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Ottey gave her best, but failed to medal at Euro Championships

10 August 2006

By Gary Smith

After just failing to make it into the deciding race in the women's 100-metres at the European Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden on Wednesday, Jamaican-born Slovenian sprinter Merlene Ottey says she gave her all, but it was just not enough against some strong competitors in the event.

Winner of 35 medals in major international championships, the former Jamaican sprint legend, making her Euro championships debut, was shut-out at the semi-final stage in the dash and suggested that a lack of preparation was at fault for her failure to progress to the deciding round.

"I gave all I have," said the 46-year-old legend, who finished 5th in the first of the two semi-finals said on Wednesday evening. "I ran at 110 percent. But I lack training. You saw I was pushing at the end that is the sign that I still can run with the younger runners.

I needed maybe one more month of training and then I would make the finals," added Ottey, who clocked 11.41 in her first round for third on Tuesday.

The Slovenian also conformed that she would not contest the 200-metre dash, but added that she might still continue to compete in European if she can stay healthy and keep up with her competition fitness.

"I am not running (the) 200m, because there I would need more training. And you are asking me whether it was my last race at European championships? I can?t say," she said with a smile. "But now seriously, if my body stays healthy I want to run next year."

"I was able to achieve 11.40 after only short period of training. If I can train more and stay healthy I can ran faster times. It was a great feeling to compete at European Championships for first time, pity I could not do it already in 2002, but knee surgery stopped me four years ago."

In the meantime, Martinique-born French sprinter Ronald Pognon, who failed to get a medal in the men's race, finishing 4th in 10.16, did not face the start for the opening rounds off the men's 200m dash.

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