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World Sport

Borzakovskiy snatches 800m victory


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Yuriy Borzakovsky flies down the home straight to win the men's 800m final
SPECIAL REPORT
• Olympics 2004: Special report 

ATHENS, Greece -- Russia's Yuriy Borzakovskiy snatched the Olympic men's 800 meters title, timing a late surge to the line to perfection.

The 23-year-old, who won silver at last year's world championships, powered past Denmark's Wilson Kipketer and Mbulaeni Mulaudzi of South Africa in the final few strides to win in one minute 44.45 seconds.

Mulaudzi out-dipped Kipketer to take silver in 1:44.61 to add to the world indoor gold he won in March.

Kipketer, the three-times former world champion and world record holder, had to be content with bronze in 1:44.65.

World champion Djabir Said Guerni of Algeria and Kenyan Wilfred Bungei, the fastest man in the world this year, took up the early pace but the opening lap of 51.84 was not as fast as expected.

Kipketer stamped his authority on the field 200 meters out and coming off the final bend looked set at last to win the Olympic title that has eluded him.

The 31-year-old former Kenyan, world champion in 1995, 1997 and 1999, seemed to have run the kick out of the rest but he had reckoned without Borzakovskiy, the twice former European champion.

Eyeballs bulging, the Russian surged outside Kipketer and powered into the lead with only a few metres to spare in a beautifully timed finish.

Such was Kipketer's shock that he forgot about Mulaudzi on his inside and the South African, third in last year's world championships, snatched the silver.

Guerni faded badly to finish seventh.

Norwegian wins javelin gold

Andreas Thorkildsen won the javelin gold medal to give Norway their first win in the men's event since 1956.

The 22-year-old sent his second throw 86.50 meters, a personal best by 72cm, and was never subsequently threatened.

Vadims Vasilevskis of Latvia took silver with a personal best 84.95 with Russian world champion Sergey Makarov repeating his bronze of Sydney with 84.84.

Czech Jan Zelezny, seeking a fourth successive Olympic gold and fifth successive Olympic medal, finished ninth with 80.59 while Briton Steve Backley, second in the last two Games and third in 1992, bowed out of international competition with a fourth-place throw of 84.13.

Slesarenko defeats Cloete

Russian Yelena Slesarenko wrecked Hestrie Cloete's dream of Olympic gold by taking the women's high jump title on with a perfect display.

The 22-year-old Slesarenko won with a clearance of 2.04 meters, then celebrated with a personal best of 2.06 before missing three attempts to break the world record at 2.10.

Cloete, the double world champion from South Africa, was favorite to win the title she covets most but ended with silver for the second Games in a row with 2.02.

Viktoriya Styopina of Ukraine took bronze. She also cleared 2.02 but lost on countback after two failures at both 1.96 and 1.99.

Cloete, who annoys her coach by smoking up to a packet of cigarettes a day, had lost out on gold on countback in Sydney, coincidentally to another Russian called Yelena -- Yelena Yelesina.

The time the result was more clear-cut as Slesarenko cleared eight jumps at the first attempt to add the Olympic title to her world indoor crown, won in March.

Cloete missed twice at 2.04, then gambled and lost with one attempt at 2.06. She had celebrated her 26th birthday on Thursday during the qualifiers.

The world record of 2.09 is held by Stefka Kostadinova of Bulgaria, dating back to August 30 1987.


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