- Associated Press - Sunday, March 8, 2015

PRAGUE (AP) - Dafne Schippers confirmed her status as a major continental sprint force by winning the 60-meter race at the European Indoor Championships on Sunday.

Also, last year’s worlds indoor champion Richard Kilty of Britain proved unbeatable again, winning the men’s 60 in 6.51, with a duo of German sprinters, Christian Blum and Julian Reus, finishing second and third, respectively.

“My second gold medal indoors, now I am ready to show something outdoors too, and I am working on it very hard,” Kilty said.

Another British hopeful, Chijindu Ujah, was disqualified because of a false start.

Schippers, the double European champion at 100 and 200 meters, added an indoor gold at O2 Arena in the Czech capital.

The specialist in multi-event disciplines recovered from a slow start and used a strong finish to win in 7.05 seconds, a world-leading time this year.

Dina Asher-Smith, the rising star of British sprinting who won the junior worlds last year, finished second, 0.03 behind and Germany’s Verena Sailer was another 0.01 back in third.

“Every medal counts and I appreciate this gold a lot,” Schippers said. “I will focus (on) heptathlon now.”

“I already train for the multi events.”

Earlier, Ilya Shkurenyov claimed gold in the heptathlon while Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands dominated the women’s 1,500 meters.

Shkurenyov was the best in the long jump, high jump and pole vault for a total of 6,353 points. The Russian held a winning margin of 74 points over Arthur Abele of Germany while defending champion Eelco Sintnicolaas of the Netherlands was third.

On the final day of the championships, Hassan was cruising unchallenged to victory in 4:09.04, leaving Angelika Cichocka of Poland in second, almost 1.5 behind. Federica Del Buono of Italy took the bronze.

“I want to be ready at the world championships this summer, which is my main focus now, but I am glad I managed to win the gold medal in Prague,” Hassan said.

With the absence of favorite Jenny Meadows of Britain, Selina Buechel of Switzerland took the women’s 800 in 2:01.95, edging Yekaterina Poistogova of Russia in a photo finish in 2:01.99. 3. Nataliya Lupu of Ukraine was third in 2:02.25.

In the same distance in the men’s race, Marcin Lewandowski of Poland pulled away with 100 meters to go to win in 1:46.67, beating Mark English (1:47.20) of Ireland in second while Thijmen Kupers of the Netherlands was third.

In other events, Jakub Holusa of the Czech Republic delighted the crowd by edging Ilham Tanui Ozbilen of Turkey by 0.06 to take gold in 3:37.68. Britain’s Chris O’Hare got bronze for 3:38.96.

Also, Daniyil Tsyplakov of Russia won the men’s high jump after clearing 2.31. His fellow countrywoman Yekaterina Koneva won the triple jump with a world-leading leap of 14.69 meters and another Russian, Anzhelika Sidorova, cleared 4.80 meters for victory.

Russia topped the medal table with six golds and a total of eight medals, France had three golds in second while Britain had two golds and the most medals overall - nine.

In the final 4x400 relays, Belgium set the continental record of 3:02.87 for gold in the men’s race, edging Poland on the line by 0.1 while France was fastest in the women’s competition in 3:31.61, upsetting favorite Britain by 0.18.

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