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Sun Apr 20 08:22:55 SAST 2014

Farah retains title as seven sprinters disqualified

Reuters | 28 June, 2012 07:570 Comments
21st European Athletics Championships - Day One
Mo Farah of Great Britain and Hayle Ibrahimov of Azerbaijan compete in the Men's 5000 Metre Final during day one of the 21st European Athletics Championships at the Olympic Stadium on June 27, 2012 in Helsinki, Finland
Image by: Alexander Hassenstein / Bongarts/Getty Images

Briton Mo Farah retained his 5000 metres title at the European athletics championships on Wednesday while seven athletes were disqualified in the men’s 400 metres heats for running outside their lanes.

World champion Farah cruised to victory nearly two seconds ahead of Germany’s Arne Gabiuis, running the final lap in under 60 seconds to win the only gold medal decided on the opening day.

  Seven athletes were disqualified in the five heats of the 400 metres and Briton Luke Lennon-Ford told reporters that it had been virtuallly impossible to stay in the lanes as the track was too narrow.

  “One of the Finnish radio reporters told me they’ve changed the curve and they have blatantly made it too tight,” he said.

  “I was only going 85% around the top bend and had to cut back to 65% around the next.”

 His team mate Richard Buck was reinstated after successfully appealing the decision to disqualify him.

  British steeplechaser Luke Gunn was forced to retire when he hit a barrier early in his race and will now miss the Olympics.

  “It’s been the sole aim for the last four or five years and I’m absolutely devastated,” he said.

  French 100 metres defending champion Christophe Lemaitre won his first round heat in 10,14 seconds ahead of team mate Jimmy Vicaut.

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