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European Championships Heptathlon continues

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Kelly Sotherton (Birchfield Harriers), the Commonwealth heptathlon champion, maintained her position in second place after the fourth event in the heptathlon, the long jump, at the end of the morning session on Tuesday 8 August at the European Championships.

 

Though Kluft stretched her gap at the top to 170 points - it was 124 overnight - from Sotherton, the Briton's jump of 6.51m ensured equal second in the event with Karin Ruckstuhl, of the Netherlands, as the Swedish star won with 6.65m. 

 

But after Jessica Ennis (Sheffield) was third overnight, she slipped back to fourth. Though Kluft stretched her gap at the top from Sotherton, the Briton's jump of 6.51m ensured equal second in the event with Karin Ruckstuhl, of the Netherlands, as the Swedish star won with 6.65m.

 

Kluft leads with 5046, Sotherton is second with 4876, Ruckstuhl third with 4829 and Ennis fourth with 4769.

 

Sotherton began with 6.37m, she fouled on her second who won the 400m at the Norwich Union European Trials, qualified for the attempt before the 6.51m while Ennis, who had her best-ever first day, was 11th in the discipline overall with 6.19m, from the first round. She then jumped 6.10m before a final round foul.

 

Louise Hazel (Peterborough) is 17th overall after finishing 16th in the long jump overall with a best of 6.05m from her final go.

The javelin is next at 4.05pm before the 800m this evening.

 

In the 400m, Nicola Sanders (Windsor, Slough Eton & Hounslow), semi-finals after finishing second in 51.80 behind, of Russia, who won in 51.01.

 

Sanders said: “I wanted to be in the top two. I knew the Russian would take it out so I let her go. I relaxed in the final 100m. I felt good. I have blown away the cobwebs and I am ready for the next round.”

 

She will be joined in that next round by her British teammate Marilyn Okoro (Shaftesbury Barnet) who ran a personal best of 52.02 to finish third and qualify automatically in a race won by Olga Zaytseva, of Russia, in 50.89.

 

It was a superb run by Okoro, who made a great dent into her old best of 53.97.

 

In the women’s 100m, Anyika Onuora (Liverpool Harriers), making her major championship debut, finished third in the first round in 11.38 to progress. But it was a tough heat, won by Belgium’s Kim Gevaert, the favourite, in 11.19.

 

Gevaert ended the first round as the quickest of them all, but second fastest was Britain’s Joice Maduaka (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies) who won her heat in an impressive 11.24.

 

It was one of the most high-profile events of the morning, because in the race was Merlene Ottey, the former world 200m gold medallist, now running for Slovenia, at the age of 46. But she showed she can still do it by progressing in 11.41.

 

Emma Ania (Shaftesbury Barnet) also progressed into the semi-finals by finishing third in the third heat in 11.41 as Russian Yuliya Gushchina won in 11.29.