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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Gurina Oldest to Win European Gold

HELSINKI -- Russian Lyubov Gurina became the oldest woman to win a European championship gold medal with a photo finish victory Wednesday in the women's 800 metres.


Gurina, 37, won the women's 800 meters gold medal at the European athletics championships in a time of 1 minute 58.55.


The final three were a Slavic triumph, with Belarus' Natalya Dukhnova finishing second, clocking the same time in the photo finish, while Lyudmila Rogachova, another Russian, came third.


Gurina, who celebrated her birthday on the eve of the championships last Saturday, held off a dramatic challenge from Natalya Dukhnova,10 years her junior, to dip at the line just millimeters ahead.


In the men's 400 meter hurdles, Ukraine's Oleg Tverdokhleb showed great stamina and speed to win in fine style, confidently raising his right arm in triumph some five meters from the tape.


Tverdokhleb clocked 48.06 seconds, a Ukrainian record, to hold off Swede Sven Nylander who took the silver in a Swedish record of 48.22. Frenchman Stephane Diagana won the bronze in 48.23.


In the women's discus throwing, Ilke Wyludda of Germany took the gold medal, while Ellina Zvereva of Belarus took the silver and Norway's Mette Bergmann the bronze.


Earlier Wednesday, world high hurdles champion Colin Jackson pulled out of Britain's 4x100 meters relay team.


Jackson said he did not want to risk a slight thigh injury he has been suffering in recent weeks.


"I had a problem with the thigh and it has been a bit tight when I sprint on the flat," Jackson said. "With the Commonwealth Games and Zurich meetings coming up, I have unfortunately had to withdraw from the team."


Jackson said, however, that he was 100 percent fit to begin the defense of his 110 hurdles title Thursday.


On Tuesday, Russian sprinter Natalya Voronova was dropped from the championships and suspended for three months because ephedrine showed up in her system during a drug test in June.


Voronova, 29, a member of the 4x100-meter winning relay team at last year's world championships, was one of eight athletes the European Athletics Association said failed drug tests.


A test carried out after a track meet in June in Granada, Spain, showed Voronova had used a substance that contained ephedrine. Ephedrine, which can relieve nasal congestion and asthma, occurs in many over-the-counter diet and bronchial medications, but is banned in Olympic sports.


British sprinter Salomon Wariso and Aham Okeke, a Nigerian-born Norwegian sprinter who was a potential medal contender in both the 100 meters and 200 meters here, were also given three-month suspensions.


Last week, Okeke was withdrawn from the European Championships after it was announced that he had tested positive for ephedrine following a Grand Prix meet in Stockholm, Sweden. Wariso, Britain's 200-meter champion, was withdrawn by the British Federation after failing a similar test for ephedrine.


Four-year suspensions were given Marian Florea of Romania, Pjotr Perzylo of Poland, Vladimira Malatova of the Czech Republic and Hedvika Korosak of Slovenia. Ellen Kovacs of Romania was found to have used ephedrine and was withdrawn before the championships. (AP, Reuters)