European Team Championships: Phillips Idowu helps GB claim fifth

Triple jumper Phillips Idowu said he was happy to be back in a Great Britain vest as GB finished fifth at the European Team Championships.

The 35-year-old managed a leap of 16.37m to finish fourth in the German city of Braunschweig on Sunday, as he represented GB for the first time since the 2012 London Olympics.

Idowu, who took a break from the sport last year, said: "It's always an honour to put on the red, white and blue."

Germany won the event from Russia.

Britain finished third when the competition was staged at Gateshead last year but fielded a developmental squad this time.

The 2009 world champion and 2008 Beijing Olympic silver medallist competed just once in 2013 before deciding to "take a step back from athletics".

There was doubt as to whether he would compete again after he lost his lottery funding, but Idowu is hoping to jump at the Commonwealth Games and European Championships this summer.

Great Britain's performances at the European Team Championships

2009

Leira, Portugal

Third

2010

Bergen, Norway

Second

2011

Stockholm, Sweden

Fourth

2013

Gateshead, Great Britain

Third

2014

Braunschweig, Germany

Fifth

"Today didn't go as well as I would have liked," he told BBC Sport. "I still feel I have a lot in my legs. I haven't quite really nailed it yet but I'll keep pushing on.

"I'm enjoying it here and just want to keep going."

Idowu fell out with former GB head coach Charles van Commenee in the build-up to London 2012, where he failed to qualify for the final despite being favourite for gold.

"I needed a break and time to myself to freshen up," he said.

"I have no plan - I am just winging it right now. It's exciting for British athletics now and I'm happy to be part of it."

There were no GB winners on the final day of the competition, and the team were overtaken by Poland in the overall standings having been in fourth position overnight.

William Sharman

William Sharman (left) is now the third-fastest Briton of all time in the 110m hurdles

William Sharman, 29, set a new personal best of 13.21 secs as he finished second in the 110 metres hurdles, just 0.01 behind Russia's Sergey Shubenkov.

Sharman's time makes him the third-fastest British 110m hurdler of all time, behind Colin Jackson and Tony Jarrett.

James Ellington was third in the 200m in 20.60 secs, while Anyika Onuora also came third in the women's race, running 23.24 secs.

There were fourth-place finishes for Sophie Hitchon (hammer), Jonny Mellor (3000m), plus the men's and women's 4 x 400m relay teams.

Team captain Hannah England finished fifth in the 1500m and then watched her husband, Luke Gunn, place fifth in the 3000m steeplechase. Late replacement Beth Potter came fifth in the 5000m.

There were eighth-place finishes for Serita Solomon (100m hurdles), Brett Morse (discus), while Lee Doran (javelin) and Jazmin Sawyers (javelin) both came ninth.

Isobel Pooley (high jump) and Mukhtar Mohammed (800m) were 11th, with Rachel Wallader (shot put) 12th.

Steve Lewis failed to register a height in the pole vault.

European Team Championships. Final standings

  • Germany: 371 points
  • Russia: 359.5
  • France: 295.4
  • Poland: 293.5
  • Great Britain: 281.5
  • Ukraine: 272.7
  • Italy: 246.5
  • Spain: 219.5
  • Sweden: 212
  • Czech Republic: 208.5
  • Netherlands: 208
  • Turkey: 137.5