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UK athletes in Stockhom action

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UK athletes will expect fewer frustrations at the forthcoming European Championships in Gothenburg than an advance guard endured at the IAAF Super Grand Prix meeting in Stockholm, Sweden, on Tuesday evening, 25 July.

 

Helen Clitheroe (Preston) ran her fastest 1500m of the season but finished frustratingly outside the UK Athletics elite entry standard of 4:05.00 for the European Championships in Gothenburg. Clitheroe clocked 4:06.20 for fifth place in a race won in 3:58.96 by Maryam Jamal (Bahrain). Katrina Wootton (Bedford and County) was ninth in 4:12.72 while Hayley Tullett (Swansea Harriers) paid a heavy penalty for getting involved in a tangle of arms and legs during the first lap and finished 14th and last in 4:19.83.

 

Sam Ellis (City of Sheffield) finished outside his 800m best of 1:45.67 run at Watford last month. He clocked 1:47.44 in finishing ninth in a race won in 1:44.50 by another Bahraini star, Saad Youssef Kamel in 1:44.50.

 

And in the triple jump Phillips Idowu (Belgrave Harriers) did not rediscover the superb 17.50m form with which he won the Norwich Union European Trial event at Manchester. He finished eighth with a second round attempt of 16.49m (wind: -1.3) in a sequence in which his only other non-foul, in the final round, was measured at 16.37m (wind: -0.6). To the disappointment of the packed crowd, the reigning Olympic and European Champion, Christian Olsson (Sweden) finished third with 17.24m (wind: -0.5) in the last round. Jadel Gregorio (Brazil) won with 17.39m (wind officially 0.0), 7cm ahead of runner-up Walter Davis (USA).

 

Asafa Powell (Jamaica) will take his ambition to become the outright world 100m record holder to the Norwich Union London Grand Prix at Crystal Palace on Friday after another breath-taking victory in Stockholm. Aided by the slightest breeze (the wind speed was officially measured at +0.2 metres per second), he lowered the stadium record to 9.86 seconds, the slowest of his last three victories by a hundredth of a second!

 

Having clocked 9.77 at the Norwich Union British Grand Prix at Gateshead last month to share the world record with Justin Gatlin (USA), Powell will look for a slightly stronger backing wind in south London than he had in the 1952 Olympic Stadium tonight. A former Crystal Palace favourite, Maurice Greene (USA) set the previous Stockholm stadium record, 10.87 in 1999.

It was one of seven stadium records set on an evening when the competition was as hot as the weather.