Turkey's Nevin Yanit clinches 100m hurdle gold "in dream come true"
Turkey's Nevin Yanit emerged triumphant from the 20th European Athletics Championships in Barcelona, where she clinched the gold in the women's 100-meter hurdle, becoming the first Turk to win a medal in the event. Yanit prevailed in all her races leading up to the final, where she came away with first place easily. Trailing Yanit was Ireland's Derval O'Rourke; Yanit beat her by 2 milliseconds, breaking her own semifinal time of 12:71 to break the Turkish record again in 12:63. It was Yanit's first time at the European championships, and she threw herself onto the ground in joy after her winning race. The crowd cheered her on with a long ovation while she made a victory lap around the track, draped in the Turkish flag. Back in Turkey, praise poured in for her performance. Turkey Athleticism Federation head Mehmet Terzi called her score a "tremendous time," saying: "Nevin made her way to the top by running many races. Her making 12:71 wasn't a surprise for us, but 12:63 is a tremendous time. I think that she scored in a way that's indicative of how she'll do in the future; by 2012 her time will be down to 12:50 and she'll take her place as the world's first." President Abdullah Gul's office issued a statement saying: "Our president has sent a congratulatory telegraph to our national team athlete Nevin Yanit, who won the gold medal in the women's 100-meter hurdle at the 20th European Athletics Championships in Barcelona, Spain in a success that makes us proud." Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan reportedly sent her congratulations as well. Yanit's gold medal brings Turkey's standing in the medal count at the championships to sixth. Russia is currently leading with 21 medals, eight of them gold.