Britain's Danny Talbot has won a bronze medal in the 200 metres at the European Championships, on the day his female counterparts reached their "lowest point".

In the final race of a cold, wet evening in Helsinki, Talbot claimed Britain's fifth medal of the week as Churandy Martina and Patrick van Luijk secured gold and silver respectively for Holland.

However, the 21-year-old from Trowbridge's time of 20.95 seconds was 0.4secs adrift of the 'A' standard he needed to be considered for Olympic selection after managing to finish only fourth at last weekend's trials in Birmingham.

Nevertheless, it was a welcome result after the failure of Britain's female sprint relay team to qualify for the Olympics earlier in the day.

Only the top 16 nations in the world qualify and Britain arrived in Helsinki ranked 15th, needing a good performance in the semi-finals or final to hold off the likes of Poland and Switzerland.

However, Poland ran 43.13secs to reach the final and Switzerland recorded a national record of 43.51secs to overtake Britain in the rankings, with the quartet of Anyika Onuora, Montell Douglas, Hayley Jones and Ashleigh Nelson then disqualified after finishing second to Germany in their semi-final.

That all meant Britain dropped to 17th in the rankings with an average time of 43.675 - rounded up to 43.68 by the IAAF - with Switzerland reducing their average to 43.66.

Jones was the guilty party who stepped outside of her lane on the third leg around the bend, but UK Athletics head coach Charles van Commenee admitted the situation had been on the cards for a long time.

"It was always an accident waiting to happen that didn't happen here necessarily, it is a process over a number of years," Van Commenee said. "We have been underperforming in this area for more than 10 years and at one point you don't get away with it.

"It's a disappointment but at the same time I did not expect great things at all. I think it's a true reflection of where we are. We are somewhere between 15th and 20th and on the day we turn out to be 17th."