Pavey the golden girl of European champs

Britain's Jo Pavey has become the oldest ever female gold winner at the European Athletics Championships after winning the 10,000m final.

Just a month short of her 41st birthday, Britain's Jo Pavey ran her way into the record books at the European Athletics Championships by becoming the oldest ever female gold winner in the history of the continental event.

The mother of two saved her attack on the opening night of the championships for the last of the 25 laps in the women's 10,000m final and pulled clear in the home straight to win in 32 minutes 32.39 seconds, with French duo Clemence Calvin (32:23.58) and Laila Traby (32:26.03) taking silver and bronze.

In doing so, Pavey eclipsed the record as the oldest ever female gold medallist, previously held by Russia's Irina Khaborova, who was 40 years and 27 days when she helped win the 4 x 100m relay in 1994.

Pavey, who gave birth to her second child in September last year, is 40 years and 325 days.

"It's just unbelievable," she said.

"I just gritted my teeth when we came to the bell and went for it."

The first gold of the championships came in the final of the men's shot put, as Germany's David Storl's opening round effort of 21.41m proved sufficient for the win.

The chase for medals in the men's 100m promises to be a Franco-British fight.

All five first round heats were won by French or British sprinters.

The fastest was European indoor 60m champion Jimmy Vicaut (10.06), and of his French team-mate Christophe Lemaitre (10.16) and the Britons Dwain Chambers (10.18), Harry Aikines-Aryeetey (10.19) and James Dasaolou (10.22).

In the first round of the women's 100m, the French sprinter Myriam Soumare clocked the fastest time, 11.03, ahead of Dutch favourite Dafne Schippers (11.10).

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