Athletics: Hansen's victory proves a struggle

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The Independent Online

Ashia Hansen made a winning return from a string of injuries in the triple jump at the Norwich Union European Trials and UK Championships here. Hansen claimed victory with 13.68 metres at the English Institute of Sport, but this was some way short of the 14.10m needed to qualify for next month's European Championships in Birmingham.

She had been out of action since picking up a knee injury at the Spar European Cup in 2004, snapping a patella tendon and suffering other setbacks. However, Hansen was not satisfied, saying: "Not good. I don't know what happened, because my speed was fine. It's my first jump for three weeks - I had a small abscess on my heel, so I have only been able to run."

Hansen has set herself a target of 14.20m to qualify for Birming-ham, which would put her into the European top eight, but insists she would rather not attend next month's championships if she were selected without having achieved the qualification mark. "I don't think I would like to go just to make the team," she said.

Sara McGreavey took the 60m hurdles, destroying her previous best by clocking 8.03sec. She said: "Running a PB is great, but I know I can run quicker."

The Commonwealth heptath-lon bronze medallist Jessica Ennis finished strongly to edge out Kelly Sotherton,Nicola Sanders reached the semi-final of the 400m with a blistering run of 54.35, while Gareth Warburton was best in the men's equivalent. Gavin Keight was the fastest through to today's 1,500m final. Kadi Ann Thomas heads the field in the 200m semis.

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