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Sports

Germany clinches silver and three bronze in Barcelona

Germany has won one silver and two bronze medals at the European Athletics Championships in Barcelona. Achievements in javelin, heptathlon, hurdles and shot-putt bring the tally to 11.

Matthias De Zordo during qualification

De Zordo surprized many, including himself, with his throw

German athletes won four more medals on Saturday – a silver and three bronze, bringing the country's medal total to 11.

The biggest surprize, and success, of the day was a silver medal for javelin thrower Matthias de Zordo, who managed to throw a distance of 87.81 meters.

De Zordo was beaten only by Olympic champion Andreas Thorkildsen from Norway, who achieved a distance of 88.37 meters. Just behind de Sordo was Finland's Tero Pitkamaki on 86.61 meters.

"I still need a couple of days to take it in," said de Zordo, adding that he had exceeded his own expectations for the day. "Today I got up and my legs were heavy. I thought 'It's not going to happen', but it felt great to throw."

Heptathlete Jennifer Oeser

Oeser managed an impressive score and a bronze medal

De Zordo's trainer Boris Henry expressed surprize, noting that the athlete typically throws 75 meters. "He really is the competitive type," said Henry. "In competition he gives not just 100 percent, but rather 150 percent."

Outstanding score

Heptathlete Jennifer Oeser won the European bronze a year after winning silver in the World Championships in Berlin.

The 23-year-old's point score of 6683 was a personal best and the best result for a German female heptathlete since Sabine Braun's gold medal World Championship victory in Athens in 1997.

"This is crazy, including the score," said Oeser. "Now I am motivated for the years to come."

Female hurdler Carolin Nytra competing at the games

Female hurdler Carolin Nytra had strong opposition

Gold went to World Champion Jessica Ennis, from Great Britain, while silver went to Olympic winner Nataliya Dobrynska from Ukraine.

Tough track and field competition

Female hurdler Carolin Nytra had been Germany's great gold medal hope, but the competition was tough in the 100 meter finals. In the end, the second best time of her career, 12.68 seconds, was only enough to win Nytra bronze. "Obviously I wanted more," she said. "But it is a medal."

Surprize gold winner was Nevin Yanet from Turkey, who won with a time of 12.63 seconds. Silver went to Irish athlete and former world champion Derval O'Rourke.

Shot-putter Ralf Bartel

Shot-putt colossus Ralf Bartel was pleased to win bronze

Defending his shot-putting title earned at the European Championships in 2006 was Ralf Bartels. Despite finishing in third place with a throwing distance of 20.93 meters, the 32-year-old was not too disappointed. "My aim was a medal and it worked out," he said.

Gold went to Belarusian Andrei Mikhnevich (21.01 meters) and silver to Tomasz Majewski from Poland (21.00 meters).

The number of medals so far is already Germany's highest in athletics competitions since the European Championships in Munich in 2002, when Germany won 19 medals.

Germany currently stands fourth in the medals tables - both in terms of its medal total of 11 and gold total of three. Russia stands in first place for both, with 21 medals in all of which eight are gold.

Author: Richard Connor (SID/dpa/AFP)

Editor: Nigel Tandy

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