Athletics: Lewis lies second as Britain lead

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The Independent Online

Denise Lewis and the Great Britain team performed brilliantly in Tallinn yesterday afternoon. At the end of the first day of the Spar European Cup Britain - fighting to regain their Super League place - led with a score of 10,759 points, ahead of Holland, on10,551, and Finland, on 10,256.

In the heptathlon Lewis, though disappointed with her 200m time of 25.39sec, led the team with distinction. Importantly, although she fell short of her 3,700-point first-day target, the Olympic champion gainedconfidence with each discipline.

Lewis finished the day second to the European champion, Carolina Kluft of Sweden. Under fire for her association with the former East German coach Dr Ekkart Arbeit, Lewis showed the fighting spirit which won the Olympic title three years ago. Frank Dick, her coach since last November, said: "There is still hope for tomorrow. I've never seen an athlete who has been away from top-class action for three years show so much determination. I'm sure she will come back."

Lewis is aiming to achieve the world championship qualifying standard of 6,105 points, to ensure her selection for the Great Britain team for next month's event in Paris.