Martyn Rooney wins 400m Euro gold, Ohuruogu misses out

By Tom FordyceChief sports writer in Zurich
European Championships: Martyn Rooney wins European 400m gold

Britain's Martyn Rooney stormed to European 400m gold with his young team-mate Matt Hudson-Smith in silver before world champion Christine Ohuruogu just missed out on a medal.

Rooney ran a beautifully judged race from lane three to come away down the home straight and take his first major title in a big season's best of 44.71 seconds.

"I'm delighted to win it," he told BBC Sport. "It's been a long time coming - I've never won a championships in my life, only British trials, so it's great to win on this stage."

Hudson-Smith, at 19 years old the breakthrough star of the summer, knocked 0.22 seconds off his own personal best to extend Britain's rich heritage in this event.

It was GB's first one-two in the European 400m since Du'ane Ladejo beat Roger Black in Helsinki 20 years ago, and a first gold since Iwan Thomas's win in Budapest in 1998.

Ohuruogu has described this as a "light" year, and she was never in touch with Libania Grenot as the Italian sprung a surprise from lane three.

The 31-year-old went out hard but hung on in the last few yards as pre-race favourite Olha Zemlyak and Indira Terrero just out-dipped the Briton for the medals.

"I'm disappointed to finish outside the medals but not heartbroken," said Ohuruogu.

"I was here for something to do. Training at home gets tedious so I thought I would come out and test myself. It's foolish to have a complete year out which I would like ideally."

European Championships: Christine Ohuruogu misses out on 400m medal

On a fresh evening, Grenot - who was born in Cuba, and competed for them at the 2005 Worlds before marrying an Italian - took her first international gold in 51.10 secs, Zemlyak's 51.36 edging her silver from Terrero's 51.38 - the same time as Ohuruogu but ahead on the photo-finish.

Hudson-Smith's inexperience had almost cost him his place on the podium after he appeared to false start, but he was given a yellow card for a technical offence rather than a red for exclusion.

In his first major individual final he closed in on Rooney over the last 30 metres to within four hundredths of second.

But Rooney, despite having an empty lane outside him after Belgium's Jonathan Borlee pulled his hamstring in the warm-up, produced his fastest time since his sixth place at the 2008 Olympics and would not be denied.

Israel's Donald Sanford took bronze, with Britain's third man, Conrad Smith, 0.26 seconds off a medal in fifth.

Indira Terrero of Spain, Christine Ohuruogu of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Olha Zemlyak of Ukraine and Libania Grenot of Italy

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