FOLLOWING a slow start to the European Championships in Sweden three local athletes returned home from the games in Gothenburg with silver medals after an excellent final day on Sunday.

Woodford Green's Joice Maduaka brought the British 4x100m team home in second place in 43.51secs, which given the side had only scraped into the final as fastest loser was a remarkable feat.

Maduaka, who earlier in the week finished fourth in the individual 100m, came into the home straight clear third in the relay.

But she didn't give up on the chance of silver as she stormed through the final 50m and passed the Belarusian in the final few strides.

A delighted Maduaka said: "I knew the girl from Belarus was in sniffing distance.

"I just had to be patient and get there.

"We were really positive and I just said to the girls beforehand let's go out there and we can win a medal' and we did." Meanwhile clubmate Graham Hedman ran a strong third leg to just keep Great Britain in touch with the leaders in the 4x400m relay, to allow fourth leg runner Tim Benjamin to snatch second on the line.

Hedman had earlier reached the semi-final of the individual 400m, where he recorded 45.90secs for sixth place.

Newham and Essex Beagles Mo Farah also put in an excellent performance to take silver in the mens 5000m following a slow start to the race.

Farah, a silver medallist at last summer's European U23 Championships, was passed in the home straight by Jesus Espana.

He just about held off the Beagles star, who clocked 13mins 44.79secs, only nine hundredths of a second behind the Spaniard.

Farah said: "It was close, but not close enough. I am really disappointed. I wanted to win the gold. I saw the gap and had to wind up and wind it up again, I gave it everything."