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Farah wins 3,000 meters gold at European Indoors
By Jeremy Inson
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 08 - 03 - 2009

Mo Farah broke the championship record in winning the 3000-meter gold at the European Indoors on Saturday.
The Briton crossed the line in a time of seven minutes, 40.17 seconds. Silver went to France's Bouabdellah Tahri who finished in 7:42.14 with Jesus Espana winning bronze in a time of 7:43.29.
Farah, along with Tahri and Espana, was part of a group that led an initial breakaway. With five laps remaining, Farah and Tahri pulled ahead and Farah then broke free with two laps left to run.
Espana needed to fight past Selim Bayrak of Turkey on the penultimate lap to grab third place.
Fabrizio Donato set a new championship record of 17.59 meters to win the triple jump gold and became host Italy's first medalist of the championships.
The 33-year-old failed to record a jump with his first four attempts, but grabbed the lead with his fifth jump.
Viktor Yastrebov of Ukraine won the silver medal with a leap of 17.25 and Russia's Igor Spasovkhodskiy won the bronze with a jump of 17.15.
Over 400 meters, Sweden's Johan Wissman won the men's race, while Antonina Krivoshapka won yet another gold for Russia, in the women's event.
Wissman held off Italy's Claudio Licciardello to finish in 45.89 seconds. The Italian grabbed silver in 46.32 and Romania's Ioan Vieru ran a season's best of 46.54 to claim bronze. Both silver and bronze medalists in the women's race ran personal bests. Ukraine's Nataliya Pyhyda finished in a time of 51.44 seconds to win silver, while Darya Safonova of Russia crossed the line in 51.85 seconds to take bronze.
Ivan Ukhov lived up to his billing as pre-competition favorite in winning the high jump gold medal, clearing a height of 2.32 meters. Fellow Russian, Aleksey Dmitrik and Kyriakos Ioannou of Cyprus shared the silver medal when both cleared 2.29, but couldn't be separated on countback.
Russia won its second gold of the day when Yuliya Golubchikova took the pole vault title with a clearance of 4.75 meters.
Golubchikova was pushed hard by eventual silver medalist Silke Spiegelburg and only beat the German on countback. Anna Battke won the bronze. The 24 year-old German set a new personal best of 4.65 to finish third.
Estonia's Ksenija Balta needed to jump a national record of 6.87 meters to win the women's long jump. In doing so she held off the threat of the Russian pair of Yelena Sokolova and Olga Kucherenko, who finished with silver and bronze respectively.
In the women's 1,500-meters Anna Alminova of Russia kicked at the bell to leave the rest of the field behind and finish with gold in four minutes, 7.76 seconds.
Natalia Rodriguez of Spain was her closest challenger throughout and she finished with silver in a time of 4:08.72.
Sonja Roman emerged quickest from a chasing pack in the home straight to snatch bronze. The Slovenian finished in 4:11.42.
Meanwhile, Britain's Dwain Chambers demonstrated why he is favorite for the men's 60 meters. He won his semifinal in an European indoor record of 6.42 seconds. The final is on Sunday.
US-Jamaica showdown
The US wants a showdown with Jamaica to determine which country has the best sprinters, the top US athletics official said on Saturday.
USA Track and Field (USATF) proposed the showdown featuring two competitions, one in each country. Potential dates were May and June.


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