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Obikwelu storms to 100m triumph

8 August 2006

Portugal's Francis Obikwelu was crowned European 100m champion after blitzing the rest of the field in Gothenburg.

Obikwelu, the Olympic silver medallist, was last out of the blocks but came through in fine style to take gold in a championship best 9.99 seconds.

Russia's Andrey Yepishin took silver with Slovenia's Matic Osovnikar third.

Britain's Mark Lewis-Francis took fifth in 10.16 while Dwain Chambers, who had won European gold four years ago, trailed home seventh in 10.24.

Obikwelu inherited Chambers' European title after the Briton was stripped of gold for taking banned steroids.

"Now I have my own 100 metres European gold medal," said Obikwelu.

"After the silver in Munich, I wanted this gold in Gothenburg badly. In my head, it is still the silver medal that I won in Munich."

"I feel on top of the world. This is a great day for me - I've been working four years for this."

Lewis-Francis, whose time was his season's best, was phlegmatic in defeat.

He said: "I'm not happy with that - I came here to get a medal."

"But a season's best at the major champs - I can't ask for more than that."

"It's coming, but it's coming too late. Improvements are coming out slowly - you'll see the best of me next year."

Chambers struggled through to the final by coming fourth in his heat and was never in contention in the final.

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