Sport

Mekhissi gives up on European 5000m bid

France's Mahiedine Mekhissi pulled out of the 5000m at the European athletics championships on Saturday, ending his hopes of a sixth career continental title.

No go for gold: France's Mahiedine Mekhissi celebrates his 3000m steeplechase win
No go for gold: France's Mahiedine Mekhissi celebrates his 3000m steeplechase win (AFP)

France's Mahiedine Mekhissi pulled out of the 5000m at the European athletics championships on Saturday, ending his hopes of a sixth career continental title.

The French Athletics Federation (FFA) gave no reason for the decision made by the 33-year-old who on Thursday claimed a fifth European title by winning the 3000m steeplechase.

Mekhissi, a three-time Olympic and two-time world medallist, added the 2018 steeplechase title to wins in 2010, 2012 and 2016. He also took gold in the 1500m in 2014.

The Frenchman joined the trio of German Harald Schmid and British pair Roger Black and Mo Farah as the sole athletes to have won five outdoor golds on the continental stage.

"I would like to breathe a little bit," Mekhissi said after his win on Thursday.

"You are talking to me about the 5000m, but for the moment I am not thinking about the 5000m. I want to enjoy my 3000m steeplechase and tomorrow we'll see.

"If I do not want to run, I will not run, I've been so deep that I feel empty."