On an evening when five gold medals were decided in Zurich, it was a disqualification that stole the headlines on August 14. France's Mekhissi-Benabbad had originally stormed to victory in the men's 3000m steeplechase final to become a three time European champion, only to be disqualified after a successful appeal by the Spanish who objected to his premature celebrations down the final straight in the race itself. Benabbad has a record of unsavoury incidents in his career, besides the high points, but his 'crime' here was to take off his vest in celebration before crossing the line. Despite a counter appeal by the French, the disqualification was upheld and instead the gold went to his compatriot Yoann Kowal, with Zalewski of Poland promoted to silver and Mullera of Spain taking a fortuitous bronze.

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There was more positive news in the men's triple jump final, where four men went over 17 metres. France's Benjamin Compaore smashed his personal best with 17.46m in the first round and followed that up with 17.18m on his second jump to dominate the event from the start. Russians, Adams and Fyodorov, took silver and bronze, with Rapinier leaping out to 17.01m with his final jump for fourth. The men's 110m hurdles saw the hors d'oeuvre of the semis signposting the likely medallists as Sharman and Shubenkov both ran 13.16 secs (a pb for the former) in the first, followed by Lagarde running 13.17 secs in the second. Former champion Andy Turner of Britain brought the curtain down on his career in the latter semi. The pack shuffled a little in the final as Shubenkov retained his title in 13.19 secs, with Sharman edging out Lagarde for silver.

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Baji set a Hungarian National Record of 13.29 secs but was just out of the medals.  

The two other finals were in the field, where Sidorova of Russia took gold in the women's pole vault at 4.65m ahead of Steffanidi of Greece. Bronze went to Zhuk-Krasnova of Russia, who just edged out Ryzih on countback, as second to fourth placers all cleared 4.60m. The women's javelin was won by the Czech Spotakova with 64.41m, just ahead of a National Record for Serbia's Jelaca, both women overhauling the long time leader Stahl of Germany in the fifth round. Down in eighth place was GB team captain Goldie Sayers. Besides the finals, the women's heptathlon day one ended with the shot put and 200m disciplines. Solid performances of 14.29m and 25.19 secs saw Thiam lead overnight ahead of Schafer (mainly courtesy of a sparkling 23.84 secs pb in the 200m) and Broersen, with Nana Djimou and Mokhnyuk placed handily just outside the medal positions going into day two. Broersen may now be slight favourite given her expected strong second day events. 

Men's and women's 200m semi finals were also held with three Britains (Asher-Smith, Bianca and Jodie Williams) joining the favourites Schippers and Soumare in the women's final.

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In the men's equivalent, it is building up to a likely battle in the final between Lemaitre (20.26 secs) of France and Gemili (20.23 secs) of Britain, but Smelyk, Marani and Martina look likely to be in the medal hunt, as all the finalists seem to be running season's bests just at the right time. The women's 400m hurdles semi final results suggest that Child (54.71 secs) will be the slight favourite in the final, with Titimets and Rosolova also likely to feature. Similarly, the women's 800m final should be a battle between defending champion Sharp, Arzamasova and Poistogova.  #Athletics