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Sebrle defends his decathlon crown

Sebrle defends his decathlon crown

At 31, Roman Sebrle showed he still had what it takes in winning three individual events and successfully defending his European Championship decathlon title on Friday.
Over two days, mostly cold and wet, the Czech completed the 10 disciplines to win with 8,526 points, well below his 2001 world record of 9,026.
"That wasn't weather for 8,800 points so I am totally satisfied with my title defense and score over 8,500 points," Sebrle said. "We had repeated rain interruptions so it was a tough competition."
He won the long jump, javelin, and sharing first place in the high jump with four others. Sebrle has scored more than 8,500 in 17 decathlons. Hungary's Attila Zsivoczky took silver with 8,356.
Zsivoczky, who was only seventh after five events. Aleksey Drozdov of Russia was third with a personal best of 8,350.
"I lost the silver in the javelin," said Drozdov, who notched six personal bests. "I wanted to throw about six meters more for about 90 points. That would have meant silver easy."
Sebrle came into the second day leading by 161 points. The four behind him were all within 21 of each other.
Germany's Stefan Drews won the day's opening 110 hurdles in 14.20, moving him from eighth to fifth overall. Countryman Pascal Behrenbruch crossed second in 14.25 to vault from fifth into second. Sebrle was third in 14.27, increasing his lead to 190 points.
Looking average, Sebrle was fifth in the discus, won by Aleksey Sysoyev.
As expected, Drews, a 5.55 pole vaulter, also won the pole vault with 5.30 and was in medal contention, until he bungled in the javelin and ended any hope of a podium finish.
Sebrle vaulted 4.80 with plenty to spare, and cleared 5 meters on only his third attempt. The Czech settled for third, and though his lead was trimmed to 113 points he was happy.
"My proudest result was in the pole vault where I managed 5 meters," Sebrle said.
Sebrle cemented his title by winning the javelin with 66.90 and beating Russian Aleksandr Pogorelov by 83 points.
Pogorelov, who was second heading into the final 1,500 event, dropped out of the medals when he finished next-to-last in 4.59.61, slipping to fourth overall with a season best of 8,245.
A poor 1,500 also Pogorelov at the 2005 worlds, when he dropped from third to fifth.
Zsivoczky finished seventh in 4.28.52 to snatch the silver ahead of Drozdov.
Pride of Belgium
Kim Gevaert completed a sprint double when she won the women's 200 meters on a remarkable Friday night for Belgian athletes at the European Championships.
Gevaert was never threatened, cruising home in 22.68 seconds, and fell into an embrace with Tia Hellebaut, a fellow Belgian who won the high jump moments earlier. No Belgian woman had won a European outdoor title before Gevaert's triumph in the 100 on Wednesday - and it was Belgium's first gold in 35 years. Two days later, Belgium has three gold medals.
"At home, everybody is crazy because of my 100 gold medal. I wonder what is going on right now in Belgium with three gold medals," said Gevaert, who had a pair of silver medals in the two sprints four years ago. "Three gold medals are just wonderful for such a small country.
"Before the start I was watching the high jump and screamed when my friend Tia won the gold medal. Seeing her gave me so much motivation two minutes before my own start."
Hellebaut cleared 2.03 meters to win the best women's high jump competition in the history of European championships and set national and meet marks.
"I still do not believe what is going on here. I wanted to make a medal and jump a national record and now I am the gold medalist and jumped 2.03 meters!" Hellebaut said.