Perri Shakes-Drayton wins double gold in European Indoors

 

Perri Shakes-Drayton sealed double gold at the European Indoor Championships, winning the individual 400m in 50.85 seconds and the 4x400m relay.

In the individual race Eilidh Child won silver in 51.42 with Shana Cox sixth, before the trio won relay gold with Christine Ohuruogu in a British record.

Analysis - UK Athletics head coach Peter Eriksson on 5 live

"We said we were going to do better and we did a little better than last time (France 2011) with one more gold medal. Eight medals is what we can expect. It's early in the season, we have a young team. I'm really happy with it. All of the women went to the final and only three of the guys didn't, so that's a great achievement. We're in great shape because we have a lot of young athletes coming up through the system."

Britain also took gold in the men's 4x400m after being briefly disqualified for an infringement.

Nigel Levine won silver in the 400m and Mukhtar Mohammed took 800m bronze.

In all, Britain won eight medals, with Holly Bleasdale's pole vault title on Saturday making it four golds alongside three silvers and a bronze.

The women's 4x400m team, led off by Child, led from the very first leg to win in a new championship record of three minutes 27.56 seconds, finishing 0.22 ahead of Russia, with Czech Republic getting bronze.

Shortly afterwards the men's team of Michael Bingham, Richard Buck, Levine, who ran a superb third leg to put them in the lead, and Richard Strachan clocked 3:06.96 to finish more than half a second clear of Russia. They were initially disqualified because Buck came off the track but that was overturned when it emerged he had been knocked by a Polish rival.

Britain's women win gold in the 4x400m relay final

British quartet win relay gold

Earlier in the day, it was London-born Shakes-Drayton, a 400m hurdles specialist, who caught the eye with her first individual gold at a major championship.

"A lot of people were tipping me for gold," she told BBC Sport. "I said I can't be too complacent - I just wanted to stay out of trouble.

"I just hope it will benefit me when it comes to the outdoors really."

While Shakes-Drayton was one of the favourites heading into her race, Levine had to produce a season's best to take silver in the men's race.

"I can't believe it," the Bedford athlete said. "It's the first time I've made the European final and to get silver, I'm speechless.

"They're all humans, they're all beatable. I just went out there, did my best and finished second with a season's best from lane three."

Asha Philip matched her personal best in reaching the final of the 60m in a tight field finishing sixth, while Chris Tomlinson came in seventh in the long jump, with a leap of 7.95m.

GB men's relay team member Michael Bingham (right)

GB men claim Euro Indoor relay gold

However, there was disappointment for 800m runner Jenny Meadows, who finished fourth in her final in a time of 2:01.52.

She led after three laps but faded badly and was overtaken in the final 200m as Ukraine's Nataliya Lupu won the gold medal in 2:00.26.

Meadows was the defending champion, having had her silver medal from Paris in 2011 upgraded when Russian athlete Yevgeniya Zinurova failed a drugs test.

However, she missed the 2012 season through injury and only made her competitive comeback at the British Athletics Birmingham Grand Prix in February.

"It's a difficult situation - I've only been running for 12 weeks," said Meadows. "I said in my team captain's speech not to leave any energy on the track.

"It is really a lack of preparation which costs me because once she went past me and a bend comes up. it's very difficult.

"It dents my ego - I'm a better athlete than that."