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Fifa gold, Mechaal, silver, in the 5,000m in Euro Championships

The race was tight and had to be ruled by a four-way photo finish to decide who was the European champion and how the medals were shared out.

Fifa gold, Mechaal, silver, in the 5,000m in Euro Championships

An agonising finish to the 5,000 metres at the European Championships in Amsterdam saw Spaniards Ilias Fifa and Adel Mechaal clinch a one-two. But, so close was the race that this was only decided on a photo-finish between the leading four runners.

Gold went to Fifa - born in Tangier 27 years ago but who has been running as a Spanish national since 2015 - with a time of 13:40.85. Meshaal, in second place, was clocked with the same time and the bronze medal went to German runner, Richard Ringer.

As the athletes waited on the track for the decision to be announced the tension was clear. And as Fifa realised that the gold was his, he could not hold back his emotions.

Views from the runners

Later, once he managed to compose himself Ilias spoke to the media:

"I have the fastest time in Europe in the 5000m and now I've also won the European title in that distance. I am currently the king of the 5000m in Europe. The race was complicated because there was a lot of pushing around, however I am used to that. This year I worked a lot on my finish and on the tactical aspects of the race. It paid off. This is fantastic."

Meshaal also shared his feelings: "I am happy that I got the medal, but I am not happy that I got silver. I was aiming for gold. I was in the lead but in the last 100m I tripped, so I am not completely happy with the result. I am now training for Rio with Mo Farah (GBR) and I hope to finish in the top eight."


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