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Ohuruogu breezes through heats

There were no signs of rustiness from Christine Ohuruogu as the reigning 400 metres world champion eased through the European Championships heats with a season's best.

There were no signs of rustiness from Christine Ohuruogu as the reigning 400 metres world champion eased through the European Championships heats with a season's best.

Having followed Olympic silver at London 2012 by winning the World Championships, the 30-year-old decided to dramatically scale back this year.

Ohuruogu was part of the England team that won bronze in the 4x400m relay at the recent Commonwealth Games, yet the heats in Zurich were just her third individual race over 400m in 2014.

The Londoner certainly did not look out of practice, though, winning her heat in a season's best 51.40 seconds, making her the fourth fastest European this year despite taking it easy down the home straight.

"There's nothing really to be pleased about," Ohuruogu said. "It's a first-round race. Tomorrow's the one I'm worried about, not today.

"It's not a fast track if you don't do the work. It's not going to drag you around, you have to do the work so I think the 400m it's really hard to tell."

More British success soon followed, as Dwain Chambers, James Dasaolu and Harry Aikines-Aryeetey won their 100m heats.

First up was 36-year-old Chambers, who in his sixth European Championships produced an impressive 10.18secs run.

Aikines-Aryeetey managed a 10.19s in the final of the five heats in which Dasaolu's win was slower but arguably more comfortable.

The 26-year-old, who clocked 9.91 last year, eased up with 20m to go and looks capable of going sub-10 in Zurich on Wednesday.

"It was just the heats, you were trying to lose as little energy as possible," Dasaolu told the BBC after crossing the line in 10.22. "I'm just happy to get through.

"You have nerves, but maybe not as high as the world champs.

"Anything can happen tomorrow, you have to get through the semis then try to push for a medal."

Things went slightly awry as Michael Rimmer and Andrew Osagie failed to make it through the 800m heats, although the latter would have likely made it had he not have pulled up with injury 10m from the line.

There was far better news for Ireland, though, as Mark English advanced to the semi-finals as the quickest qualifier in one minute 47.38s.

"I felt very comfortable on the home straight," he said. "I felt very relaxed before the race. During the race I stayed out of trouble.

"I do not know the [semi-final] draw yet, so I cannot say much about it now.

"This is my third senior championships. I guess it is all a matter of practice. I have worked on my tactics, too."

Ashley Bryant, who won silver at the Commonwealth Games, ended a disappointing first day in the decathlon 19th in the standings.