Europa Cup: Devonish 20.33

MUNICH, Germany, June 24, 2007 - British sprinter Marlon Devonish admitted he has a tough decision to make ahead of August’s World Championships in Japan despite winning the 200 metres at the European Cup here on Sunday.
Devonish held off the challenge of France’s former European Under-23 champion David Alerte to win in 20.33 seconds - the fastest time in Europe this season.
But now the 31-year-old said he is unsure whether to compete in the 100 or 200 metres in Osaka later this August and is desperate to come back from the far east with a medal.
I can't decide which event to run,'' said Devonish, captain of the British team which finished fourth in the men's event as France successfully defended the European Cup while Russia's women picked up their eleventh consecutive win. I was a great race and I am really satisfied with the result,’’ added Devonish. But a time like that wouldn’t have been good enough to win a medal in Osaka where the winner will probably need to go below 20 seconds.
I have been to a few World Championships and never got anywhere near 200 metres medal, so I really want to come away from Osaka with something.'' Devonish said he will decide later this summer, but admitted he felt obliged to add 200 metres success to his share of Saturday's 4x100 relay win having clammed up after just 30 seconds of his captain's speech on Friday. Although France and Germany's men's teams both finished with 116 points, the French retained their title by virtue of more a better over-all performance, as Poland finished third. Russia's women again dominated, finishing with a 20-point advantage over second-placed France as the Russians won seven of the 20 events and Germany finished third. Earlier in the day, France's 110 metres world champion Ladji Doucoure won the hurdles with his season's best time of 13.35 seconds, leaving Britain's Andy Turner to finish second. Only a photo finish separated the first four in the men's 800 metres as Poland's 2002 European Indoor champion Pawel Czapiewski came from behind to win in a time of one minute 49 seconds from Britain's Michael Rimmer. Germany's former World Indoor champion Tim Lobinger won the pole vault from France's Romain Mesnil with a height of 5.70m to keep his country's points tally ticking over. And Russia's Aleksandr Petrenko had to leap his personal best of 17.29m to win the triple jump and hold off the challenge of Britain's Phillips Idowu, the reigning Commonwealth Games champion. In the women's competition, Russian hammer thrower Tatyana Lysenko admitted she was disappointed not to break her own world record, but says her goal is to beat her mark in Osaka. Lysenko - who set the women's world hammer record of 78.61 metres last month in Sochi, Russia - won in Munich with her third throw of 75.86m. I am a little disappointed with the result,’’ said the 23-year-old, who wants to beef up in a bid to claim a world title.
I could have done better, but I won eight points for my team. My opponents were very strong, especially (Germany's) Betty Heidler (who finished second with 73.55 metres). My next goal is to win in Osaka and throw a new record there. For that I need to gain more weight.’’
France’s former European champion Muriel Hurtis-Houairi was pleased with her 200 metres win as she ran a season’s best 22.83 seconds to move closer to World Championships qualification after holding off second-placed Russian Natalya Rusakova.
``I didn’t realise the wind was so strong, it was tough out there, but I am getting closer to the World Championships standard, so I am pleased,’’ said the 28-year-old.
Britain’s 20-year-old Craig Pickering was voted the male athlete of the two-day event after he ran a personal best of 10.15 seconds to win the 100 metres, before helping Britain to 4x100 relay victory on Saturday.
And Germany’s javelin thrower Christina Obergfoell was voted the best female athlete after she broke her own European record with a new mark of 70.2 metres.