Tomlinson suffers European woe

Former bronze medallist Chris Tomlinson failed to reach the final of the long jump at the European Championships in Helsinki.


He finished 13th overall with a jump of 7.84m – five centimetres short of Barcelona silver medal winner Kafetien Gomis, who scraped through in the last available spot.

Britain will however have a representative in the final in the form of Jj Jegede, who recorded a season’s best of 8.01 to finish fifth. Julian Reid was 21st with his own SB of 7.73.

British medal hope Abi Oyepitan eased into the semi-finals of the women’s 200m.

Oyepitan, 32, whose career has been blighted by injuries, won her heat in 23.05 to go fourth fastest overall in the five heats.

Of course many athletes ease off when they know they are through, but it was nevertheless an impressive showing from the 2004 Olympic finalist.

Daniel Talbot and Chris Clarke were ninth and 10th fastest overall with almost identical times in claiming semi-final places in the men’s 200.

Talbot won his heat in 20.82 while Clarke’s 20.83 gave him second in his heat behind Patrick van Luijk of the Netherlands.

All three Britons feature in the semis in the afternoon/evening session.

Lawrence Okoye easily qualified for the final of the men’s discus with 64.86, while British compatriots Brett Morse and Abdul Buhari were around four metres short of the eventual required distance in finishing 23rd and 24th respectively in the combined list.

And there was further woe for Sarah Holt in the hammer after her poor showing in the British Trials last weekend.

She finished 22nd by well over a metre despite three legal throws – with only the thrice-fouling Silvia Salis and Laura Redondo worse than her on the day.

World record holder and defending champion Betty Heidler failed to reach the final after two fouls and a poor third throw.

A packed afternoon/evening session features 12 finals.

British star Robbie Grabarz and compatriot Samson Oni will challenge for the high jump, while the nation also has Goldie Sayers competing in the javelin.

Richard Buck – reinstated on appeal after disqualification for running out of lane in the 400m heats – is another British hope, while Lee McConnell goes in the women’s one-lap.

Jemma Simpson and Lynsey Sharp feature in the 800m while Nathan Woodward and Rhys Williams will go head to head in the 400m hurdles in a bid to secure the final British Olympic spot in that discipline.

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