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WORLD SPORT

Ramzi claims historic track double

HELSINKI, Finland -- Bahrain's Rashid Ramzi became the first man to complete the middle distance double at the world athletics championships as he added the men's 800 meters gold on Sunday to his earlier 1500m title.

Ramzi took full advantage of a tactical blunder by Olympic champion Yuriy Borzakovsky of Russia to win in a personal best of one minute 44.24 seconds.

Borzakovsky left his effort too late but pipped Kenyan William Yiampoy for the silver medal in 1:44.51.

Yiampoy was third in 1:44.55 after taking up the pace on the second lap before being passed by Ramzi in the closing straight.

Borzakovsky had to come from way back after allowing himself to be baulked with just over 200 meters remaining.

Defending champion Djabir Said-Guerni of Algeria faded on the second lap to finish fifth.

Ramzi's double was helped by the absence of four-time defending 1,500 champion Hicham El Guerrouj, who did not race in Helsinki because of illness. El Guerrouj won the 1500 and the 5000 at the Athens Olympics.

Ramzi became a citizen of Bahrain after moving to the Gulf nation to take up a job in that country's armed forces. But he retains a Moroccan passport and trains with old coach Khalid Boulami.

A year after finishing in 11th place in his semifinal heat of the 1500 at the Athens Olympics, Ramzi has burst onto the scene.

"I learned from my mistakes in Athens," Ramzi said. "These good results are simply because of that fantastic preparation I have had for these championships."

Russia denied

Tatyana Tomashova retained her 1,500 meters title on Sunday but a Russian sweep was ruled out by a disqualification.

Tomashova won in 4:00.35 and thought she had led her team-mates home to the first sweep in the event at the championships but second-placed Yuliya Chizhenko was later disqualified.

Bahrain protested and the jury of appeal ruled that Chizhenko had jostled Yusuf Jamal. Olga Yegorova was promoted to silver with France's Bouchra Ghezielle given the bronze.

"It felt great and I'm so happy," said Tomashova, who also won the Olympic silver in Athens last year.

"All of the Russian competitors were very strong just like I knew they were going to. We didn't agree on anything. Everyone ran for herself."

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