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Russian women shine in European Cup

June 25, 2007

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MUNICH, June 24: Germany's Christina Obergfoell set a European record in the javelin but nothing could stop Russia's women maintaining their customary pre-eminence on day one of the European Cup on Saturday.

Russia have been European champions in the women's event for the last 10 years and at the close of the first day of the two-day final at a warm and windy Olympic Stadium they had a commanding lead with 71 points.

France were second on 54, with Germany third on 53.5 and Poland fourth just another half-point back.

Hosts Germany were leading the men's table with 64 points after wins in the high jump and shot put. Defending champions France were on 59 points in second, with Poland third on 55.

Yuliya Pechonkina set the Russian women on their way by running the fastest 400 metres hurdles in the world this year.

Pechonkina, the world champion and world record holder, clocked 54.04 seconds to finish well ahead of Anna Jesien of Poland and Germany's Ulrike Urbansky.

Aside from Pechonkina's blistering run, the other outstanding performance came from Obergfoell, who managed 70.20 metres with her second throw to extend her European record by 17 cm.

“It was a big disappointment to finish out of the medals at the European championships last summer so I want to get back on the podium at the worlds in Osaka,” Obergfoell told reporters.

Eike Onnen got the home crowd cheering early as he won the high jump with a leap of 2.30 metres, before Peter Sack took the shot put with 20.28 metres.

France's good position came after victories for Mehdi Baala in the 1500 metres and Leslie Djhone in the 400.

“I expected to win,” Baala told reporters after he held off Britain's Andy Baddeley to win in a slow 3 minutes 47.36 seconds. “The time wasn't very fast but that's not important.”

Britain's Craig Pickering scored an encouraging comeback win in the 100 metres, recovering from a terrible start to win comfortably in 10.15 seconds, a personal best.

“I ran an amazing time,” Pickering told reporters. “Now I'm looking forward to the world championships. I want to be in the final there.”

Pickering also helped Britain to victory in the 4x100 relay, the day's final event.

Saturday’s results:

Men’s:

4x100 metres relay: 1. Britain (T. Edgar/C. Pickering/M. Devonish/M. Lewis-Francis) 38.30 seconds; 2. France (A. Nthepe/D. Alerte/E. De Lepine/M. M’Banjock) 38.40; 3. Germany (C. Blum/T. Helmke/A. Kosenkow/J. Reus) 38.56.

Hammer throw: 1. Szymon Ziolkowski (Poland) 77.99 metres; 2. Markus Esser (Germany) 74.68; 3. Alexandros Papadimitriou (Greece) 73.83.

High jump: 1. Eike Onnen (Germany) 2.30 metres; 2. Andrey Tereshin (Russia) 2.30; 3. Aleksander Walerianczyk (Poland) 2.24.

400-metre hurdles: 1. Periklis Iakovakis (Greece) 48.35 seconds; 2. Marek Plawgo (Poland) 48.90; 3. Naman Keita (France) 48.90.

100 metres: 1. Craig Pickering (Britain) 10.15 seconds; 2. Martial M'Banjock (France) 10.29; 3. Christian Blum (Germany) 10.37.

1500 metres: 1. Mehdi Baala (France) three minutes 47.36 seconds; 2. Andrew Baddeley (Britain) 3:48.08; 3. Franek Haschke (Germany) 3:48.54.

Shot put: 1. Peter Sack (Germany) 20.28 metres; 2. Carl Myerscough (Britain) 19.96; 3. Tomasz Majewski (Poland) 19.93.

Long jump: 1. Louis Tsatoumas (Greece) 8.16 metres; 2. Marcin Starzak (Poland) 7.82; 3. Nils Winter (Germany) 7.70.

400 metres: 1. Leslie Djhone (France) 45.54 seconds; 2. Tim Benjamin (Britain) 45.67; 3. Bastian Swillims (Germany) 45.95.

5000 metres: 1. Monder Rizki (Belgium) 14 minutes 15.46 seconds; 2. Arne Gabius (Germany) 14:16.09; 3. Aleksandr Orlov (Russia) 14:16.57.

Team standings: 1. Germany 64 points; 2. France 59; 3. Poland 55; 4. Britain 47; 5. Russia 43; 6. Greece 39; 7. Ukraine 27.5; 8.

Belgium 24.5.

Women’s:

4x100 metres relay: 1. Russia (Y. Gushchina/N. Rusakova/I. Khabarova/Y. Polyakova) 42.78 seconds; 2. France (C .Louami/M. Hurtis/N. Banco/C. Arron) 43.09; 3. Germany (K. Wakan/S. Schielke/C. Tschirch/V. Sailer) 43.33.

Pole vault: 1. Monika Pyrek (Poland) 4.65 metres; 2. Natalya Kushch (Ukraine) 4.38; 3. Vanessa Boslak (France) 4.38.

Triple jump: 1. Theresa N'Zola (France) 14.69 metres; 2. Hrysopiyi Devetzi (Greece) 14.58; 3. Viktoriya Gurova (Russia) 14.46.

400-metre hurdles: 1. Yuliya Pechonkina (Russia) 54.04 seconds; 2. Anna Jesien (Poland) 54.88; 3. Ulrike Urbansky (Germany) 55.74.

Discus throw: 1. Franka Dietzsch (Germany) 63.60 metres; 2. Darya Pishchalnikova (Russia) 63.27; 3. Irina Yatchenko (Belarus) 62.54.

100 metres: 1. Yevgeniya Polyakova (Russia) 11.20 seconds; 2. Verena Sailer (Germany) 11.35; 3. Natalya Safronova (Belarus) 11.36.

800 metres: 1. Svetlana Usovich (Belarus) two minutes 00.72 seconds; 2. Yuliya Krevsun (Ukraine) 2:01.12; 3. Oksana Zbrozhek (Russia) 2:01.14.

3000 metres: 1. Gulnara Samitova (Russia) eight minutes 47.92 seconds; 2. Lidia Chojecka (Poland) 8:54.72; 3. Dolores Checa (Spain) 8:58.35.

400 metres: 1. Fani Halkia (Greece) 51.85 seconds; 2. Zhanna Kashcheyeva (Russia) 51.87; 3. Yuliana Yuschanka (Belarus) 52.09.

Javelin throw: 1. Christina Obergfoell (Germany) 70.20 metres; 2. Oksana Gromova (Russia) 60.15; 3. Barbara Madejczyk (Poland) 59.36.

3000-metre steeplechase: 1. Katarzyna Kowalska (Poland) nine minutes 45.35 seconds; 2. Sophie Duarte (France) 9:50.02; 3. Irini Kokkinariou (Greece) 9:53.83.

Team standings: 1. Russia 71 points; 2. France 54; 3. Germany 53.5; 4. Poland 53; 5. Ukraine 47; 6. Greece 43; 7. Belarus 40; 8. Spain 33.5.—Reuters