- Associated Press - Saturday, June 21, 2014

BRAUNSCHWEIG, Germany (AP) - German hopes of winning the European athletics team championships are high with a three-point lead over defending champion Russia after 21 of 40 events on Saturday.

David Storl delighted the home crowd by taking the men’s shot put with a throw of 21.20 meters, Christian Reif won the long jump with 8.13 meters, and Arne Gabius won the men’s 5,000 in 13 minutes, 55.89 seconds to lead Germany to 195 points.

“My girlfriend is from Braunschweig so I am kind of a local hero and have a home advantage,” Gabius said.

Russian successes came through Denis Kudryavtsev in the men’s 400-meter hurdles, Yekaterina Koneva in the women’s triple jump, Sergey Litvinov in the men’s hammer, and Alena Tamkova in the women’s 400.

The Russians initially finished four points ahead of the hosts after Germany’s disqualification from the 4x100 women’s relay, but the disqualification was later overturned.

Jimmy Vicaut and Myriam Soumare ensured French wins in the men’s and women’s 100, winning in 10.03 and 11.35 seconds, respectively.

“Twelve points is great but I would have liked to run under 10 seconds,” said Vicaut, whose right hamstring was causing discomfort.

Mame-Ibra Anne won the men’s 400 in 45.71 seconds as France finished third on the day with 161 points.

Jakub Holusa of the Czech Republic set a championship record of 3:37.74 in the men’s 1,500, and Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands set another of 8:45.24 in the women’s 3,000.

Andriy Protsenko sailed over 2.30 meters to win the men’s high jump for Ukraine, which claimed another win though Hanna Ryzhykova in the women’s 400 hurdles.

Sweden’s Charlotta Fougberg won the women’s 3000 meters, and Barbora Spotakova of the Czech Republic threw 65.57 in the final round to claim the javelin.

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