Chambers scorches to championship record

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The Independent Online

Dwain Chambers clocked a championship record 9.99 seconds to win the men's 100 metres at the European Team Championship in Bergen on Saturday. The sprinter held off the Frenchman, Christophe Lemaître, who finished second in 10.02 seconds, and Italy's Emanuele Di Gregorio, third in 10.20, to help Britain into second place in the competition.

Russia lifted the championship title, helped by the fastest time this year in the women's 4x400m relay. Kseniya Zadorina, Natalya Ivanova, Natalya Antyukh and Kseniya Ustalova won the relay in 3min, 23.76sec. Russia's men and women finished with 379.5 points, ahead of Britain on 317 and Germany on 304.5.

Chambers' victory was his best performance since he ran 9.99 at the 2001 World Championships and was 0.02sec outside his personal best, set in Seville in 1999. The 32-year-old was banned from athletics for two years in 2003 for testing positive for steroids. He returned to competition in 2006.

Chambers, who is expected to compete at the European Championships in Barcelona next month, was delighted with his performance."I knew it would be tough and that I had to do my best, but the most important thing is that I got the 12 points for my team," he said. "Christophe Lemaître is very talented and we will see this battle many times in the future; he is very strong on the last 20 metres. I am very happy that I broke the 10-second barrier."

Mo Farah successfully defended his title in the 5,000m while there was a surprise victory for Colin McCourt in the 1,500m. Farah, the team captain in Norway, continued his fine form as he finished in 13:46.93, ahead of Spain's Alemayehu Bezabeh and eight-time European cross country champion Sergiy Lebid. McCourt had not been expected to win but he took the lead in the final 300 metres to edge out Olympic finalist Christian Obrist in 3:46.90.

Meanwhile, Tom Parsons was second in the high jump while Chris Tomlinson finished third in the long jump. The men's 4x100m relay squad, minus Chambers, finished second behind Italy while the women finished fourth. Barbara Parker was third in the 3,000m steeplechase and Emma Jackson finished fourth in the 800m on her senior international debut.