualified for a true false start.

The race got under way at the third time of asking, but Sakalauskas again dwelt in his blocks before running a few yards and giving up, while Latvia's Ronalds Arajs at least managed around 70m before collapsing to the track with an injury.

There was also a fourth place for Britain's Julia Bleasdale in the women's 5,000m with a massive personal best, although she had mixed feelings after seeing a medal slip away in the home straight.

Bleasdale, who took almost 13 seconds off her previous best, said: "A silver would have been great, a bronze would have been great, but I came here to be competitive and really mix in the race and give it my best and I did that.

"I possibly expended a bit too much energy on the penultimate lap which showed over the finish, but it was a great experience and I know what I can go away and work on to make sure I am even more competitive next time round."

Elsewhere, Rhys Williams and Nathan Woodward both qualified for the final of the 400m hurdles to ensure their battle for Olympic selection will be decided in Helsinki's own Olympic Stadium on Friday evening.

Another Olympic battle could become clearer in Friday's women's 800m final, with Lynsey Sharp and Jemma Simpson both making the final.