Britain maintained its supremacy in the men’s events at the European track and field championships as Kriss Akabusi won the 400-meter hurdles and Tom McKean took the 800 meters Wednesday.
Akabusi ran the hurdles in a British national record 47.92 seconds. McKean won the 800 in 1:44.76, lifting Britain’s total to four golds from the men’s events after three days of competition.
Akabusi, 32, led from start to finish in the hurdles, being chased by two Swedes who had to settle for silver and bronze. Sven Nylander was second and Niklas Wallenlind third.
The British star knelt and cried when his time was announced, then jumped up and ran around the track carrying his country’s flag.
“I was hoping to win, but this is a fantastic time and I am just overwhelmed,” he said.
McKean used his kick 300 meters from the finish and only teammate David Sharpe stayed close behind, placing second in 1:45.59.
Yvonne Murray won the women’s 3,000 in 8:43.06, giving the British team an overall total of five golds.
But the East German women won three golds Wednesday for a team total of seven.
Grit Breuer, 18, set a world junior record as she won the women’s 400 in 49.50. She bettered her own time by one-tenth of a second.
Veteran Sigrun Wodars won the 800 in 1:55.87, and Ilke Wyludda, at 21 another newcomer, took the discus with 224 feet 8 inches for the East German women’s team.
Ulf Timmermann got the East German men’s first gold with a 69-11 1/2 effort in the shotput.
The other women’s gold went to Anna Rita Sidoti of Italy for the women’s 10-kilometer walk, in 44 minutes.
Christian Plaziat of France dominated the decathlon with a total of 8,574 points for a French national record.