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European Track and Field Championships : Cram Defeats Coe to Retain 1,500-Meter Title

September 01, 1986| From Times Wire Services

STUTTGART, West Germany — Steve Cram of Britain retained his 1,500-meter title Sunday by beating compatriot Sebastian Coe on the last day of the European Track and Field Championships.

He began his kick with 300 meters to go and Coe had to settle for the silver medal. Han Kulker of the Netherlands took the bronze medal.

Cram, who won in 1982 in Athens, was timed in a slow 3 minutes 41.09 seconds, ahead of Coe's 3:41.67 and Kulker's 3:42.11.

"I was very determined to win today after the disappointment in the 800," said Cram, who had earlier finished third to Coe in the 800.

"Maybe this proves that Seb is best in the 800 and that I am really a 1,500-meter runner, but I didn't want to go home without a win," he added.

Jack Buckner was the surprise winner of the 5,000 meters. His victory, plus Cram's, gave Britain every individual men's flat track title from 100 meters to 5,000 meters with the exception of the 200 meters.

The day's most dramatic performance was by a British team in the men's 1,600-meter relay final, the last event of the meet.

Brian Whittle, replacing an injured teammate, lost a running shoe on the second exchange and completed the third leg without it.

Still, the British team kept up with the powerful West Germans and scored a dazzling success when 400-meter champion Roger Black blasted past Ralf Lubke on the home straight and repeatedly thrust his arm skyward in delight.

"It was just fantastic," Black said. "I feel as though I can do anything right now. I might even run for prime minister."

The high jump competition, which was plagued by rain in the early going, lasted for more than three hours. World record-holder Igor Paklin of the USSR, won his first major title with a jump of 7-feet-8.

East Germany won the women's 400-meter relay in 41.84, the best time in the world this year. However, the team of Silke Gladisch, Sabine Guenther-Rieger, Ingrid Auerswald and Marlies Gohr was short of its world record of 41.37.

Hartwig Gauder of East Germany, the 1980 Olympic champion, won the 50-kilometer walk in 3:40:55.

The Soviets won 12 medals Sunday, including four golds, and East Germany and Britain won three golds each.

The meet ended with the Soviets leading the standings with 11 golds, 13 silvers and 12 bronze, followed by East Germany with 11 golds, 10 silvers and 8 bronze.

Britain had its best-ever showing taking eight golds, two silvers and five bronzes.

The athletes joined the crowd in doing the wave during the closing ceremonies. The next European Championships are scheduled for 1990 in Split, Yugoslavia.

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