MARCH 8 - CHARLES VAN COMMENEE (pictured), UK Athletics new head coach, revealed his disappointment after Britain failed to reach his target of winning five medals at the European Indoor Championships, which finished in Turin tonight.


Britain managed just four medals at the Oval Lingotto, well adrift of the 10 won two years in Birmingham, as they finished fifth in the overall medals table, which was headed by Russia with 18 medals, 10 of which were gold.


The Dutchman, appointed after Dave Collins was sacked failing Britain's failure to achieve its target of five medals at the Olympics in Beijing last year, admitted he had expected more from the team.


He said: "Overall I have very mixed feelings, we didn't hit the target which is not good and very few stepped up a level.


"There were a few exceptions, I liked Steve Lewis in the pole vault and both the relay teams were really good but altogether you hope that more athletes take the opportunity at a development event like the European Indoors."


Marilyn Okoro came in for the harshet criticism from van Commenee after she went into the 800 metres as one of the favourites but ended up crawling across the line on all fours in fifth after going too fast in the early stages.


Okoro came back 90 minutes later to anchor the 4x400m relay team to a silver medal but that did not protect her.


He said: "The 800m I think was a bit naive.


"You can debate the 60m hurdles where Sarah Claxton ran superbly in the semi but messed up in the final.


"It's debatable we gave away a medal there, in the 800m we did.


"With more clever tactics I think she [Okoro] would have ended up with the silver."


Mo Farah and Dwain Chambers won Britain's two gold medals in the 3,000m and 60m respectively.


Chambers appears to have an influential ally in van Commenee, who refused to join the rush to condemn him.


He said: "He is eligible to compete, he is drugs free, he was tested every day here.


"He already ran really well and fast before he was on drugs.


"It sends out a message you can win, with European records, in a proper way.


"He is obviously very eager to race and it's like you lock someone up in a cage and you open the door and boom."