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Athletics: European Championship 2002: Malcolm in the fast lane for 200m final spot.

CHRISTIAN Malcolm was handed a great chance to salvage his season with a place in the European 200m final when he was drawn in lane five for today's semi-final. But Great Britain teammate Darren Campbell will sit out the semi-final after being disqualified for running out of his lane in his heat.

Malcolm has had an indifferent season since sustaining an injury when winning the silver medal in the 200m final at the European Indoor Championships in Vienna in March. His form has fluctuated and he has suffered problems with his pelvis which has caused him back and leg pain.

But Malcolm was expected to make it through to tonight's final and, as he has often said, once there, the medals are there to be won or lost.

Malcolm looked relaxed in yesterday's heats but realises he must produce something special to deny hot favourite Konstantinos Kenderis (Greece) and dangerous rivals Francis Obikwelu (Portugal) and British teammate Marlon Devonish.

Campbell looked a definite medal prospect when he stormed to an easy victory in the first heat and looked relaxed as he signed autographs and T-shirts for young fans immediately after the race.

But that quiet confidence turned to despair when news of his disqualification filtered through.

There was also disappointment for Swansea Harriers' Hayley Tullet, who won silver for Wales in the Commonwealth Games 1500m. That medal was Tullett's first major championship medal, but made little difference during this morning's 1500m heats.

With only the first three in each heat progressing by right, plus the fastest three losers overall, Tullett - who was running in the third of three heats - trailed home in seventh spot in 4:10.64, more than five seconds behind the winner.

But Murphy's team-mate and fellow Welsh athlete Catherine Murphy is facing an agonising dilemma.

Murphy sustained an injury to her right foot in the 400m heat on Wednesday and after having an MRI scan in a Munich hospital, she has been told she has torn a tendon in her foot.

However she has also been told the injury is not so crucial as first thought and once the swelling goes down and the pain recedes, there is a possibility she could run in the 4x400m relay.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Aug 9, 2002
Previous Article:Athletics: European Championships 2002: Holmes in drug row with Euro outburst.
Next Article:Athletics: European Championship 2002: `Perfect' finish for Jackson.

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