General News

Men 800 metres final

Men's 800 Metres Final

It was perhaps the most highly awaited matchup of the weekend--the young Russian indoor sensation, Yuriy Borzakovskiy, against last year's world outdoor leader, Switzerland's André Bucher.

Bucher took the lead at the break, with Kenya's David Lelei and defending champion Johan Botha of South Africa following. Borzakovskiy was in his customary position at the rear after one lap, but was already starting to calculate his move.

The Swiss built up a lead of about seven metres after one lap (25.38) and stretched it out to about ten metres at the halfway point (51.46).

By this time, the Russian had moved into third and was starting to smell gold.

Bucher's biggest lead of 12 metres came at about the 500-metre mark, as Borzakovskiy was moving steadily forward.

Then, with 150 remaining, the Russian rockets were fired. The 19-year-old wonder moved to the front with amazing ease, and sailed smoothly into the finish in 1:44.49, the fourth-fastest performance of all-time, of which he has two. (Wilson Kipketer, in Lisbon as a spectator,  has the other two.)

Bucher, perhaps a bit unnerved by the performance going on in front of him, lost a bit of his sprint in the final metres. This allowed Botha the small window he needed to run wide and clip the Swiss at the finish, 1:46.42 to 1:46.46, for the silver medal.

Lelei won a race with Glody Dube of Botswana for the medalless fourth place, 1:46.88 to 1:46.90, the latter a Botswanan national record.

And the final place went to Poland's Pawel Czapiewski with 1:50.51, in a weekend which saw him lower his personal best twice in the earlier rounds.