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Sports digest: Sweden tops podium at European athletics championships

Paul O'Mahony · 5 Mar 2007, 12:35

Published: 05 Mar 2007 12:35 GMT+01:00

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The Swedish team can be very satisfied with its weekend away at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Birmingham, having left the UK with three gold medals and one silver.

Carolina Klüft showed once again why she is regarded as one of the best female athletes in the world when she pipped Britain's Kelly Sotherton to the gold medal in Friday's pentathlon.

After a terrible start in the 60 metres hurdles, the quality of Susanna Kallur soon shone through as she swept past the rest of the field to hit the line in first place.

The men's high jump event turned into an all Swedish affair. Linus Thörnblad had reason to celebrate after clearing 2.32 metres. But Olympic champion Stefan Holm raised the bar a further two centimetres and claimed another gold medal for his growing collection.


Last week saw the return of Zlatan Ibrahimovic to the Swedish national team after a protracted spat with coach Lars Lagerbäck. With an in-form Ibrahimovic back in the side, Sweden will be confident of beating Northern Ireland in their Euro qualifier later this month.

On Saturday Ibrahimovic scored the winning goal as Inter Milan won away from home at Livorno to continue their seemingly unstoppable march towards the Serie A title.

Elsewhere in Italy, Christian 'Chippen' Wilhelmsson spared Roma's blushes with a late equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Ascoli.

Crowd trouble marred Lyon's victory over local rivals St. Etienne in France's Lique A. Kim Källstrom had scored the opener in Lyon's 3-1 victory before police began spraying tear gas to control a volatile situation in the stands.

Ice Hockey

Actor Dolph Lundgren was among those in the arena to watch Mattias Norström make his NHL debut for the Dallas Stars after twelve years with the Los Angeles Kings. But the Dallas team was no match for the San José Sharks, losing the game 4-0.

Story continues below…

Daniel Sedin fared somewhat better; the Swede was the Sunday night shootout hero as the Vancouver Canucks defeated the Minnesota Wild 4-3.

Back in Sweden, fighting broke out in the stands when Djurgården missed out on a play-off place against Linköping. Angry Djurgården supporters later hurled rocks at police at Linköping railway station. On the train home the fans turned on each other and the train was forced to make a stop at Norrköping to let off injured supporters.


Vasaloppet, the annual long distance cross-country ski race in Dalarna in central Sweden, was held for the 83rd time on Sunday. Oskar Svärd covered the 90 kilometres from Sälen to Mora in the fastest time, leaving 13,367 other competitors trailing in his wake. It was Svärd's third victory in five years.

Paul O'Mahony (paul.omahony@thelocal.com)

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