Birmingham 2007 European indoor championships


04 March 2007

Britain wins it in high drama

Drama is always guaranteed in the relays and the men’s 4x400m was no exception.

Germany crossed the line first but were disqualified after a Russian protest following Swilliam’s clash with Artem Sergeyenkov on the final lap. As the Russian buckled, Swillims swept past with Britain’s Steve Green hot in pursuit while the luckless Russian somehow pulled himself together to get the bronze.

The title therefore went to Britain, increasing their gold medal tally to four, with Poland promoted to bronze.

“That's great to hear we have been moved up to gold,” said the Britain anchor Steven Green. “To be honest, I wasn't quite sure what was going on. I just tried to keep out of their way and run my race.”

Individual bronze medallist, Robert Tobin led off the British challenge and handed over first followed by Poland, Germany and Russia. After 500m, Poland swept into the lead pursued by Russia while Britain slipped back to third.

But the Russians had the outdoor silver, Vladimir Frolov, on this leg and he handed over the baton first, followed by Poland, Britain and a detached Germany.

Approaching its finale, the third leg ended with Russia handing over first, then came Britain, Poland and Germany who were clearly banking on Swillims to pull off the expected victory.

As the race entered its endgame, the drama unfolded on the final bend, Swillims thought he had won, but the victory celebration seemed muted as though they were expecting the eventual outcome. It was left to the disappointed German anchor to voice his disappointment. “I do not agree with this decision. He moved outside of me and I did nothing wrong.”

There was a second medal for Nicola Sanders at the European Indoor Championships as she helped Britain’s women to bronze in the 4x400m relay.

Sanders combined with Emma Duck, Kim Wall and Lee McConnell, to clock a British record of 3:28.69. Belarus took the gold in 3:27.83, with Russia second.

Talking of running the second leg, Sanders said: “Normally I would run on the last leg, but we wanted to give the team the chance to be up there at the end. I'm really pleased with the way I ran.”

Team-mate Emma Duck was delighted with their performance: “I'm really pleased that we got the National Record. We thought there was a chance. It was so hard running on the first leg but I gave it my all.”

  © BCC 2006