Asier Martínez Flies To Become European Champion

The Spanish Asier Martínez was proclaimed champion of Europe in the 110 meter hurdles at the Munich Olympic Stadium with a mark of 13.14 after a race that was decided by one thousandth against the Frenchman Pascal Martinot-Lagarde.

The 22-year-old Navarrese athlete and recent bronze medalist at the World Championships in Eugene , reached the semifinals directly, exempt from the qualifying round due to his status as number one in the European ranking .

In the first semifinal, Asier Martínez achieved victory with a time of 13.25, five hundredths less than the Frenchman Just Kwaou-Mathey . Such was his dominance in the race that in the last few meters he allowed himself the luxury of looking to his right and smiling at the Gallic runner.

In the final, Asier Martínez, who had a reaction time of 0.149 , ran through lane four and the rivalry with Pascal Martinot-Lagarde reached the point that the race was decided by one thousandth, since the time of both was 13.14 , being that time personal mark of the Spanish. The bronze went to the also French Just Kwaou Mathey.

Enrique Llopis did not want to miss the party of the final and, in the third semifinal, he won the race by stopping the clock at 1:30 p.m., making his personal best and the third best of all the participants in Munich.

Llopis could not fight for the medals . Touching a fence at the beginning of the race he was relegated from the top positions and finished seventh with 14.81.

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