MUNICH, June 25: France snatched the tightest of victories over Germany to retain the men's European Cup crown on Sunday, while Russia's women extended their dominance with an 11th straight win.

The Russian women took the first two events on day two at a sunny Olympic Stadium to leave no one in doubt that they would continue a winning streak dating back to 1997 when the event was last held in Munich.

Despite being disqualified from the closing 4x400m relay they took the title with a total of 127 points, with France second on 107 and Germany third on 94.5.

The tussle in the men's competition was much tougher, as France and Germany finished level on 116 points and the same number of individual victories, the French prevailing thanks to more second places. Poland were third on 110.

Greece and Spain were relegated from the women's category. Ukraine and Belgium lost their top flight status in the men's.

Germany's men held a slim lead after the first day and Tim Lobinger extended it when he cleared 5.70 metres at the second attempt to beat Romain Mesnil in the pole vault.

The German-French rivalry in that event set the tone.

France claimed their first win when Ladji Doucoure overcame a bad start to take the 110-metre hurdles in 13.35 seconds before Germany hit back with Filmon Ghirmai's victory in the 3000-metre steeplechase.

Marlon Devonish took the 200 metres from David Alerte of France to make it a men's sprint double for Britain, after Craig Pickering's win in the 100 metres on Saturday.

With Germany's Alexander Kosenkow only managing sixth place that was a valuable result for France and another second spot, for Vitolio Tipotio in the javelin behind Russia's Aleksandr Ivanov, took them even closer to the top.

They finally moved ahead when Bouabdellah Tahri won the 3000 metres in 7:51.32 with Carsten Schlangen bringing up the rear for Germany over 40 seconds later.

That took France four points clear and sixth place in the 4x400-metre relay, four behind Germany, was enough to see them home.

There was a disappointing finish for the Russian women as two false starts saw them disqualified from the closing relay.

Sunday’s results:

Men’s:

4x400 metres relay: 1. Poland (K. Kozlowski/M. Marciniszyn/P. Rysiukiewicz/D. Dabrowski) three minutes 01.70 seconds; 2. Germany (I. Schultz/K. Gaba/M. Bos/B. Swillims) 3:01.77; 3. Britain (A. Steele/R. Strachan/M. Rooney/D. Caines) 3:01.92.

Pole vault: 1. Tim Lobinger (Germany) 5.70 metres; 2. Romain Mesnil (France) 5.65; 3. Denis Yurchenko (Ukraine) 5.60.

Triple jump: 1. Aleksandr Petrenko (Russia) 17.29 metres; 2. Phillips Idowu (Britain) 17.21; 3. Nikolay Savolaynen (Ukraine) 17.09.

Discus throw: 1. Piotr Malachowski (Poland) 66.09 metres; 2. Robert Harting (Germany) 63.90; 3. Aleksandr Borichevskiy (Russia) 60.79.

110-metre hurdles: 1. Ladji Doucoure (France) 13.35 seconds; 2. Andy Turner (Britain) 13.48; 3. Thomas Blaschek (Germany) 13.51.

800 metres: 1. Pawel Czapiewski (Poland) one minutes 49.00 seconds; 2. Michael Rimmer (Britain) 1:49.06; 3. Robin Schembera (Germany) 1:49.06.

3000-metre steeplechase: 1. Filmon Ghirmai (Germany) eight minutes 38.78 seconds; 2. Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad (France) 8:39.34; 3. Andrew Lemoncello (Britain) 8:39.94.

200 metres: 1. Marlon Devonish (Britain) 20.33 seconds; 2. David Alerte (France) 20.34; 3. Anastasios Gousis (Greece) 20.43.

Javelin throw: 1. Aleksandr Ivanov (Russia) 82.57 metres; 2. Vitolio Tipotio (France) 79.69; 3. Igor Janik (Poland) 78.70.

3000 metres: 1. Bouabdellah Tahri (France) seven minutes 51.32 seconds; 2. Sergey Ivanov (Russia) 8:02.47; 3. Bartosz Nowicki (Poland) 8:02.47.

Final team standings: 1. France 116 points; 2. Germany 116; 3. Poland 110; 4. Britain 101; 5. Russia 93; 6. Greece 70; 7. Ukraine 58.5; 8. Belgium 53.5.Women’s:

4x400 metres relay: 1. Belarus (Y. Yuschanka/I. Khlyustova/I. Usovich/S. Usovich three minutes 23.67 seconds; 2. Poland (Z. Radecka/M. Bejnar/J. Wojcik/G. Prokopek) 3:26.36; 3. France (P. Anacharsis/M. Lacordelle/V. Michanol/S. Desert) 3:28.62.

Hammer throw: 1. Tatyana Lysenko (Russia) 75.86 metres; 2. Betty Heidler (Germany) 73.55; 3. Oksana Menkova (Belarus) 73.03.

Shot put: 1. Anna Omarova (Russia) 19.69 metres; 2. Petra Lammert (Germany) 19.47; 3. Nadezhda Ostapchuk (Belarus) 18.52.

1500 metres: 1. Sylwia Ejdys (Poland) four minutes 17.05 seconds; 2. Yuliya Fomenko (Russia) 4:17.12; 3. Maria Martins (France) 4:17.23.

High jump: 1. Yelena Slesarenko (Russia) 2.02 metres; 2. Ruth Beitia (Spain) 1.98; 3. Melanie Skotnik (France) 1.95.

100-metre hurdles: 1. Yevheniya Snihur (Ukraine) 12.92 seconds; 2. Adrianna Lamalle (France) 12.94; 3. Aleksandra Antonova (Russia) 12.97.

Long jump: 1. Eunice Barber (France) 6.73 metres; 2. Tatyana Kotova (Russia) 6.73; 3. Concepcion Montaner (Spain) 6.72.

200 metres: 1. Muriel Hurtis (France) 22.83 seconds; 2. Natalya Rusakova (Russia) 22.92; 3. Iryna Shtanhyeyeva (Ukraine) 23.12.

5000 metres: 1. Volha Chuprova (Belarus) 15 minutes 20.35 seconds; 2. Sabrina Mockenhaupt (Germany) 15:23.96; 3. Kalliopi Astropekaki (Greece) 15:46.22.

Final team standings: 1. Russia 127 points; 2. France 107; 3. Germany 94.5; 4. Poland 89; 5. Ukraine 81; 6. Belarus 80; 7. Greece 75; 8. Spain 64.5.—Reuters

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