Moreira wins 3,000 meters at European indoors

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By JIM HEINTZ, Associated Press

GOTEBORG, Sweden (AP) — Sara Moreira of Portugal won the women's 3,000 meter race at the European Indoor Athletics Championships on Sunday, dominating much of the race.

Moreira took the lead after two laps and held it for four circuits of the track, dogged much of the way by Germany's Corinna Harrer, then fell back as Belgium's Almensch Belete moved to the front.

Moreira regained the lead with five laps to go, still pursued by Harrer and a late challenge from Russia's Yelena Korobkina. Fionnuala Britton of Ireland made a charge of her own and moved ahead of the Russian in the final stretch.

Moreira finished in 8:58.50, two seconds ahead of Harrer, while Britton took bronze.

"I am so happy I didn't come fourth, as it was so close between us," Britton said.

In the men's 1,500, Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad of France kicked hard at the end to win by 0.05 seconds from Turkey's Ilham Tanui Ozbilen, who led since the opening second.

Mekhissi-Benabbad clocked 3:37.17. Simon Denissel of France was third.

Perri Shakes-Drayton of Britain won gold in the women's 400 meters. Shakes-Drayton ran the course at the Scandinavium arena in Goteborg in 50.85 seconds. She took the lead on the last turn and held off a late challenge from compatriot Eilidh Child, who won silver. Moa Hjelmer of Sweden took bronze.

Adam Kszczot of Poland defended his title in the men's 800. At the halfway mark in the race, he moved up between Spaniards Kevin Lopez and Luis Alberto Marco, who had been setting the pace. He then moved ahead of Lopez, and the two streaked ahead of the rest of the pack.

Kszczot finished in 1:48.69. Lopez was less than a second behind to take silver and Mukhtar Mohammed of Britain won bronze.

"The last lap was very fast, so I had to fight," Kszczot said.

European outdoor champion Pavel Maslak added the indoor gold to his collection in the men's 400. Nigel Levine of Britain and Russia's Pavel Trenikhin were second and third, respectively.

The women's 800-meter gold went to Natalya Lupu of Ukraine who finished in a time of 2:00.26, 0.7 seconds ahead of Yelena Kotulskaya of Russia. Marina Arzamasova of Belarus won bronze, while 2011 champion Jennifer Meadows of Britain finished fourth.

"I was a little surprised to get the gold," Lupu admitted. "The last 100 meters came from the power of God."

World champion and Olympic bronze medalist Olha Saladuha of Ukraine won the women's triple jump, with her leap of 48 feet, 10 inches, — more than 18 inches past runner-up Irina Gumenyuk of Russia. Italy's Simona La Mantia won bronze.

In women's shot put, Christina Schwanitz of Germany threw 63-2 to beat Russia's Yevgeniya Kolodko and Alena Kopets of Belarus.

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