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Benjamin struggles on return

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Tim Benjamin threw himself in at the deep end in Friday's IAAF Golden League meeting but, returning to action after a lengthy injury spell, could only finish seventh over 400 metres.

 

Benjamin bravely accepted the challenge of opening his season in Oslo against world class opposition after a leg injury meant he had not competed since last September when he finished runner-up in the World Athletics Final.

 

His time of 46.01 seconds as he struggled in the home straight was well short of his personal best of 44.56secs, which made him Europe's fastest one-lapper of the year in 2005.

 

The Welshman fought gallantly but, not surprisingly, faded in the final 50m as Jeremy Wariner, the Olympic and world champion, won in 44.31.

 

That easily held off the challenge of Chris Brown of Jamaica who clocked 44.80 with the winner's fellow American LaShaen Merritt, third in 45.44.

 

"I'm a little race-rusty and didn't know what to expect, but hopefully after a few more races things will start to come together," said Benjamin, eyeing August's European Championships title.

 

Benjamin had planned to challenge for both the Commonwealth Games and European Championships titles, until injury robbed him of the chance to compete in Melbourne.

 

However, with his first race for nine months now under his belt, still believes he can come up trumps when Gothenburg hosts the Europeans.

 

"Yes, definitely, there's a long season ahead," said Benjamin.


 
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