Athletics: Allahgreen wins her rerun in style: Britain top medal table at European Junior Championships

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The Independent Online
DIANE ALLAHGREEN won the 100 metres hurdles at the European Junior Championships here last night only to have her victory annulled after a protest. But she went back out and claimed the gold medal again in style when the race was rerun three hours later.

The Liverpool athlete, 18, was not involved in the incident which provoked the protest when Italy's Aneta Bednzarczyk fell and brought down Poland's Margaret Macchiut with her. The Poles and the Germans, whose runner, Katja Fust, Allahgreen had beaten into second, protested and the jury of appeal ordered a rerun.

In the rerun, Allahgreen set a personal best of 13.42sec, a time only Sally Gunnell and the 1991 European junior champion, Keri Maddox, have bettered among Britons.

Britain won three other gold medals on the final day to add to the three won by Guy Bullock (400m), Carl Howard (long jump) and Katharine Merry (200m) on Saturday and Danny Joyce (100m) on Friday to bring their total to eight. This left them the leading nation for the second successive championships.

Bullock, 17, the outstanding performer of the four days as far as Britain were concerned, anchored the 400m relay team home in 3min 07.39sec. In the 100m relay, Britain's men and women beat the French; the men in 40.01 and the women, including Allahgreen, in 44.31.

Bullock's reward for his efforts here - he won the 400m in 46.13sec on Saturday - was to replace the former European 400m junior title champion, Roger Black, who pulled out of the team two days ago because of a viral infection, in Britain's 4x400m relay squad for the World Championships in Stuttgart in two weeks' time.

Noel Levy finished third in the 400m hurdles in 51.47secs, losing the chance of victory when he missed a stride approaching the seventh hurdle.

Howard's long jump victory was the big bonus for Britain. The sport has been looking for a successor to Lynne Davies since his retirement 20 years ago. His national record of 8.23 metres has stood for 25 years, but Howard is confident that it is finally living on borrowed time. 'There is no reason why I can not break it,' he said.

Merry, second in the 100 metres, won her third medal in the sprint relay to confirm that she is finally beginning to realise her potential. She has been attending these championships since she was a 15-year-old in 1989, but this was her first title. 'At long last,' she said.

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