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UK Athletics

Devonish cruises through qualifying

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Marlon Devonish (Coventry Godiva) sailed into the second round of the 200 metres at the European Championships in Gothenburg on Wednesday morning by equalling his quickest time of the year.


Devonish gave the Norwich Union Great Britain and Northern Ireland team hope of another medal with a run that did all it needed to, he attacked over the first 50m to establish a lead, took control into the home turn and then eased down.


But he still crossed the line in 20.53, to beat Germany's Sebastian Ernst, who was second in 20.67 with Eddy de Lepine, of France, third in 20.70.


Even though Devonish won the sprint double at the Norwich Union European Trials in Manchester, he opted only for the 200m, his more favoured distance.


He qualified with the fastest time of the morning and said: 'I felt very comfortable. It was down to the basics and I am totally satisfied.'


In the next heat, Ronald Pognon, of France, did not start because of injury and in that race Rikki Fifton (Victoria Park and Tower Hamlets), 21, who fourth in last year's European Juniors, progressed into tonight's second round by finishing third in 21.02, in a race won by Ivan Teplykh, of Russia, in 20.71.


Tim Abeyie (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies) also made it through, finishing fourth in his heat in 21.03, qualifying automatically, as Francis Obikwelu, of Portgual, the 100m champion, won in 20.78.


Britain's two representatives in the men's 3000m steeplechase did not progress through to the final, from two competitive semi-finals.

In the first, Jermaine Mays (Kent), 23, on his major Championship debut, was ninth in 8:41.70 as Simon Vroemen, from the Netherlands, won 8:29.62.


Adam Bowden (Harrow), who was ninth in this year's Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, was 10th here in 8:35.79 as the race was won in 8:24.12.


Two athletes seeking medals on Wednesday evening for Britain will be Tim Benjamin (Belgrave Harriers) in the final of the 400m and Natasha Danvers-Smith (Shaftesbury Barnet) in the 400m hurdles, while Joice Maduaka (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies) will be aiming to reach the final of the 100m.


In the women's pole vault, Kate Dennison (Sale Harriers) was unlucky not to make the final with a clearance of 4.30m in Group A, she finished in eighth position. Ellie Spain (Shaftesbury Barnet) was 14th in Group B, after clearing 4.00m.