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Mehdi Baala defends 1,500 m title

<p">The Frenchman

Mehdi Baala defended his Eurpean Championships’ title in the one and only

running decision of the day. The 27 year-old ran the 1,500 m in 3:39,02 minutes

and beat the Ukrainian favourite Ivan Heshko, who finished second in 3:39,50

minutes. Third was the Spaniard Juan Carlos Higuero with 3:39,62.

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<p">The Spanish

runners were the ones who took the initiative from the beginning. Arturo Casado

took the lead ahead of his countrymen Sergio Gallardo and Juan Carlos Higuero. Ivan

Heshko ran more reserved in the beginning as well as Mehdi Baala. After 800 meters

both were getting further in front into positions two and three.

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<p">“A dream has

come true,” said Baala, who started the decisive move 300 meters ahead of the

finish. It was then not possible for the others to catch him again. Heshko

tried to close the gap but could only manage to pass Spain’s Higuero. „I

managed to defend my title, and I am very happy about it. I can’t believe it,”

Baala said. He is now the only runner besides Steve Cram (Great Britain)  who has won two European golds at 1,500

metres.

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