European Team Championships: GB secure third place

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Porter and relay teams win for GB

Great Britain secured third place at the European Team Championships after wins for sprint hurdler Tiffany Porter and both 4x400m relay squads.

The GB team, who were third overnight, ended the weekend in Gateshead on 338 points, 9.5pts behind Germany and 16.5 behind winners Russia.

It was Britain's best points total in the four editions of the new format of the competition.

But they missed departing head coach Peter Eriksson's aim of a top-two spot.

The blustery and wet conditions caused all sorts of problems with the men's pole vault and women's high jump having to be held indoors.

On the track, Porter ran an impressive 12.62 seconds in the blustery and wet conditions to win the 100m hurdles - an improvement on her European leading mark of 12.74, although there was an illegal following wind of +2.6m/s.

"I'm really pleased with that race," she said. "I'm feeling good, I've been working on certain elements of my race and it's all coming together. I'm pretty confident about the rest of the season."

The women's relay quartet of Eilidh Child, Shana Cox, Meghan Beesley and Christine Ohuruogu led from start to finish as they crossed the line in three minutes and 28.60 seconds, nearly a second clear of Russia.

The men were equally dominant as Michael Bingham, Conrad Williams, Rhys Williams and Richard Buck won in a European leading time of 3:05.37.

Teenager Emelia Gorecka held off the challenge of the experienced German Sabrina Mockenhaupt to finish second in the 5,000m while Sophie Hitchon set a new British hammer record of 72.97m to finish third in her event.

"I've been chasing that 72-metre barrier for a while now so I'm really pleased to have finally got it," she said.

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Hitchon breaks British hammer record

There were also third-place finishes for Shara Proctor (long jump), Anyika Onuora (200m), Andrew Osagie (800m and Nathan Douglas (triple jump).

Eriksson, who is leaving to return to his native Canada for family reasons, was full of praise for the younger members of his team.

"I think it was good; we had more points than we expected and a lot of the youngsters stepped up with really great performances," he said. "We were unlucky with a couple of injuries to Holly Bleasdale and in the men's 3,000m steeplechase but we did the best we could.

"All of the youngsters really stepped up, with Emelia Gorecka today and Jessica Judd and Charlie Grice yesterday putting in excellent performances."

EUROPEAN TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS

AFTER DAY TWO OF TWO

1. Russia 354.5 pts, 2. Germany 347.5, 3. Great Britain 338, 4. France 310.5, 5. Poland 305.5, 6. Ukraine 291.5, 7. Italy 260.5, 8. Spain 251, 9. Turkey 197.5, 10 Belarus 155.5, 11. Greece 152, 12. Norway 137

HOW THE CHAMPIONSHIPS WORK

There are 20 men's and 20 women's events. Winners of individual events and relays score 12 points, with second place getting 11 points, continuing down to one point. A nation's score is the total combined points of its men and women.

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